SOPA and PIPA: Let's Pause and Write Rational Piracy Legislation - Page 2
However, the real issue SOPA and PIPA are trying to address is trade and commerce, how to protect products and brands. The focus has been on movies and downloads because it is sexier, but because of the technology involved, this gets confusing to the general public and gets outside of the original intent of the law. Fundamentally the issue is the same as counterfeit Rolexes, and we have historical efforts and precedents that we should build on.
Do you think OPEN, proposed by Issa, is a viable alternative?
OPEN has a good start in that it focuses on the trade issue. But the real problem is there are different types of foreign actors we are dealing with; countries that can help and will, like we saw with the MegaUpload case, countries that can't help but would like to, and countries that don't want to help. Any legislation should focus first on these different scenarios. Effective legislation would look different in each case.
What alternatives would make sense, or what changes to SOPA and PIPA would make you more comfortable with the legislation?
I think we should take advantage of this pause and look for a less bombastic response. We need to go back to first principles because this isn't only about Hollywood versus Silicon Valley. How would we solve this problem if it were analog? Would we shut down video stores if an independent film company made a movie that violated copyright? We need to start with a rational assessment of the problem and propose solutions that make sense for both the protection of copyright and the protection of innovation.
Eugene Lee is the CEO of Socialtext. He comes to Socialtext from Adobe Systems, has previously held several executive leadership roles at Cisco Systems, and was co-founder of Beyond Inc., developers of the award-winning BeyondMail product, and holds four patents in messaging, workflow and privacy technologies. Lee has a B.A. in Physics and B.S. in Engineering and Computer Science from Harvard College and an MBA from M.I.T. Sloan School of Management.