The PROTECT IP Act: We’re all infringers now

Guns of Battleship New Jersey

Fighting the wrong war with the wrong weapons

Glenn Reynolds links to this story:  Dozens of law professors: PROTECT IP Act is unconstitutional:

An ideologically diverse group of 90 law professors has signed a letter opposing the PROTECT IP Act, the Hollywood-backed copyright enforcement/Internet blacklist legislation now working its way through Congress. The letter argues that its domain-blocking provisions amount to Internet censorship that is barred by the First Amendment.

Jointly authored by Mark Lemley, David Levine, and David Post, the letter is signed not only by prominent liberals like Larry Lessig and Yochai Benkler, but also by libertarians like Post and Glenn “Instapundit”Reynolds.

“The Act would allow courts to order any Internet service to stop recognizing [a] site even on a temporary restraining order… issued the same day the complaint is filed,” they write. Such a restraining order, which they describe as “the equivalent of an Internet death penalty,” raises serious constitutional questions.

Yep.  I argued much the same thing here a while ago, and I’m only a former law professor. (Ahem… adjunct.)

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that the encroachment of Big IP on the right of free expression — commercial or otherwise — has been my central theme.  And within that theme, I have consistently pointed out that the existing legal rules, especially in copyright, are already hopelessly skewed wrong.

Online counterfeiting and copyright infringement are serious problems, but this new proposed law is a terrible way to try to solve them.  Its passage would only drive the culture further yet from any respect for the rule of law as it applies to intellectual property.  But if Big IP hasn’t figured out yet that it is cultural acceptance of legal norms, not fear of punishment, that makes a free society a law-abiding one — if Big IP doesn’t understand what the de facto attitude of consumers regarding copyright has already become, and where it is already going — then heck, maybe at this point the law professors and the rest of us should just let Congress already go ahead and give them enough rope.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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  1. C. Christopher Clark - July 7, 2011

    RT @roncoleman: The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://t.co/VY96iox

  2. Gyi Tsakalakis - July 7, 2011

    The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://zite.to/r0hg8X via @zite

  3. Jared Kalmanson, Esq - July 8, 2011

    Agreed @RonColeman The PROTECT IP Act: Wrong war, wrong weapons http://t.co/oHtqthF | LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®

  4. The Best of Legislative Intentions… « IP Wise - July 8, 2011

    […] hat tip is in order to “Likelihood of Confusion,” to alerting us to the fact that 90 law professors have signed a letter opposing the PROTECT IP […]

  5. The Br@nd Ranch - July 8, 2011

    RT @roncoleman: The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://t.co/EKF6HQM

  6. Copycense - July 8, 2011

    RT @joygarnett: Ron Coleman on the PROTECT IP Act: Fighting the wrong war with the wrong weapons http://bit.ly/nnhoqI

  7. OCQ - July 8, 2011

    RT @joygarnett: Ron Coleman on the PROTECT IP Act: Fighting the wrong war with the wrong weapons http://bit.ly/nnhoqI

  8. Scott Elcomb - July 9, 2011

    RT @joygarnett: Ron Coleman on the PROTECT IP Act: Fighting the wrong war with the wrong weapons http://bit.ly/nnhoqI

  9. Sage Freehaven - July 11, 2011

    RT @roncoleman: The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://t.co/nfIxRbm

  10. Arche Kruz - July 11, 2011

    RT @roncoleman: The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://t.co/nfIxRbm

  11. Axel H. Horns - July 11, 2011

    "We're all infringers now" Trademark lawyer Ron Coleman on the Protect IP Act http://t.co/lta9EA9 (via @techdirt)

  12. Thomas Stadler - July 11, 2011

    "We're all infringers now" Trademark lawyer Ron Coleman on the Protect IP Act http://t.co/lta9EA9 (via @techdirt)

  13. HN Firehose - July 11, 2011

    The Protect IP Act: We're all infringers now: http://bit.ly/nU3aiu

  14. Roger Lancefield - July 11, 2011

    "We're all infringers now" Trademark lawyer Ron Coleman on the Protect IP Act http://t.co/lta9EA9 (via @techdirt)

  15. Ed Ski - July 11, 2011

    We are all infringers! http://t.co/u3VwKtt

  16. Craig Foster - July 11, 2011

    RT @roncoleman: The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://t.co/qvMD9a3

  17. Return 0 | chris gaun - July 11, 2011

    […]  The PROTECT IP Act: We’re all infringers now by @roncoleman  via Techdirt it is cultural acceptance of legal norms, not fear of punishment, […]

  18. Smokey12499 - July 11, 2011

    RT @roncoleman: The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://t.co/Y61h1TJ

  19. cathleen2 - July 14, 2011

    RT @roncoleman: The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://t.co/xgrekK0

  20. RIPLEY - July 14, 2011

    RT @roncoleman: The PROTECT IP Act: We're all infringers now http://t.co/BIQ0zd9 if you use the internet at all this is applicable to you.

  21. Mike Loukides - July 16, 2011

    Cultural acceptance of legal norms, not fear of punishment, makes free society a law-abiding one: Coleman on ProtectIP http://bit.ly/oJ9slR

  22. Ed Hemphill - July 16, 2011

    Cultural acceptance of legal norms, not fear of punishment, makes free society a law-abiding one: Coleman on ProtectIP http://bit.ly/oJ9slR

  23. Brian Klaas - July 18, 2011

    Cultural acceptance of legal norms, not fear of punishment, makes free society a law-abiding one: Coleman on ProtectIP http://bit.ly/oJ9slR

  24. Steve O'Donnell - July 19, 2011

    The PROTECT IP Act: We’re all infringers now http://dld.bz/ahmja?

  25. Data Ownership PAC - July 19, 2011

    The PROTECT #IP Act: We’re all infringers now http://fb.me/15txIMGVO

  26. Think IP Strategy - July 20, 2011

    The PROTECT IP Act: We’re all infringers now http://dld.bz/ahmja?

  27. Radian Adi Nugraha - July 20, 2011

    Buset sekate-kate bet lau ~ RT @IPThinkTank: The PROTECT IP Act: We’re all infringers now http://dld.bz/ahmja?

  28. Steve Holcombe - July 20, 2011

    The PROTECT IP Act: We’re all infringers now http://dld.bz/ahmja?

  29. DoIT! - July 20, 2011

    The PROTECT IP Act: We’re all infringers now http://dld.bz/ahmja?

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