We’ve learned that several technology companies, including Google and Facebook, sent a letter today to leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, who are both currently considering rogue websites legislation. While the letter is timely given the House Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing on the legislation tomorrow, the substance is unsurprisingly lacking. As we’ve noted time and time and time again, Google needs to do much more to protect copyright online. Unfortunately Google continues to lead the fight against any effort designed to protect content, all the while refusing to offer any meaningful alternatives.
Mitch Glazier, Senior Executive Vice President, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) offered the following comment in response to today’s letter:
“This is yet another example of the posturing that is disheartening to those of us who work on behalf of the creative and brand industries, and are interested in creating new jobs by having a level playing field to sell our products and services. A small handful of technology businesses sent a letter to Congress saying that they ‘support’ the ‘stated goals’ of bipartisan bills pending before the House and Senate – ‘providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting.’ That’s all well and good, and appreciated. There’s no doubt a well-established consensus, but what is their answer? The status quo is not acceptable, nor is obstructionism. Is the true motivation here simply to obstruct and delay? When policy makers call this bluff, these groups have few specific, concrete ideas. That’s illuminating, and a stark contrast to the constructive engagement by many Internet intermediaries – such as software developers, credit card companies, ISPs, domain name registrars, registries and others – who have all committed themselves to good-faith efforts to craft balanced and meaningful legislation that will make a difference.
The next time you hear a vague, sweeping critique, backed by the platitude that of course intellectual property protections are supported, we encourage you to ask: what specific legislative proposal do you have that would meaningfully address this problem?”