Fighting SOPA With a Discussion of the OPEN Piracy Policy
Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Darren Issa (R- CA), and other supporters of a policy alternative to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) have posted the text of their bill for public comment and feedback on a new web site called keepthewebopen.org. The web site allows visitors to read, comment on, and "collaborate to build a better bill".
This approach is in stark contrast to the approach taken to pass both PIPA and SOPA, both of which were developed and introduced to Congress without public comment. The Online Protection and ENforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) differs from SOPA in a few other important ways; OPEN doesn't include a provision to blacklist or seize the domain of accused sites, it doesn't include blocking accused sites from search engine results, and it does allow sites to be notified before their advertising and payment service providers cut off service. In addition, OPEN is about 18 pages, making it substantially easier for citizens to read and understand than SOPA's 78 pages.
The problem with OPEN is the legislation has been developed to address a problem that has not been well quantified. The RIAA and MPAA have consistently produced piracy cost estimates that have been attacked as unreliable because they inflate the damage done by piracy.
The members of the bipartisan group supporting OPEN include: Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) as well as Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and John Campbell (R-Calif.).