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Internet Blacklist Bill Dead For Now: Help Keep It That Way

Thanks to the more than 300,000 Americans who have signed Demand Progress’s petition opposing the “Internet Blacklist Bill” we’ve been able to put the brakes on this terrible legislation.

The bill — formally called the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) — would give government officials the power to force Internet service providers to block your access to certain sites.  It’s shockingly similar to what goes on in places like China and Iran — and it’s the kind of thing that’s just not supposed to happen here.  You can sign our anti-COICA petition by clicking here.

In fact, all the government would need to do to censor a site is convince a judge that Internet users had used that site to download or otherwise access more than $1,000 worth of unlicensed materials (music, video, photos) in total over the course of six months.

We delivered our petition to the Senate’s most powerful players, and one bold Senator — Oregon’s Ron Wyden — made it clear that he’s on our side: He put what’s known as a “hold” on the bill, blocking it from passage this session.

As the New Year begins and the new Congress is sworn in, will you sign on to our message of thanks to Ron Wyden, and ask him to keep fighting through next session?

The big business lobby wants to censor the Internet, and is putting lots of pressure on Wyden to back down: the bill will almost certainly be taken up anew when the Senate reconvenes, and we need him and other Senators to stand strong.

COICA’s backers are heavy-hitters with clout on both sides of the aisle: the Movie Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and various product and garment manufacturers.

Especially strange: Deckers shoes has been among the most forceful proponents, as the company’s popular Ugg Boots can’t be trademarked in Australia, where “ugg” is a generic term for sheepskin footwear and has been for decades — COICA would let the government block Americans’ access to Australian sites that sell boots and call them uggs.

Please click here to let Senator Wyden know that you appreciate his stand in support of Internet freedom, and that we’ll have his back as he presses forward.

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David A. Segal

David A. Segal