We were just discussing the Senate’s new piracy bill, COICA, at last night’s CopyNight here in DC. In the wake of that and EFF’s action alert yesterday, I was glad to see this bit of good news, via Cecilia Kang at the Washington Post. Despite a slow start to the public reaction, I was witness firsthand to a couple of letters from groups of engineers and NGOs taking issue with COICA either in parts or as a whole, it seems like public interest has made a difference.
As Kang reports, the Judiciary Committe made significant changes to the bill in response to strong criticism from technology companies, individual network engineers, ISPs and public interest groups. The bill is far from dead and having not read the draft, it is hard for me to say whether this de-fangs it or not. Based on the list of changes Kang includes in her article, it does seem like some of the most troubling aspects, those that would interfere with network operation, have been weakened or removed. An addition also would bring some liability protection for 3rd parties, a notion that has proved a better balance for other enforcement legislation like the DMCA.