Washington – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the PRO IP Act, a bill that would empower authorities to seek court orders to shut down websites offering unauthorized copyrighted content, but Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has placed a “hold” on the proposed legislation, delaying further action.

The PRO IP, Act, supported by the Hollywood studios and networks and major record labels, among others, would expand current actions being taken by the Justice Dept. and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to seize the domains of websites offering copyrighted and counterfeit content.

“I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective,” Sen. Wyden said in a statement explaining his move to place a hold on the bill.

Last year, Wyden also placed a hold on the similar Combating Online Infringements Counterfeit Act (COICA), citing the same reasons.

CNET notes that to work around the block, the bill could be moved to a vote before the full Senate; a similar bill is also expected to be introduced in the House.


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(Wyden statement) (PaidContent)