Brant

A friend, reader, and fellow law professor, Bill Rich, viewed the SOPA /PIPA video I posted and had this to say:



One of the main assertions in the video -- that any site that enables or facilitates copyright violations is liable to be shut down as a site "dedicated to theft of U.S. property" -- is incorrect. Even though the narrator reads it aloud, he proceeds to ignore completely the language in the bill requiring that, in order to be deemed a site dedicated to theft of U.S. property, the site must be either operated for the purpose of committing or enabling or facilitating copyright violations, or have only limited purpose or use other than committing or enabling or facilitating copyright violations, or be marketed for use in offering goods or services in a manner that violates copyright law. He says that Youtube, Vimeo, CNN.com, Facebook, Google, Bing, domain name servers, Paypal, etc., could be shut down as sites dedicated to the theft of U.S. property under this definition, but Youtube, etc., clearly aren't operated for the purpose of enabling or facilitating copyright violations, nor do they have only limited purpose or use other than committing or enabling or facilitating copyright violations, nor are they marketed for that purpose.

There are good reasons to oppose SOPA/PIPA, but this isn't one.




It seems to me the key is the interpretation of "operated for the purpose of...." It seems to me that it could be argued that Youtube in particular is operated at least
partly for the purpose of enabling copyright violations. Actual knowledge of, and the continued taking of profit from, copyright violations makes it part of a profit-seeking entity's purpose. Their broader purpose is to make money facilitating all kinds of video communication, but that includes this kind.

I confessed at the outset that this was a debate I know little about, so the above is just me responding to Bill's point.  Amirite? Any experts out there want to chime in?