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Pieces of SOPA Resurrected in a New Intellectual Property Attaché Act

Intellectual Property Attaché ActMay be, the resurrection of the former SOPA is now happening. In a last post we already listed the negative consequences of the SOPA bill. Fortunately this law actually was never adopted.

Nevertheless The Intellectual Property Attaché Act slipped in for consideration over the weekend, seems to resurrect some pieces of SOPA to build a global intellectual property task force, enhanced with promoting anti-piracy law around the world.

Open internet advocates were alarmed when Politico’s morning tech roundup today noted that SOPA creator Rep. Smith was introducing a new intellectual property law for review (“markup”).

The IP Attaché Act would allow the authorities to police and promote anti-piracy laws around the world. Of course, this kind of measure is dedicated to intellectual property violators, such as China, that allow the selling of pirated goods.

Apparently this new bill would be another attempt to enforce backdoor laws to skip an open public debate about major technology issues.

A spokesman for Representative Darrell Issa, an earlier opponent of SOPA, has sent TechCrunch an exclusive statement explaining why he will support the Attaché law, but expects to amend the legislation to exempt “fair use”. Statement below:

“Rep. Issa is set to support the legislation, with small modifications. The Intellectual Property Attaché Act is written to help American individuals and companies that are experiencing intellectual property infringement in certain foreign countries. The legislation will place USPTO trained IP attaches in countries around the world, focusing on areas where American job creators and innovators are experiencing especially high levels of IP-theft. These attaches will work with the foreign governments to help eliminate in-country IP theft that is occurring. This is a net benefit to all Americans both IP holders and consumers. Also, the training and other programs that the attaches may provide can also help local law enforcement to deal with IP-infringement that is occurring. The cost for these attaches will come from collected PTO fees, meaning that the bill is revenue neutral. Additionally, we expect that an amendment will be made to the legislation before it is marked up that will instruct the attaches to promote clear IP exceptions ­ like fair use – already codified in U.S. Law.”

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