Reporters' Roundtable: RIAA defends SOPA in fight over content rights

Is the Stop Online Piracy Act going to kill the Internet? Or is it a law we need to keep content providers in business? Rafe Needleman discusses the controversy with the RIAA's Mitch Glazier and CNET commentator Larry Downes.

Today we're discussing what's been called the end of the Internet. And the Great Firewall of America. Or, technically: SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, aka HR 3261, a law now wending its way through the House of Representatives.

This is a very controversial bill that would provide new powers to copyright holders and the government to sue, and take offline, sites that host legally protected content. The content industry says it's required to protect rights holders and their jobs. The technology industry says it will break the Internet and cost high-tech jobs.

To discuss, I have two guests. First, in the studio with me, our commentator Larry Downes, who writes on these topics for CNET and elsewhere. Larry has taught IP and computer property law at UC Berkeley.

And dialing in from the other side of the country, and the debate, is Mitch Glazier, senior executive vice president of the Recording Industry Association of America.

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Discussion points:
Let's get a brief history of the battle. And a legal overview: The current state of SOPA in the House.

What is Senate counterpart? How is it the same, or different? Isn't the DMCA enough?

What's next, legally, for these bills?

This bill is aimed at "Rogue Sites." What is a rogue site?

Larry, you say in your latest column , "The bill, introduced as the House version of the Senate's Protect IP Act, solves few of the glaring problems of the Senate bill and introduces many all its own."

How much does piracy cost? How's the music industry doing these days?

Let's talk about the remedies in this bill. It's been called the "Internet Death Penalty."

Under SOPA, sites are taken offline via DNS. Explain.

SOPA has been called the "Great Firewall of America," and compared to government censorship that is similar to what is done in China, Syria, and Iran.

Can sites route around SOPA? Suppose I set up my own DNS service. Can I do that outside of SOPA?

Explain legal process for taking a site offline via SOPA. It is being criticized as extra-legal.

What happens to Safe Harbor?

Could Twitter have started under this law? WikiLeaks?

How do we write laws that can keep up with technology?

Wrap-up
Reporters' Roundtable episode 100 is coming up on 11/11/11. Don't miss it!

 

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