The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (S.968) unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 26.  The legislation would allow the Justice Department to obtain court orders to go after sites “dedicated to infringing activities” by ordering domain name seizures and serving orders on third parties such as search engines, advertisers and financial intermediaries.  The legislation would also allow right holders to bring private rights of action.

Senator Wyden placed a hold on the legislation, preventing it from moving forward.  In a statement, he said: “I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective. At the expense of legitimate commerce, PIPA’s prescription takes an overreaching approach to policing the Internet when a more balanced and targeted approach would be more effective. The collateral damage of this approach is speech, innovation and the very integrity of the Internet.”

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