The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“We are concerned that several provisions in this bill could have harmful, if unintended, consequences that would harm consumers. The bill rightly targets enforcement of copyright law against commercial infringers, but some of these same enforcement provisions are likely to hurt ordinary consumers.
“The provisions allowing seizure of equipment may be harmful to consumers. Seizing expensive manufacturing equipment used for large-scale infringement from a commercial pirate may be appropriate. Seizing a family’s general-purpose computer in a download case, as this bill would allow, is not appropriate. This bill goes even farther, expanding the penalties under the flawed Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to create new grounds for allowing a family’s computer to be seized if used to circumvent digital rights management, even if for fair uses.
“In addition, this bill would turn the Justice Department into an arm of the legal departments of the entertainment companies by authorizing DoJ to file civil lawsuits for infringement, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.
“We look forward to working with Chairman Leahy and his colleagues to ensure that this bill is more narrowly targeted and respectful of the balance of copyright law.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.