PBS Newshour 12/15/2011
JEFFREY BROWN (Newshour): Alright.
Markham Erickson, first, do you acknowledge piracy is a problem? I mean, all over the Internet, one can get copyright -- there are copyright violations.
MARKHAM ERICKSON, Open Internet Coalition: Well, sure. People are doing bad things on the Internet. And we agree that there are ways to try to deal with the very real problem of sites that are located outside of the jurisdiction of our court system and our legal system that are engaging in theft and illegal activity.
JEFFREY BROWN: What's the problem with the way they are proposing?
MARKHAM ERICKSON: The problem is, the proposals in Congress right now are not targeted to the problem of dealing with offshore illegal piracy.
We think there is a way to deal with that. And we've proposed a solution, which is to follow the money. The offshore sites are there to make money. They're there to profit from illegal activity. The companies I represent -- represent are some of the biggest ad networks and payment processors in the Internet ecosystem.
And they want to work with the rights-holders that, when an offshore site is engaged in illegal activity, they will shut off the economic lifeblood to those sites. And, if they do that, those sites will disappear.
JEFFREY BROWN: And what -- Mr. O'Leary, what about the proposed other -- the alternative route for dealing with this that he raised?
MICHAEL O'LEARY, Motion Picture Association of America: Well, I think that it's the -- to look at it from a positive perspective, it's encouraging to see a recognition that something has to be done about this problem.
I think that what we have concerns with the alternative proposal is that it sets up a separate court in the ITC. And that is not something which is necessarily used to deal with copyright. It's slow. It's bureaucratic. And, frankly, when someone is stealing from you, you don't have 12 to 18 months to work -- to let the bureaucratic court process work.
What we're proposing, what has bipartisan support, we have a broad support from not just the political spectrum, but across all types of American businesses is something which is a tool which will allow law enforcement to go after bad actors that are hiding overseas. We think it's more effective and more efficient.
COMMENT: As a techie in this area I support Mr. Erickson's view.
Note that Mr. O'Leary is NOT a computer network expert, he's only repeating what others have told him. His assertion that the proposed law is "more efficient" is wrong. Having the online payment processors shut-down payments to illegal sites is actually more efficient because it would NOT *require* courts at all. This could be done by the online payment processors themselves.
What the copy right industry SHOULD be doing is making a partnership with online payment processors to identify then block illegal sites. What I am proposing is that the film, music, and book industries with the online payment processors start their own origination to find, track, then block illegal sites.
The courts would only intervene IF a site disputes being blocked. Note that the online payment processors have total rights and control on just who they allow to use their services.
What is wrong with the proposed laws is that they will NOT work, because it can ONLY effect organizations within U.S. jurisdiction. They will have little effect on sites overseas that they are so concerned about.