Ep. 99: The RIAA defends SOPA in the fight over content rights
Hi everyone welcome to reporters' roundtable our weekly -- a single picked up each time this is episode number 99.
Thanks for joining -- -- -- needle in San Francisco and to date we are discussing what has been called the end of the Internet.
The great firewall -- America.
Or technically Soka or the stop online piracy -- AKA house resolution 3261. A law now winding its way through the house now this is a very very controversial bill that will provide new powers the copyright holders.
And the government to take.
To sue and take offline. Sites that host -- legally.
The comments and content industries say it is required to protect rights holders and their jobs the -- --
Technology industry says it will fundamentally break the Internet.
And cost jobs.
So it's a great topic for roundtable is -- it.
And that's what we're gonna discuss today with two guests first of -- has always in the studio.
We have with us are returning commentator Larry Downes a writer for CNET -- add on topics such as these and a previously a yeah -- law professor that he talked RIP and computer property law at UC Berkeley -- thanks for joining us pleasure thank.
The have you back and dialing in from the other side of the country and the other side of the debate.
Mitch -- who's the senior executive vice president of the Recording Industry Association of America or the so let's get started. This is a big topic -- we've got a lot of things to discuss but I want to kind of paint the landscape first.
Larry. And Mitch what is a brief history of the issue here how did.
They need to for this debate come to be.
Well -- you could take briefly that it goes back to the invention of the printing press that was the first time that a sort of disruptive technology threatens the way in which.
Content industries like to.
Organize their businesses.
Certainly since the invention copyright in the seventeenth century.
There have been efforts every time a new technologies invented.
There is some way in which the industries try to rein it in or stop that are at least slow the pace with which the transformation. Of their business models comes with it.
This is no different this went back this particular bills had its origins a couple of years ago in -- senate bill called --
And and a new senate version introduced this year called protect IP and now this is sort of the house counterpart that -- introduced last week.
-- show what's your perspective on how we got here.
And this is really up an evolution that started with the DN CA and in the pro IPL and now these two bills it's really much more question of enforcement and it has rights it's about.
Making sure that the rights that property owners have actually means --
And if you can't enforce your rights if there's no way to make them meaningful.
And -- -- really don't exist at all so the -- -- is sort of their first attempt -- the Internet environment.
To do that but it was drafted to win an IP dial up services. Win -- -- hosted.
By ISPs. And and the pro IP act which follow.
Really went to view the ability to seize Internet sites -- -- and pro IP act.
Which is -- -- today applies to domestic sites allows the Department of Justice to go to -- sites that are.
Criminal sites engaged in criminal activity.
And and take them down and the question is what happens then.
Those operators move offshore and -- teachers -- -- and states that was the origin.
Of this latest -- it's the so what is it.
Fundamentally different about so -- from -- protect IP.
-- it so it -- protective gear actually fairly similar there're a couple of differences.
Instead of allowing. Rights -- property --
To go to court right way to try to stop funding.
This site that court fines eases -- engaged in illegal activity when there's first what's -- marketplace neck and there was a complaint that technology industry -- protect IP.
Day it would cost too much litigation clogged courts they call them for -- even -- there's no money is there's no pot. Of money.
But in reaction to that.
-- -- --
A market mechanism that plays up the voluntary systems that -- riders aren't yet in place.
So before you're -- to support you have to go to and perks you have to say.
I'm going to show you reviews through this evidence that these sites meet the standards instantiate. And I would like you'd stop funding.
The -- practice have to stop.
But they have five days to basically. Contact the site sees the site wants to file a counter notification.
And then they can either act or not.
If they don't act within five days.
And like protect --
You can go into court in Trenton federal judge to look at the evidence declared and it's a -- site and then certain copying program and cut off funding so it's a two step process in house.
-- one step process it's.
So what's next legally for -- aware what's the state of the spill at the moment.
Well it was a hundred it was introduced in this House Judiciary Committee. -- there's no scheduled hearings yet. -- hearings -- -- -- just -- markup.
