[A2k] From Sean Flynn: Research Community Concerns about SOPA

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Tue Nov 15 17:49:07 PST 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Sean Flynn" <sflynn at wcl.american.edu>
To: <a2k at lists.keionline.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 17:55:45 -0500

On the eve of a hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S.
House of Representatives, two releases from the research and academic
community suggest that the current debate is on the wrong track.[image:

First, a new study by the American Assembly at Columbia
that the American public is strongly supportive of copyright
protection in general, including in the online environment, but opposes
draconian penalties and censorship as the primary tools for ensuring
copyright compliance. The study finds, for example, that very few people
support uploading copyrighted music and movies to public websites and
endorse enforcement efforts that accurately target copyright infringers.
People support modest (less than $100) fines for online infringement. But
72% of Americans oppose internet disconnections; 69% oppose monitoring of
internet activity; strong majorities oppose blocking or “censoring”
websites with some lawful content and support mandates for judicial
warrants and determinations before any restraints of information on the
internet occur.****

The views of the general public appear aligned with a broad group of law
professors who have criticized the enforcement procedures in SOPA and its
Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act. Three leading law professors sent a
letter to the House of
raising constitutional and policy problems previously endorsed by
over 100 law professors with respect to Protect-IP. The letter charges that
"[w]hile there are some differences between SOPA and PROTECT-IP, nothing in
SOPA makes any effort to address the serious constitutional, innovation,
and foreign policy concerns that we expressed in that letter. Indeed, in
many respects SOPA is even worse than PROTECT-IP."****

** **

** **

Sean M Fiil Flynn****

Associate Director****

Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) ****

American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 274-4157

Manon Anne Ress
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009 USA
manon.ress at keionline.org

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