Feeds

SOPA bins DNS blocking after White House wades in

Come up with something better, Obama's three czars plead

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The sponsor of the anti-piracy bill SOPA has agreed to drop DNS blocking of websites from the proposed legislation after a joint statement from leading White House officials.

Rep. Lamar Smith said in a statement that:

After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision.

SOPA is one of two similar bills being discussed by Congress, and contains a range of measures against foreign digital piracy sites, including financial countermeasures and, most controversially, removing them from the domain name system that translates readable web addresses into numeric network addresses.

It's strongly backed by unions, and entertainment and software businesses who rely on intellectual property, who have argued that the 1998 DMCA doesn't oblige ISPs, service providers such as Google, or financial payment processors to behave with any social responsibility.

Silicon Valley web companies have come out swinging against it. Now the White House is getting nervous, and Smith's decision followed a strongly worded blog-post by three leading administration appointees.

Copyright enforcer Victoria Espinel, Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra and Obama's cyber-security co-ordinator Howard Schmidt expressed the view that:

We must avoid creating new cyber-security risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet.

In case anybody missed the point, that part was in bold type on their missive.

So SOPA may not be dead, but looks becalmed. Yet attracting much less comment were several remarks that new tools are needed to protect US businesses from theft - and a rather sarcastic reference to the free speech opponents of IP protection.

"We should never let criminals hide behind a hollow embrace of legitimate American values," they write, setting out what anti-IP should be. It should be "narrowly targeted" at sites beyond US law, be Constitutionally tickety-boo, and should not encourage new, speculative litigation by the copyright industries.

It also says doing nothing is not an option.

"Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right," the three bigwigs agree, essentially calling the anti-SOPA campaigners bluff. "Washington needs to hear your best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue websites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders."

But for the foreseeable future, a law that stops Americans from peeking at Pirate Bay - a proposal that many sympathetic to IP enforcement find hard to support - looks dead. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'
Plus: 'EE, how shocking, ANOTHER problem I face with your service'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.