And from there of course it'll be -- voted out of committee or not.
And after that you know goes into the hopper -- all the other pending legislation.
If in fact it passed the house and if in fact the senate version passed the senate -- -- -- -- to -- an idea.
A committee too -- to decide on how to resolve the differences between the two bills which are in fact quite significant.
So now this bill although I understand there's no provision does nothing in the bill itself that says Rogue site this is about this this terminology is being used all of the places this is about taking.
-- controller taking care Rogue sites what does that mean Mitch what -- the Rogue site.
If I -- them in the bill if the attorney general is going after -- off shore road site.
-- to find the same ways to find.
Domestic. It basically -- insane out they have -- sites that are located in the United States that have connections of the -- states.
And that's basically engaging in criminal activity that subject and -- -- states.
If you are talking about cutting up funding and property owner and contacting provider -- -- site.
They get five different categories. That define -- site one is it it's primarily designed. For infringement.
Another one is that it has only limited purpose other then infringement.
I'm uncertain what is that it's marketed for infringement.
Four point is that there is any deliberate at.
Act that is taken.
To avoid confirming that -- used for infringement that's the global -- Supreme Court case.
And -- -- just what -- that there's inducement and that's the rosters for court case.
So they basically took the definition straight out of the digital millennium copyright act and answer convention provision for the first three and many -- to.
Fairly recent string or -- four seconds and it basically copy.
Are now before we get into the issues of of piracy and some of the things that makes up -- so interesting contentious -- -- that you said down in a story -- on CNET com.
That this bill assaults view of the glaring problems of the senate bill and introduces many of its own can you just briefly I future perspective on -- and I want -- to reply to those sure I mean that.
I think what it thinks it happened -- was that the house in the house leadership did say.
You know we heard the complaints of -- industry and we will make very significant changes.
To the -- what we expected that meant was that they were gonna clean up some of the terrible errors and protect IP but in fact but they did was they.
Made a much more -- it is an eighty page bill there are multiple new definitions of secondary liability they'll come from -- case law they come completely out of thin air.
And indeed they can apply just to portion of -- let -- be one single page when one single blog comment.
-- buried somewhere in web site that could be enough to trigger secondary liability.
Under the private -- what what is secondary liability while the liability of the -- I've run a site that I allow other people to post content to -- let's take comments let's say upload videos and whatever it is.
If if they're breaking the law secondary liability means I can be held accountable for their action -- -- and it as.
The phone companies -- enjoy make.
-- is itself -- -- I say post a link to an infringing content on Twitter.
Then Twitter itself as protective as that no longer the case under sofa while it may not be on that their positions -- say if you don't take positive affirmative steps.
To to find out if there's actual activity on your site that is infringing when I you can lose your your safe harbors.
So it may be that in at the end of the law says explicitly.
We don't intend to undo the DM CA but then I've I've congressman -- -- was the chair of the subcommittee at the Judiciary Committee says -- -- totally intend to.
Change the DNC the MC is no longer a viable method of solving this problem and the Turkish economy.
I think it's actually the opposite on all four points the bill has the remedy.
Limited to portions of the site so instead of the same -- site is -- -- -- can come down at the opposite.
That a court can say that -- a portion of the site is it legal only that portion of the site is back to remedy the rest of the site stays up.
They wanted to be more First Amendment from what what the tech portion of a site a single -- is upon me -- -- example would be portion of the site so if for example you had any.
Domain name in the domain name was free stuff dot you know argued and there was domain that was legitimate -- stepped up.
-- -- and another sub domain that was.
-- -- -- -- --
The court would rule --
If you're going to stop funding you only would stop funding to the part of the site -- -- he would not stop funding.
To the entire domain so it's actually that the portion of the psyches is actually the opposite and there is no.
Secondary liability. For payment providers the reason why they DMZ -- set up on secondary liability construct.
