No, the SOPA battles have not gone away, in fact, in the houses of the United States government, they are still going strong, something the newly-launched OPEN Act counterpoint demonstrates quite clearly.
Drafted by SOPA/PIPA opponents Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Darrell Issa, the OPEN Act offers an alternative to the strong-arm tactics discussed in the original pieces of legislation. Not only have Issa and Wyden drafted their own version, they also launched a website for like-minded individuals can keep up with the events associated with Internet regulation. The site goes by the KeepTheWebOpen.com TLD, and it offers a copy of the bill as well as a participation section.
The Online Protection & ENforemnt of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) bill, which can be downloaded here, is a direct opponent to SOPA/PIPA. One of the main areas of focus has to do with offering more protection for site owners in regards to being investigated. An example:
LIMITATION ON INVESTIGATIONS OF DOMAIN NAMES; CONSENT TO JURISDICTION. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Commission may not initiate an investigation under paragraph (1) with respect to a domain name if the operator of the Internet site associated with the domain name
(A) provides in a legal notice on the site accurate information consisting of
(i) the name of an individual authorized to receive process on behalf of the site;
(ii) an address at which process may be served;
(iii) a telephone number at which the individual described in clause (i) may be contacted; and
(iv) a statement that the operator of the site
(I) consents to the jurisdiction and venue of the United States district courts with respect to a violation under section 506 of title 17, United States Code, a criminal offense under section 1204 of title 17, United States Code, for a violation of section 1201 of such title, or a violation of section 2320 of title 18 of such Code; and
(II) will accept service of process from the Attorney General with respect to those violations and the offense set forth in subclause (I); and
(B) upon the filing of any civil action in the appropriate United States district court
(i) for infringement of copyright under section 501 of title 17, United States Code,
(ii) under section 1203 of title 17, United States Code, for a violation of section 1201 of such title, or
(iii) under section 32(1) of the Lanham Act, accepts service and waives, in a timely manner, any objections to jurisdiction as set forth in the statement described in subparagraph (A)(iv).
As you can see, embedded within all that government speak/legalese is protections for site owners that has not been provided by either SOPA or PIPA. For those who think SOPA opposition is all about protecting the ability to download without intervention, think again, at least when in regards to the OPEN Act:
3) IDENTIFICATION OF, AND NOTICE TO, ENTITIES THAT MAY BE REQUIRED TO TAKE ACTION PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
(A) IDENTIFICATION. A complaint filed under paragraph (1) shall identify any financial transaction provider or Internet advertising service that may be required to take measures described in subsection (g)(2) if the Commission issues an order under subsection (f) with respect to the complaint and the order is served on the provider or service pursuant to subsection (g)(1).
(B) NOTICE. Upon filing a complaint under paragraph (1), the complainant shall provide notice to any financial transaction provider or Internet advertising service identified in the complaint pursuant to subparagraph (A) or any amendments to the complaint.
(i) IN GENERAL. A financial transaction provider or Internet advertising service identified in a complaint pursuant to subparagraph (A) may intervene upon timely request filed with the Commission in
(I) an investigation initiated under subsection (c) pursuant to the complaint; or
(II) pursuant to subsection (f)(5), an action to modify, suspend, or vacate an order issued pursuant to the complaint.
(ii) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION. Failure to intervene under clause (i) in an investigation under subsection (c) does not preclude a financial transaction provider or Internet advertising service notified of the investigation from subsequently seeking an order to modify, suspend, or terminate an order issued by the Commission under subsection (f).
Essentially, if a infringing site is receiving advertising money, the group that’s being infringed upon has recourses that don’t include the destruction of the DNS protocol. Both officials offered videos explaining their positions and why they adopted OPEN. First, Congressman Issa:
Followed by Senator Wyden’s thoughts:
Twitter has also been a fount of great reaction concerning SOPA, as with all things trendy. With SOPA, however, many seem to have a good idea of what’s going and instead of trying to be apart of a current Twitter trend:
#SOPA @paulvixie “I’ve been working on keeping DNS running for 30 years. This used to mean writing code, now it means fighting this law”
#SOPA and #PIPA threaten free speech and human rights online http://t.co/ELzpcJwq“The Internet’s Intolerable Acts” talks about how
@johnrobb @techdirt Yeah well with #SOPA and the Indefinite Detention Act, we’re on the verge of becoming the PRC…
#SOPA isn’t censorship!”-@normative http://t.co/pFnHNtYF #PIPA“blog wrongly blocked for a year on false infringement charges; but remember,
#SOPA: “The best way to combat piracy is to provide consumers with easier access to desired content.” http://t.co/pvR9Bj9pMusic manager on
#SOPA & #PIPA? Please have your company, NGO, MEP sign my letter to Members of US Congress http://t.co/BCAxTa7QDont want
Marietje Schaake is a member of the European Parliament. This is not her first tweet about SOPA, either:
@StateDept: #SecClinton: Governments that have erected barriers to #NetFreedom will eventually find themselves boxed in #iFreedom”“
@freepressunltd Freedom on the internet is too important to leave to governments & corporations, we need the citizen’s voice” #ifreedom”“
It’s safe to say Schaake would be on the side of Wyden and Issa. In fact, one hopes much of Europe is of the same mind as Switzerland.