The Bill that Could Save the Music Industry

This week in the US Senate, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and senior Republican committee member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced a piece of legislation that could rescue the music industry by creating a formidable weapon in the fight against digital piracy. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act would let the US Justice Department seek court orders against certain websites that would effectively shut them down in a variety of ways. If a website is determined to be wholly dedicated to infringing copyright (like torrent trackers, pirate blogs, etc), a court order can be obtained to go through the domain’s registrar (for US domains — .com, .net, .org) to remove entries pointing to the site, meaning in essence it doesn’t exist and never had.  For any domain with a registrar outside the United States, the bill would require Internet Service Providers to shut off access to the domain. Either way, if a website is dedicated to piracy or copyright infringement, it disappears. The full text of the bill can be read at this location (pdf). You can send a message to your Congressional representative at