On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would give the Attorney General, (Eric Holder) the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed “central to the activity” of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime.
New York– Congress finally hammered out a bill on last Thursday (November 18), called the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which would empower the government to take action against websites offering unauthorized copyrighted or counterfeit content.
Last week Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill, in which the Attorney General gains the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed “central to the activity” of the site.
The (COICA) basically gives the Attorney General option to seize and shut down websites … if they suspect wrongdoing. Several bloggers are calling it the industry’s “nuclear option” in their attempt to combat digital piracy, because it bypasses already placed laws, the legal process of suing, and a fair trial.
It’s the latest attempt by Hollywood, the music biz, and big media companies to fight back against file sharing, after losing billions of dollars over the last decade.
In addition bigger file-sharing websites, a few hip-hop websites have become targets, including popular audio/video blog OnSmash.com and online hip-hop community RapGodFathers.com.
At press time, when visiting both websites, you are greeted with an image that reads: “This domain name has been seized by ICE – Homeland Security Investigations.”
Example of government seizure message:
The content companies have tried suing college students. They’ve tried suing internet startups. Now they want the federal government to act as their private security agents, policing the internet for suspected pirates before making them walk the digital plank.
Dajaz 1, aka Splash of OnSmash.com, wasn’t even aware of what was going on apparently. In a series of tweets (@Splash_Dajaz1), he expressed his outrage over the situation, following his first assumption that it was the work of hackers.
“Um hackers… Applaud yourselves. You’ve done good. At least it was your dumb asses & not them boys,” he wrote on Thanksgiving afternoon. “My site goes down & I get more followers today than I ever did. Hackers staying closer or the employees from the feds. FML either way..”
He later tried to rationalize the reasoning behind the seizure, breaking down the process of the site’s staff posting music. “Hackers steal music & sell it to certain sites then the sites tag it & post it. I then get the untagged & post it so becuz I post the untagged too quickly, I mess up the $ 4 the hackers & the sites that pay for music. So erase Splash! if that’s truly the case then why do that to onsmash & rapgodfather ?” Splash asked.