Congress may not want to hear from opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act at today's hearing, but that hasn't stopped a broad coalition of (often fierce) competitors representing the Internet's giants from placing an ad in today's NYT, signed by Google, Facebook, Mozilla, Zynga, eBay, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL.
We stand together to protect innovation (PDF)
We support the bills’ stated goals—providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign “rogue”
websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the bills as
drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new and uncertain
liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.
We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of
innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation’s cybersecurity. We cannot support these bills as
written and ask that you consider more targeted ways to combat foreign “rogue” websites dedicated to
copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism
that has made the Internet such an important driver of economic growth and job creation.
One issue merits special attention. We are very concerned that the bills as written would seriously
(DMCA) to provide a safe harbor for Internet companies that act in good faith to remove infringing
content from their sites. Since their enactment in 1998, the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions for online
service providers have been a cornerstone of the U.S. Internet and technology industry’s growth and
jeopardize a foundational structure that has worked for content owners and Internet companies alike
information lawfully online.
Businesses like Adobe Stock use large, visible watermarks to deter copyright infringement; a new paper presented by Google Researchers to the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition shows that these watermarks can be reliably detected and undetectably erased by software.
US court records are not copyrighted, but the US court system operates a paywall called “PACER” that is supposed to recoup the costs of serving text files on the internet; charging $0.10/page for access to the public domain, and illegally profiting to the tune of $80,000,000/year.
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