Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/OPEN and ProtectIP

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OPEN Act[edit]

Senator Wyden and Representative Issa proposed draft text for legislation as an alternative to PROTECT IP/SOPA for fighting foreign websites dedicated to infringement and counterfeiting: Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act), S. 2029. Follow the bill on THOMAS.

The text of the OPEN Act is available for public markup and comment on


From the Sponsor's summary of the Bill:

This proposal updates import laws to respond to the challenges posed by the digital economy, so that illegal digital imports and digitally-facilitated imports of counterfeit goods are deterred. This proposal would enable a U.S. rightsholder to petition the International Trade Commission (ITC) to launch an investigation into the imports in question.

Congress established the independent International Trade Commission (ITC) as an arbiter of whether imports violate U.S. intellectual property rights and should or should not be allowed into the U.S. Under current law, rightsholders can petition the ITC to investigate whether certain imports violate U.S. trademarks and copyrights. The ITC is authorized to not only investigate these issues but to initiate actions to prevent the imports in question from entering into the U.S.

Under our proposal, the ITC would be authorized to initiate an investigation at a rightsholder’s request and issue a cease-and-desist order against foreign websites that provide illegal digital imports and/ or facilitate the importation of counterfeit goods. In order to issue such an order, the ITC would need to find that the foreign website is “primarily” and “willfully” engaging in infringement of U.S. copyrights or willfully enabling imports of counterfeit merchandise. This standard comports with existing copyright and trademark law. An ITC cease-and-desist order would, under this proposal, compel financial transaction providers and Internet advertising services to cease providing financial and advertising services to the foreign website.

The procedures the ITC would use throughout an investigation under this proposal are similar to those the agency currently employs. The public would be notified of the investigation and respondents would have a right to be heard, as well other interested parties. Final ITC determinations could be appealed in U.S. court.

Additionally, this proposal would enable the ITC to boost its capacity to carry out this proposal, to issue expedited cease-and-desist orders when the urgent need for speed is demonstrated, and to prescribe sanctions for those that may try to abuse their rights under this proposal. The proposal would empower the ITC to issue temporary and preliminary cease-and-desist orders, when immediate action is necessary to prevent imminent harm to rightsholders.

Finally, this plan provides appropriate immunity for those entities that are complying with the ITC orders, including financial transaction providers and Internet advertising services that voluntarily refuse to provide services to foreign websites that endanger public health by supplying illicit prescription drugs.

We intend to make public a draft of the legislative text of this proposal in order to enable the public to provide us with feedback and counsel before the proposal is formally introduced in the House and the Senate.

Response to the OPEN Act[edit]

  • Creative Commons has not made a detailed statement on the legislation, but called it "tolerable alternative to the SOPA/PIPA legislation." Blog post
  • Aol, Ebay, Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo, and Zynga wrote an open letter endorsing the OPEN Act. Full letter
  • Library Copyright Alliance, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries says the bill takes a "measured approach" and welcomes the "open, transparent, and inclusive process." Full letter

Additional analysis[edit]


The message visitors will see should mention the OPEN Act as an alternative to SOPA. Otherwise, visitors will assume that SOPA is only means Congress has to protect the US from fraudulent, foreign websites and products. If visitors aren't aware of the OPEN Act, they might mistakenly believe that the only options available to them are SOPA and to not do anything. Since the majority of visitors to Wikipedia probably won't be piracy-loving anarchists or libertarians, I don't believe that those visitors will accept the "don't do anything" option. They need to know about the OPEN Act as an alternative to SOPA. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:23, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

LOL @ the "Sheep" being herded into the OPEN Act, by SOPA ! --Ne0Freedom 16:28, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't use the term sheep, but I echo the concerns. Keeping the focus on "Preserving the Free Internet" is the way to go. --AlecMeta (talk) 17:09, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think wiki should endorse the OPEN act because what if, with a raving endorsement from wiki, Congress passes it with a few... minor... changes... that make it SOPA 2.0. idk if that's possible but think about it. (talk) 02:50, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The entertainment industry is already making record profits, and yesterday's Supreme Court decision allowing retraction of the public domain to rights holders and today's action against Megaupload proves that the rightsholders lobby does not need additional ex parte remedies of any kind. Please note that Michaeldsuarez is an encyclopediadramatica admin and a strident defender of the GNAA self-referential troll article. Selery (talk) 23:37, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

The latest on Protect IP[edit]

Sen. Leahy bows to pressure, pledges to amend Protect IP

Any thoughts? Comments? --Radiokid1010 (talk) 04:06, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

I would only allow OPEN Act. Apologies for being strict, but perhaps the reputation of SOPA and PIPA is too tarnished. --Marianian(talk) 07:26, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Updates on PIPA[edit]