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Copyright Owners Line Up Behind Anti-Piracy Bill

Publication Date: 
August 04, 2011
Daily Journal
Craig Anderson

Professor Mark Lemley is quoted by Craig Anderson of the Daily Journal on why he and 100 other professors are protesting a new anti-piracy bill which may "run afoul of due process."

Copyright owners are hoping to make infringing websites disappear.

A bill that was introduced in Congress earlier this year would allow the U.S. Department of Justice to go to court and get a temporary restraining order requiring search engines to block access to websites that judges determine are "dedicated to infringing activities."

If a restraining order or injunction is granted, even on an ex parte motion without the defendant present on the day the complaint is filed, the judge could order search engines to stop listing the website.


Another contingency, a group of 100 law professors including Stanford University's Mark A. Lemley, argues the bill runs afoul of due process by allowing a judge to effectively wipe a website off the Internet or to cut off its money supply before any infringement has been proven.

"It's far too easy to get an order on the same day [as a complaint is filed] without the other side," Lemley said.


Lemley said the court review proposed in the PROTECT IP Act is better than none at all, but he assumes the federal government will continue seizing websites suspected of piracy, counterfeiting and infringement regardless.