Was because you need -- safe harbor you weren't involved in the dissemination and -- you have right.
In control over temperature and so you needed safe harbors -- that you did these things you didn't have to worry about liability and there's no liability here for a bank or payment process --
Up or for an advertiser. We don't have -- proceeds of a crime statute United States.
So here and there is no secondary liability hanging over her head.
It's and the order only goes against the site now then there are never any damages. And there's never any. Monetary penalty.
For anyone of these providers.
It simply that they have to follow -- order to issue an injunction to stop payment will be deleted site there's no longer life.
Well except that there is secondary liability for the site operator and its different forms secondary liability than what is covered under the DM CA.
As they say that the law says we don't intend to change that but the text says otherwise in the last thing I think we want.
Is this -- to be interpreted by you know any number of district court judges in the United States to decide what the heck did congress actually mean because one thing that is clear is that.
That'd interpretations are going to be what vastly different.
It's a very poorly drafted bill is obviously evidence of many hands.
Now from many quarters who are attributed.
It's not the case most -- Well you know protect IP was about a third the length and so you can get a sense of how many more people contributed to this list.
So let's move on there's a lot of other things to discuss here how much -- piracy. Which is one of the wallets of it let's open it is written against how much of piracy actually cost --
Cost US in the US economy --
It I -- have to use -- -- US and talk about our. Particular industry in your the united near the recording into the music industry but.
Yet for the music industry -- up.
In a decade base apps so in the year 2000 -- fifteen billion dollar industry today -- seven billion dollar industry.
And we've gone from six a a major record companies to four major record companies.
A obviously investment and number artist that goes down we -- the inability to.
Bring in same amount of money and we had an 80% higher -- just inside the United States which is an incredible.
-- and ten listens in the United States. Is not done without authorization -- not compensated up it is a huge problem that.
Of the first of all. And this gets to the core of the issue and -- and why these are laws are being drafted and enacted obviously.
And similar things are happening now or will happen -- at the same scale and in other continent -- games movies television.
Obviously technology is changing and it costs less to create.
Promote and distribute music so am wondering how much of the decline in revenues is attributable to -- the changing economics of content distribution not.
The music industry for save a content distribution. And -- secondly for all those 80% of the tracks that you say are pirated pirated how many do you think of those actually represent.
Real lost sales as opposed to what some might charitably be calling.
The -- questions none of them at very.
Easier exact answers based on data first item is.
Promotion and marketing costs and certainly not gone down -- probably gone up.
Distribution costs. And it certainly gone down CDs now are about 50% -- and you end.
A little bit over 50% now it's actually.
Digital and so for that half our business.
And you are able save -- distribution costs but the margins.
Then we bring in of course are much smaller and so.
And you getting five dollars on an album is much different things getting sixty cents on -- digital track and that's not to say that the model hasn't changed doesn't need to change -- about 400 legitimate licensed services out there all of which have ten million tracks each.
And I actually think the industry.
Although it took awhile to start has done very good job.
Especially recently and adapting licensing services and we do have to model where we can make money.
-- and account for new types of -- costs and getting something out there in this incredible view.
Up vast marketplace more quickly -- and set up a point but it's very difficult to know how many men would have represented sale certainly not all.
-- and so what we have to do is basically. Tried to get.
-- piracy level down to where we have an industry that can function in an environment that sports.
And we're not there yet but it's going to be a combination -- changing business models and enforcement we can tell you after the Lime Wire injunction finally in place.
As soon as it did in October last year.
And then enforce them -- and place sales started to go up so there is a direct correlation but your right to date is very difficult to -- -- where.
-- -- I think it's to the core of the problem with this legislation has -- says we don't have good data.
Although in its court in his court filings ER IA counts every pirated songs as a lost sale --
-- when calculating damages in copyright infringement cases but the point is right we don't have the data in fact there's buried in the middle of --
I -- requirement that the copyrights are.
Of the White House do a study to determine what the actual data it's -- out if the problem is piracy.
