Internet Groups Want in on Protect IP Act Talks

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The internet industry has accounted for 15 percent of the United States' GDP growth over the last five years and therefore it is imperative that the industry be consulted before Congress moves forward on the Protect IP Act, three internet advocacy groups said Oct. 12 in a letter sent to the House Senate judiciary Committee.

The Protect IP Act (S.968), which was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 26, would provide the Department of Justice and IP rights holders with court-ordered means to shut down foreign websites that host infringing activities.

The letter, sent by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, and NetCoalition, said that there are “significant concerns” regarding “S. 968's potential impact on jobs, innovation, security, and freedom of speech.” As a result, the letter requested that the internet industry be consulted, much they way that it was consulted prior to the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“Our industries are willing to convene with your office and other stakeholders as soon as it is convenient for you to work on crafting a legislative proposal, the benefits of which will outweigh the collateral damage S. 968 would cause to jobs, innovation, and security,” the letter said.

The letter was sent to Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and John Conyers Jr. (D-N.Y.), the chairman and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, respectively; and to Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Mel Watt (D-N.C.), the chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet.