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Google - SOPA Oral Testimony

Google - SOPA Oral Testimony

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Published by Democracia real YA

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Published by: Democracia real YA on Dec 22, 2011
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12/22/2011

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Oral Testimony of Katherine Oyama, Copyright Counsel, Google Inc.Before the House Judiciary CommitteeHearing on H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy ActNovember 16, 2011 Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Conyers, members of the committee:  Thank you for this opportunity to testify not just on behalf of Google but also the Consumer Electronics Association, CCIA, NetCoalition, TechNet, and TechAmerica -- who represent thousands of companies. Google takes the problem of online piracy and counterfeiting very seriously, devoting our best engineering talent and tens of millions of dollars every year to fight it. In the last year, we have: Spent more than $60 million to weed out bad actors from our ad services;Shut down nearly 150,000 AdWords accounts, mostly based on our own counterfeit detectionefforts;and so far this year, processed DMCA takedown requests targeting nearly 5 million items  We are as motivated as anyone to get this right; but The Stop Online Piracy Act is not the right approach. SOPA would undermine the legal, commercial and cultural architecture that has propelled the extraordinary growth of Internet commerce over the past decade, a sector that has grown to $2 trillion in annual GDP,including $300 billion from online advertising. Virtually every major Internet technology company --including Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and eBay-- as well as a diverse array of other groups -- from venturecapitalists to librarians to musicians -- have expressed serious concern about this bill. Unfortunately, this legislation is overly broad.It undermines the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which has, for more than a decade, struck a balance. The DMCA provides copyright owners with immediate recourse when they discover infringement online, while also giving online service providers the certainty they need to invest in the products on which millionsof Americans rely. The bill sweeps in innocent websites that have violated no law, and imposes harsh and arbitrary sanctions without due process. The following example shows how the bill, as currently written, would work.Imagine a new website, let’s call it Dave’s Online Emporium, which enables other small businesses to sellclothing and accessories. More than 99% of the sellers are entirely legitimate, but unbeknownst to Dave’sEmporium, one seller has started offering counterfeit handbags and T-shirts that parody a copyrighteddesign.  The Emporium takes great care to comply with copyright laws, including the takedown and “repeat infringer”provisions of the DMCA. But under the Stop Online Piracy Act, the entire site could be deemed “dedicatedto theft” based on the violations of just this one seller and the whole business effectively shut down.

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