And the problem is foreign web sites at least that's what we originally told now this bill brings back in domestic news new -- controls on domestic sites.
Why would we want to legislate head of actually figuring out what the right data is if we don't know what the specific problems are the specific harms.
That are -- cost to industry.
Why legislate before we have that there's a reason why we couldn't get better data from and certainly you know not -- -- every.
-- change in the industry and that's negative to be a consequence of piracy which is what the industry tends to do.
Who should be real data and weather comes from the government weather comes from the industry.
We need that data before we can actually craft the kinds of legislative solutions that this bill very ham fisted -- tries to craft.
Let's move on.
Points all well taken. Under sofa sites.
That are infringing or Rogue.
Is to eliminate them from the Internet via taking them out of the -- that direct that the domain name system and open up I always forget my algorithms are --
The DNS's of course the directory system that when you start WWW -- whatever dot com it says -- -- -- dot com is.
103 dot this stop that and it directs your connection. It is.
It works via the directory system at the core of the Internet which is unique.
As a enforcement mechanism it has been called up by various people the Internet death penalty.
Can we discussed that Larry you first and and then -- as to talk -- this remedy.
Sure not actually do think that that's a little bit of hyperbole -- on and is as you point out rate we don't actually take the sites down whether domestically.
-- or formally what we try to do is.
Using all the sort of technical things we can.
Under these laws we would try and make it look as if those sites don't -- and important and of course the risk as we can imagine is that the no matter how forward thinking a law is that technology is gonna evolve very quickly.
One of things it's so we did was to try and build in a secondary backup for that to say anything you do try and get around these provisions is also illegal we don't know what they are whenever they are and -- illegal.
On the problem person tinkering with the DNS system is that there are these literally a million recur said DNS posts. In the world.
You can't get court orders for all of them -- -- do -- get court orders for the large ISPs.
And have them take entries are actually read -- I -- -- -- entries out and actually have the entries.
-- -- redirect the user who tries to get to a particular site to go let's say to you know government seizure notification page instead.
Problem is of course we only have some of the DNS tables doing that.
And depending on what service you're using for DN SU wait may or may not get to the site you touch are getting through.
What the tech community has said very loudly is that this undermines the credibility and the security of the DNS service itself.
And -- people simply just to use IP addresses and get rid of you know DNS altogether.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
And first of all domestically right now the law as it is.
When the Department of Justice seizes the site with the court order and now concerns serves a copy -- Verisign and removes it from the registry.
That actually makes this thing you know quote unquote disappeared and no it's not actually taken down.
For every user around the world this -- is very different because for offshore sites we don't have that power capability.
So this -- only blocks access to subscribers. Not served in the US market.
-- and insert on the ISPs who have subscribers so anywhere else in the world you can still get complete access and section -- redirected to.
-- page it's just to block access to US drivers if the attorney general brings it.
-- the private side there's no blocking access at all it's only to stop funding.
In both cases and you can still.
In many cases get to the site I think that that -- correct about that there is this terrorists -- convention if the domain name is used.
And how they did two things to -- address that issue tech community -- and sent.
The first is he didn't limit ISPs to DNS solution.
House they allow the ISPs. To use whenever remedy.
They feel best so it the IISP. Wants to -- Indian has blocked it can do that -- -- they want what the IP address.
Because it's more affected -- an error doesn't cause security problems.
They can certainly do that as well they're not limited by parents and now and then the second it's exactly what he said to.
Avoid somebody coming out that's -- convention -- to say.
Hey I know that your subscriber and you know like to know by these illegal counterfeit contact lenses anymore from this site.
Instead we're going to get used to and you can plugging in and you can get around and go there anyway.
They've made it illegal for companies to come -- tools for that particular purpose.
Because all these dues to lower court so now goes to waste their house tried to respond to --
Now one way to get around that would be simply to have a printed directory of domains and -- physical.
Numerical IP addresses that printing that that directory then become illegal.
