ITIF's Daniel Castro on the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act

April 1, 2011 -

Ars Technica offers a sit-down interview with Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). He is also a co-author of a2009 paper on Internet piracy, which was influential on the development and adoption of the U.S. government's Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) legislation.

In the interview, Castro says that the United States government needs to blacklist and censor web sites that traffic in pirated and counterfeit goods. Further, U.S. credit card companies would be "forbidden" from doing business with any of these blacklisted sites and U.S. advertising networks would not be allowed to advertise in these places.

Here is a choice quote about why COICA is the right way to deal with piracy:

Castro: If you accept the fact that piracy is a problem, government needs to do something. You have to start from that premise. So if you accept that premise, the question is what's the most effective way of reducing infringement?

The problem we have right now is that there's different types of actors: domestic [pirate] sites, foreign sites, domestic consumers, foreign consumers. You have different strategies for dealing with each of these groups. For domestic sites, you can do things like taking down sites very easily. For foreign sites, you can't do that. The question is, are there other options? Of course there are. You can block sites, for example, at the DNS level. Or you can get everyone who's involved in the Internet, the different intermediaries, to come together and find ways to combat piracy, and that's what COICA is about.

Another quote points out the whole issue of due process:

Ars: I was speaking with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) about this several weeks ago, and she was very sharp on the “due process” issue. She argued that what was going on with ICE takedowns right now were a travesty of justice and probably illegal, in part because of the seize-first-ask-questions-later approach. But it sounds like you're more open to notification and a chance to respond before some of this blacklisting takes effect.

Castro: Sure. I think there's a couple things to keep in mind. You might want to act so swiftly on some sites that you don't notify them. For example, a site like WatchSeason5Episode2ofDexter.tv, which appears right after the show airs. A reasonable process would say that someone in law enforcement can look at the site, talk to the content owner, and agree that it is an infringing site. Maybe they can take that one down in real-time.

Something else that may be a little more ambiguous might have a 72-hour notice, where the site could come back and possibly provide evidence that what happened was incorrect. Remember, of all the sites that ICE has taken down so far, no one has come back and said, "I really wasn't an infringing site," with that one exception.

Ars: Sure, but isn't that a bit like saying, "We took down all of these allegedly infringing sites and none of the foreign operators behind them hired an expensive US lawyer to get their domain name back, so they must agree with what we did"?

Castro: If my site was taken down illegally by the federal government, I would complain very loudly. And we haven't heard that from the ones who were taken down. I think they know they were engaging in illegal activity, and some people have said they've stopped.

You can read the entire interview here. It offers glimpse of how the U.S. government feels about dealing with piracy and none of it is sugar coated.


Comments

Re: ITIF's Daniel Castro on the Combating Online ...

I take issue with his attitude towards his ideal approach. It seems to me he's saying the equivalent of "It doesn't matter that these people are denied due process, because they were doing something illegal anyway."

Re: ITIF's Daniel Castro on the Combating Online ...

Pirates: Make 'em all walk the plank. Yaaarrrr.

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Re: ITIF's Daniel Castro on the Combating Online ...

Modern government...pretending to govern since....the 50s?


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: ITIF's Daniel Castro on the Combating Online ...

To the best of my knowledge, the government hasn't actually taken any sites down, just domains.  The sites are still there.

Yet another anti-piracy campaign that doesn't actually DO anything.

Re: ITIF's Daniel Castro on the Combating Online ...

I heard the IP addresses still work!

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

 
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Andrew EisenMP - I love that game but damn my squadmates are bozos.09/21/2014 - 10:05pm
MaskedPixelanteSWAT teams should be banned until they; 1. Learn not to walk into enemy fire, 2. Learn to throw the flashbang INTO the doorway, not the frame and 3. Stop complaining that I'm in their way.09/21/2014 - 9:53pm
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Andrew EisenAnd, predictably, it encouraged more parody accounts, having the exact opposite effect than what was intended.09/21/2014 - 7:07pm
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E. Zachary KnightJudge rules SWAT raid tageting parody Twitter account was justified. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/19/illinois-judge-swat-raid-parody-twitter-peoria-mayor09/21/2014 - 6:41pm
MechaTama31quik: But even if it did break, at worst it is only as bad as the powder. Even that is assuming that it is dangerous through skin contact, which is not a given if its delivery vehicle is a syringe.09/21/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/09/20/isis-uses-gta-5-in-new-teen-recruitment-video/09/21/2014 - 4:25pm
quiknkoldSyringes can break. And in a transcontinental delivery, the glass could've broken when crushed. I work in a mail center. Shit like this is super serious09/21/2014 - 3:25pm
E. Zachary KnightIt doesn't matter what is inside the needle. As long as it requires him to take the step of purposefully injecting himself, the threat of the substance is as close to zero as you can get.09/21/2014 - 1:27pm
quiknkoldEzach: I'm not talking about the needle. I'm talking about what's inside. Geeze. Depending on what it is, the sender could be guilty of bioterrorism.09/21/2014 - 12:51pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, No. That syringe is not worse than white powder or a bomb. The syringe requires the recipient to actually inject themselves. Not true for other mail threats.09/21/2014 - 12:49pm
Andrew EisenThe closest to a threat I ever received was a handwritten note slipped under my door that read "I KNOW it was you." Still no idea what that was about. I think the author must have got the wrong apartment.09/21/2014 - 12:28pm
InfophileThat's what they call it? I always called it hydroxic acid...09/21/2014 - 11:57am
MaskedPixelanteProbably dihydrogen monoxide, the most dangerous substance in the universe.09/21/2014 - 10:14am
james_fudgewell I hope he called the police so they can let us all know.09/21/2014 - 9:07am
quiknkoldIt's pretty gnarly. Depending on what it is, it could be worse than white powder or a fake bomb.09/21/2014 - 9:06am
james_fudgeI just looked it up on UPS.com09/21/2014 - 8:56am
james_fudgeand expensive for an American to ship to London.09/21/2014 - 8:55am
E. Zachary KnightThat is pretty scary. Would have been worse if it were a fake bomb or white powder.09/21/2014 - 8:49am
 

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