Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and SOPA

The Public Policy Council of the ACM publishes its position on the SOPA and PIPA acts... taking a neutral stance explaining the issues from their technological underpinnings.

This reminds me of the joke about the mechanical engineer facing the guillotine. As he's looking up at the blade, the blade is dropped, jamming on the way down. The engineer examines the situation and declares, "I see your problem."

Nonetheless they offers these suggestions:

"• The costs of complying with blocks in search engines and DNS lookups could be substantial, especially for smaller ISPs and companies that will need extra technical expertise to accommodate them. These are innocent third parties that will effectively be taxed for the benefit of the owners of the intellectual property.
This not only raises questions of fairness, but of competitiveness, especially during a time of increased economic stress.

• We suggest that legislators include language that would require any entity seeking an order under this legislation to pay all reasonable expenses incurred by the parties forced to carry out that order. This would not only be fair to those innocent third parties, but would help reduce any incidence of overly broad actions against sites committing minor infractions.

• There is already legislation in place, in the form of international trade agreements and the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act, P.L. 105-304), that could be used to fight some of the violations. Allocating more resources to pursue these avenues more effectively might produce better, more targeted results."

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