Yeah well yes it's if it's it's a -- technique aimed at getting around -- -- blocking order absolutely that's assessment on.
Now I talked a briefly before the show with them David Hewlett who's the CEO open -- when it one of the US's.
Secondary DNS providers it's it's a great service -- used in the past and -- he's pretty adamantly oppose this thing he doesn't want to become -- heavy.
He he runs after a paid directory and DNS service.
Which a lot of people are using like very much and he doesn't want to be the guy standing between people and content having to deal with.
Subscribing to this directory of a blacklist sites and taking off like he feels that that makes -- the heavy.
And as a businessman he really doesn't like that how do we address his concerns.
-- -- -- --
Well I think that's one reason why it has to be the attorney general -- -- -- -- -- order and ask you finding that federal judge.
The ISP shouldn't be that at the end people own domain name system shouldn't be having.
This occurs in countries all around the world for IP child porn Phishing spam other purposes.
Lots of DNS blocks and then every day for all those other purposes.
On the Internet hasn't been broken yet interestingly it's the ISPs are -- and that they want.
-- DNS. Possibility they want to be able to block units level they feel that's appropriate.
They -- look for lots of things already but I do you think that it's important.
We don't mandated particular table block or particular type of technology that there's flexibility. So that our security -- -- concerns network integrity concerns.
People can feel free.
To implement the order and waited it is technically feasible economically reasonable and those -- the very terms that are used in bill. --
Right so that's that's the kicker this is you know we want you to be to -- decide I -- is how best to do this but.
If we a court determined that you're not being technically feasible and reasonable cost.
Then come the penalties and and -- contempt of court and violation of court orders so again it's up to federal judges at the district court level.
Deciding what's technically feasible it's reasonably.
-- priced option for highest keys. This is it in a terrible way to decide how to fix technology problems that impact our technology problems at all.
You know one of the things I keep hearing. I heard this from David previously efforts more than once and and and which had just heard from you is he used the example of child pornography as something that.
Is kind of the news the nuclear justification for many of these things.
But you're with the -- double -- where were you represent the recording industry piracy and child pornography mean one is copying of something which has a deleterious but unknown quantity of economic impact and the other is.
A serious crime in very very different ways -- -- these two things used together to make these arguments.
Ditching spam Trout are there other examples of this type of blocking technique -- use.
I think the only similarity is that there'll crimes -- different types of programs out piracy and counterfeiting is an economic crime.
I jump aggregates social crime they're different types of products and not different types of -- at different -- penalties because.
Different types of crimes but they're all criminal activity.
And just say that the Department of Justice shouldn't force one crime occurs --
But it shouldn't enforce against another crime occurs on the Internet.
And we're going to pick and choose.
What types of crimes are okay to enforce what types of -- aren't looking -- simply because of the technology that's used Patrick crime -- it's ridiculous and it does raise the larger question.
Does that rule of law and he had.
Or doesn't it if you steal in the physical world and you have an investigation and you judge determining whether or not things are economically reasonable and feasible if this is -- courts do -- but.
But but -- if I steal I have 11 penalty and if I murder somebody I have another I mean there there are crimes in their crimes.
That's -- and penalties are very different here chip.
So if the Department of Justice is going to -- -- after.
An operator. And this is into the -- -- the penalties that the operator billing team. Realize they're going to be very very different.
But when you're talking about crimes against.
American property here against American citizens that occur offshore.
The question is are you going to allow the perpetuated of those crimes to use the US market.
I'm in order to carry them out and are you going to allow them to use you less money to carry them out.
And you know.
They decided in the Internet gambling statute they decided in the international trade commission.
Let the policy it states that were once did not criminals offshore access to US market for purposes of carrying out their --
This is just different because the Internet is the technology that used to do it and -- the remedy has to be tailored for four.
Learn -- and it's an answering point in I think it's worth noting -- one of the things that the entertainment industry.
Pot seems to historically forget is that copyright is both a civil and a criminal statute.
