Will US make it illegal to sell 2nd hand brand names on Ebay?

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<![endif]–> The
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<![endif]–> S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.  was created in good faith by some of our most trusted entertainment industry leaders such as Disney, the Motion Picture Association, NBC and Sony.  Understandably so, it a proposal for the Attorney General to legally combat the practice of using Internet as a platform for sales and distribution of copyrighted work.  The basic objective is to allow the Attorney General to seize and desist domains “enabling or facilitating” unauthorized distribution of protected material.  While recognizing it to be a valuable objective, the resistance this bill is receiving by organizations such as the EFF, is due to the broad nature of the wording and enormous amount of ricochet effect it could have, should it become a law.

Looking back at the history of sites like Ebay and Craigslist, the argument could be made that selling trade brand and copyright protected material in these websites, should grounds for action.  In fact, in the section labeled 512(k)(1) of title 17, a service provider can also be defined as any other operators of the domain name’s system server.  This wording could implicate a string of indirect parties, including but not limited to blog writers and other third parties associated with the copyrighted material.  A bigger concern is that the bill also calls for the Attorney General to keep a list of  alleged third party proponents “it believes” to be associated with the copyrighted work.  This could implicate credit card companies, a string of hosting providers and well, if we want to take it to the extreme, maybe even UPS and the US postal service.   How else is the merchandise supposed to get there?

All of this compiled with the fact the bill is only enforceable in the US, just leads to the conclusion: The bill needs some work.  Call it lack of technical understanding of the implications of tampering with DNS servers; or perhaps it’s vague wording that needs more defined objectives.  It’s just too broad and maybe a little to sophisticated for traditional governmental laws?

Proposed Solution:
Not to criticize without offering suggestions, I would propose the advocates and opponents of this bill to take a step back and recognize that we’re no longer a world that can be governed by traditional governmental or geographical boundaries.  Specifically in this matter, the entertainment industry, brand labels and all people running the technical vehicles that come in contact with these copyrighted materials, are very much their own culture.  It’s the culture of the Cloud.  The Cloud has its own rules, residents and language.   Why not involve the vehicles that are currently responsible for marketing and promoting copyrighted material legitimately; and then create new global governing standards only applicable in the Cloud? After all without the creators of the copyrighted content and vehicles such as Google and iTunes that deliver it, there is no Cloud culture.   In my opinion, traditional government and legislature, based on geographic parameters, is not designed to manage this level of sophisticated objectives. Thoughts?

This entry was posted in copyright material, internet law, patty rappa, School 2.0, the cloud law. Bookmark the permalink.

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