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MPAA Efforts Against Online Piracy Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MPAA Efforts Against Online Piracy
Motion Picture Association of America

Leaked e-mails have reportedly shown that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is exploring ways to work with state attorneys general to block websites "without first having to sue and prove the target [Internet Service Providers] are liable for copyright infringement."

A controversial anti-piracy bill, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) failed in Congress in 2012 after strong opposition by Google, Facebook, Twitter and other tech companies. The bill was designed to battle online copyright infringement and online marketing in counterfeit products. Had the bill passed, it would have given the federal government extensive authority to remove web content, force search engines to remove web sites repeatedly accused of copyright infringement, and completely block domains. The bill was withdrawn after aggressive opposition.

The current Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), enacted by Congress in 1998 to criminalize the manufacture and distribution of device and services circumventing online controls protecting copyrighted work, is inadequate because even sites receiving multiple takedown notices are able to function as usual. Consequently, the MPAA is renewing efforts to protect copyrighted materials through an alternate method: states attorneys general. As a spokesperson for the MPAA stated, “Our primary objective is to protect our members and their creative works. When wrongdoing is taking place online, we work with and support appropriate law enforcement officials, including the attorneys general, as do many other industries.”

“The Verge,” an online magazine covering “the intersection of technology, science, art, and culture,” gained access to documentation showing the MPAA’s consideration of budgeting money to assist states attorneys general to fight “Goliath,” which the e-zine interprets to be Google. The efforts would ideally resurrect and serve some objectives of the defeated SOPA in order to strengthen copyright protections.

Advocates for Net Neutrality, such as Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), deem the MPAA efforts attempts to fool the public and infringe on the internet’s freedom. A spokesperson for the EFF stated, “The lesson seems to be when the public finds out about this sort of thing they get mad, so we'll figure out how to do this in a way that the public doesn't find out.” If successful, MPAA’s efforts to work with every state’s attorney general will be difficult to fight, as it would become “a 50-front war.”

By Kathy Catanzarite

Source: Kathy Catanzarite - Staff Writer

Note from This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author,, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.

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