Washington – Technology firms are urging Congress to halt
the fast-tracking of a Senate bill that would empower the Justice Department to
shut down websites offering pirated copyrighted and counterfeit goods, CNET
News.com reported. The bipartisan Combating Online Infringement and
Counterfeits Acts — which could be brought up for a vote as early as Thursday
— was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
include the RIAA and MPAA, AFL-CIO and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
like this goes through, we start to break the Internet," Ed Black, CEO of
the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), told CNET.
"Nobody is arguing that copyright infringement doesn’t exist. But Lady
Gaga isn’t going to go broke tomorrow. We should be trying to solve the
copyright issue in as an unobtrusive and thoughtful way as possible and not
creating anti-First Amendment laws."
CNET notes that a House version of
the bill has yet to be introduced, and the legislation is likely not to be
passed before the November recess, but will "almost certainly" be
addressed once Congress returns.
(DMW previous coverage)