SOPA Morphs Into IPAA

    Remember the big stink about SOPA? The Stop Online Piracy Act considered by the U.S. Congress in January prompted many websites (this one included) to take part in an Internet blackout. Issues stemmed from the fact that the government would be allowed to block websites without due process and that the bill’s measures would be far too wide to enact any sort of effect on online piracy.

    Now Shocklee reports SOPA is back, but in a different guise. The previous bill’s proponent, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), has fashioned the Intellectual Property Attaché Act, or IPAA. The bill looks to increase intellectual property policing around the world by creating an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, which would in effect “give the entertainment industry more permanent, government-funded spokespeople” to combat intellectual property infringement. There are some possible conflicts of interest in what can be and what can’t be censored, and the whole thing smells of a copyright lobby at work. [Daily Swarm]