There's all kinds of copyright violations that are not in fact criminal violations and -- one of the things the statute would do is to.
Make it much easier to determine that something that's infringing is also in fact criminal and -- enforceable not just by private litigation.
-- but also by the attorney general for example.
On this -- version of the house bill and it's something that the senate bill didn't have.
Which it now makes it a felony that is to say criminalize is streaming of content that is infringing before that was just a civil penalty.
And enforceable by private litigation.
Under the house bill streaming. Content without the proper authorization without a license would now become a criminal activity.
And there's no evidence to suggest that we need to criminalize yet another. Future of of Internet life but in fact.
That's exactly what this bill doesn't even though -- supporters of the bill -- it doesn't apply.
You know to Justin Bieber when he was a kid doing cover songs and putting them up on YouTube.
I'm fact that text of the legislation that says quite the opposite --
Up and and how deadly.
It's been criticized in many ways -- being extra legal that the com.
If if a -- -- rights holder or somebody says their rights holders -- notes and infringement that they're able to. Basically.
Begin a fairly serious proceeding against any.
A site where technology and Internet without going through the courts are for the criticism -- how true is that.
Well as as as Mitch says there is this provision that was added for the house which is with -- call the market based solution that -- before you can bring litigation.
You must and this only applies by the way to the payment processors.
Not and to the ad networks and -- before you can start to litigation that forces them to cut off the site you have to first go through this.
Extra legal procedure and -- you know some may argue that that.
And makes it less threatening to -- -- cheaper than going to actual court.
Problem is that the incentives built into the -- -- market based solution are not as good as they are under the DM CA.
If you get a counter notification. That says no in fact I'd not violating anybody's property rights there's no requirement that the payment processor the ad network.
Restore the service to you.
On in fact they get liability for it and immunity from liability for whatever action they might take.
And there's also no if you bring these kinds if you send a cease and desist letter in the first place and it turns out you don't really have a reasonable basis to do so.
Under the DM CA they're pretty stiff penalties for doing so those penalties are greatly diminished under so --
It's exactly the opposite there's a financial incentive for the payment provider to continue making money by finding the site the only way that they.
Wouldn't finds it is if there was up -- in the notification.
That you are the property owner that you are suffering irreparable loss and -- that you meet politicians and federal rules of -- 65.
Did you show with evidence that they actually qualify under one of the five definitions what room's -- is.
And then if they receive a counter notification.
They don't have to cut it off and there's no penalty for them whether they do or they don't there's no secondary liability here the market incentive here.
Is for the financial companies and business of making money to continue to make money.
It's not like I'm receiving immunity for cutting up there and say act and stop funding this site because I get immunity by kind of up and naslund.
It's their preferences it'd be.
To be in the business that -- end of undecided.
And it does Karen vacation I can say -- good I don't have to cut off the money and making key finding it until they get a court order that says.
That they can't I think that.
We -- nobody's taking a step back here and looking at the types of businesses that we're talking about these are not.
ISPs there are disseminating content these are not people who.
Need a safe harbor because they otherwise would be trouble because they can't be deleted right and control material design of their service.
These are external payment processors have every incentive to keep finding sites but have no liability if they don't think --
Court -- they want to.
I had that one of the things I don't understand about this -- -- given what you're saying is how. Opposed.
To this regulation. The technology industry's -- -- fear that president of the Consumer Electronics Association just rodent -- a scathing -- against this Honda.
On public imposed other. Technology exacts Eric Schmidt.
Debut which I mentioned are really a post -- a world where did is does is the disconnect between entertainment.
And technology that has these two huge industries.
Butting heads over something that we really should be -- Green --
And and it's much bigger and change them there --
380 companies only forty richer entertainment companies that -- that's where this -- gets counterfeiting such huge problem but.
If you look at the technology community which is very -- is really only a couple of companies that are opposing this bill.
Registrars ISP and Garry Shapiro runs the CE he's the president of the Consumer Electronics Association he speaks for.
