April 18, 2024

Media Decoder: Support for Antipiracy Bill

The entertainment industry threw its weight behind a proposed law that would give law enforcement officials and others new authority to move against Internet sites that traffic without permission in copyrighted material.

The bill was introduced last Thursday in the Senate, with bipartisan support from a group of sponsors that included Senator
Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, and Senator
Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah.

Called the Protect IP Act, for intellectual property, the bill would take aim at foreign-owned sites that trade in pirated material by allowing American authorities to seek court orders directing domestic Internet service providers, search engines and others to stop doing business with them. It would give rights holders new power to act in court against pirates by using streamlined procedures to eliminate sites that have reappeared with different domain names or new owners after a violation.

The Motion Picture Association of America, which represents the major film companies, joined the National Association of Theater Owners and the Independent Film and Television Alliance last Thursday in supporting the proposed law.

“Movie theater operators are acutely aware of the increasingly harmful effects” of piracy, John Fithian, the president of the theater owners association, said in a statement. The statement was a signal that a generally strong alliance between the theater owners and the film studios remained intact, despite strains created by a recent move by some studios to release a handful of films through on-demand services only two months after their theatrical debut. Theater owners have criticized that plan as a threat to their business.

A number of entertainment unions, including the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, also expressed support for the bill.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=392dc3ebe9e912a96f4539c08df966de

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