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OPEN: Alternative to SOPA/PIPA Released

Today, Sen. Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Issa (R-CA) released their alternative to SOPA (H.R. 3261) and PROTECT IP (PIPA)(S. 968).  The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act is “built to protect creative ownership in American while securing the open, accessible Internet …”  What is particularly interesting is that they have put up an entire website called KeepThe WebOpen.com, which is designed to encourage participation and feedback.   

As was detailed in the EDUCAUSE blog post of December 2nd, this bill would authorize the International Trade Commission to issue cease-and-desist orders against foreign websites deemed rogue or dedicated to copyright infringement.  The OPEN Act would target only payment processors, online advertising networks, and other sources of revenue for rogue sites.  This "follow the money" approach has been advocated by many of the opponents of SOPA.  Website filtering and blocking by ISPs and DNS providers is not part of the plan, nor would search engines be required to remove links to such content.  This provision is of particular interest to our communities operating campus networks.

On the OPEN website is a side-by-side comparison of SOPA vs PIPA vs OPEN.  Also available on the site is a section-by-section explanation of the Act and an FAQ.

EDUCAUSE will continue to monitor and report on this proposal.