US arms of Samsung Sony Apple center.
Action Apple artsy -- in the PC speaker registrars he doesn't speak for only an advertising networks people who are actually many years at the table.
And while not everybody is in love with bill I have to say that there are lots of people in the tech industry.
We're being very irresponsible or at the table are in dialog even with senate with house content people -- counterfeiting the anti counterfeiting. Boats.
And there are couple decided I'm not coming to the table the only thing you can -- it has -- skillet.
There's no way that we are going to ever three there's a giant problem that needs to be solved -- throughout the argument that water.
And that is basically the folks that you mention and so I I think it's a bad strategy and their.
App because I don't think that it's going to work if the bill can be -- to -- interpretation if there's something that was intended it's not being carried through with the language of their procedural due process safeguards.
Then come to the table and sit down and be reasonable programmable and give it.
But the rhetoric and in the -- is that they're using.
Terrorize. Regulate. This is criminal investigation report that no regulation no rule has -- regulatory body this is -- -- enforcement.
It is and it's not buzzword and blue for trial lawyers and exploitation.
It's -- apocalyptic. That they lose credibility I I think that they would do much better come to the table dances -- we can agree animal.
All I can say is we -- -- to the table after the senate bill came out and this is what we got so.
I'm perfectly willing to continue negotiating. And I hope I don't use any of the kinds of extreme rhetoric that -- mentions because I I agree and those are those are those are not features of this bill is bad enough as it is -- need to make it any worse.
But it doesn't seem like the house is really serious about negotiating this --
-- -- -- -- -- --
Well because they say that it.
And what we were promised something that would correct the problems in and protect IP and we got was a seventy page piece of legislation that makes it much much worse than.
Moving forward to -- to Begin to wrap this discussion up.
Let's say that this regulation on this law is in place today and a couple guys come along with the idea of starting a service com.
That lets people post short messages on their mobile phones and the Internet and and put links and shortened girls and -- Twitter.
And that some other company comes along and they want to collect data -- papers from. Governments around the world and put this on line in the call -- -- WikiLeaks could these sites.
Have started in the way that they did and and rose as quickly and as inexpensively. Under the --
Well they can start.
Anybody can start decide how long they would of lasted and whether or not and cases Twitter they would be able to secure the kinds of outside funding that they did then.
It's very difficult to speculate we'd have to see.
Mean we know -- mention the pro IP act which -- the 2008. Most recent extension of criminal copyright to the Internet and many.
We have seen that the Department of Justice particularly -- are not the -- Justice Department home security has been aggressively trying to extend that.
And there's already you know the early litigation is to start so we don't know how these things are interpreted.
We don't know how. Byzantine the procedures are going to turn out to be.
Certainly as an investor and there was a group of by the way venture capitalists that went to Washington last week meant to encourage the house.
Not to make protect IP -- but in fact to fix it.
And it just as the bill is coming out.
I think there's genuine concern with the venture community as to how this bill will affect the ability of startups.
To get started without being you know crushed by -- various forms of litigation.
How that's actually gonna play out we will find out until some federal district judge tells us could the US government have use provisions -- -- law like this to block access to a site that WikiLeaks -- Mitch what do you think.
Now that's absolutely not live. In fact the house trying to make sure that it.
Language was targeted to cover only criminal activity and then only criminal activity.
On a portion of the site exactly to protect blogs and particularly in that discussion.
And to make sure that the remedy was more narrow.
And you know it's interesting because the same group of venture capitalists were there certainly a lot of overlap -- -- --
Amicus briefs with the Supreme Court during rupture case and they said if the court files state or Oxford is liable here.
Then you're going to ruin the Internet to be no investment in technology -- -- the nation to use the same you know words that they're using now.
And the same --
It was -- 90 decision.
Rupture was found to be liable and there was a huge percentage in venture capital investment into -- and it.
-- that helped grow the market for consumers so that it used year investment towards legitimate sites instead it.
