Feeds

Proposed US piracy legislation labelled draconian by Schmidt

'Laws hit our bottom line! And besides, it's censorship'...

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has lambasted the US government's attempts to stop online piracy, saying the proposed new laws are "draconian".

America's lawmakers are trying to stem the tide of web piracy and keep their entertainment behemoths happy with two new pieces of legislation.

The Stop Online Piracy Act is currently being debated in the House of Representatives and the Protect IP Act is being argued over in the US Senate.

The bills would give copyright owners and the cops more powers to close down websites and would also force web firms like search engines and payment collectors to block access.

"The solutions are draconian," Reuters reported Schmidt saying during an appearance at the MIT Sloan School of Management. "There's a bill that would require [ISPs] to remove URLs from the web, which is also known as censorship last time I checked."

Schmidt said content owners like the mighty Hollywood studios did have legitimate reason to be p***ed off because "their business models are being threatened by theft", and added that Google didn't condone this kind of behaviour.

But he would prefer rules that were based on tracing payments to naughty websites instead of the legislation currently on offer.

Schmidt's complaints come on the heels of a letter opposing the Acts sent to the US government earlier that day.

The letter, signed by Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo! and Zynga, said the tech companies were "concerned" about the new regulations:

We cannot support these bills as written and ask that you consider more targeted ways to combat foreign "rogue" websites dedicated to copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism that has made the internet such an important driver of economic growth and job creation.

We are very concerned that the bills... would seriously undermine the effective mechanism Congress enacted in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to provide a safe harbour for internet companies that act in good faith to remove infringing content from their sites.

The DMCA's safe harbour provisions for online service providers have been a cornerstone of the US internet and technology industry's growth and success.

®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.