Illegitimate sites you know nobody should be urging venture capitalists to try to put their money into sites where they no criminal activities going on in no legitimate EC -- want to do that.
And because the definition state that it has to be.
Criminal activity and that the standard is the same as the standard in the US if you're not a -- right now and US to invest -- our domestic law.
Then you -- certainly shouldn't be afraid.
Because it's going to be applied offshore. With the definitions of criminal activity changing -- laws like this and say I would just throw out that that might be kind of a moving target.
Com yeah yeah I like -- certainly there's there's actually three to five new definitions. Of what constitutes. You know.
Rogue sites not just foreign but also domestic in this bill gonna take a long time allotted to litigation to work out.
What does definitions actually mean -- which -- of them they're gonna stand up to constitutional -- aren't so what's next gotta wrap up here how do we keep laws. And bills and such -- moving at the speed of technology because one of the reasons that this laws being discussed in -- having -- this argument is.
Because original copyright laws.
Did not foresee the Internet and there'll be other technology and and then in the of distributed services like BitTorrent coming along streaming peer to peer --
How do laws keep up with technology.
Incurs the growth of it -- the growth of new jobs and the inevitable destruction of old industries without getting in the way what is right for us as as a society and a -- US this argument as a global society.
Mitch that's a big question I ask you first --
You know you're never going to stay -- -- technology along much slower shouldn't much slower technology that trick is to make sure.
That the legislation is technology neutral that it doesn't mandate that you use some particular type of technology -- some particular test method.
That it doesn't lock -- free you can place and allows investment.
In new types of technical.
That doesn't mean it when that happens is it should it's not going to pose new challenges for the protection of rights not just intellectual property rights.
-- any rights there's always going to be tension between the -- of technology and rights whether it's privacy. Or free expression or intellectual property.
-- or protection of children.
So you're never going to get ahead of the key is don't -- technology -- it moves forward.
But when it does move forward and there's tension you have to put safeguards in place protections in place so that you can preserve.
The societal norms and ordered that exist.
Even if the technology. And makes it more difficult it is.
-- -- I would I would just amend your your question right to say it's not about the destruction of industry it's about the transformation of industry.
What -- -- creative destruction -- an industry that's that's what happened that's what technologies particularly destructive technology does.
The best way to legislate.
In in in in keeping with that in as -- -- that the pace of change of regulation and legislation vs technology on -- so out of sync it's very very difficult to keep up.
To the solution is always to look for -- very specific harms and get the right data which we don't have.
About what is specifically being done that's harmful and then craft legislative solutions that are narrowly tailored to respond to those -- we don't know what's going on.
Then what you know with our tendency is to do is to just create big definition open ended requirements.
Leave it to nurture future interpretation. I think that's what this bill does and I think it's.
-- the wrong approach to solving the problem of piracy online.
Well watch. CNET news.com for updates on this is surely an interest thing in developing issue I feel in this particular roundtable I have raised the way more questions whom many more questions and -- answered and I apologize -- but it has been a fascinating discussion.
Larry -- is commentator for CNET and a and author great to have you back on the show Larry thanks -- Mitch -- is a senior executive VP of the RI double a a -- in New York yes.
In Washington in thank you so much for the time we really appreciated.
Everyone thank you for watching Steve thanks for producing about Wii on our blog which is as cnet.com slash reporters dash roundtable dash podcasts.
Have a whole -- slew of links to stories from CNET and ulcer on this topic if you want to read more about this and I really encourage it.
Go check up the site.
This has been -- -- 99 of reporters' roundtable that means next week is episode number 100 and it's gonna be a special show.
I hope I'm putting together com this next week so don't miss that that'll be -- 111111. At.
10 AM it should do -- 11 AM.
We might change I don't know state into my Twitter feed that's Rafe are AFP Larry -- Twitter feed is Larry Downes and the -- on the twitters.
-- our rights watch and everyone thanks for watching to see all next week --
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