Online Piracy Bill Clears Senate Judiciary

Advocates of stricter laws to clamp down on Internet piracy scored a victory on Thursday when the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bipartisan Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act by a unanimous vote. The bill would establish a path for the Justice Department to take legal action against websites trafficking in pirated content or stolen goods, including those based overseas.

But critics warn that the bill oversteps, in a big way. Despite bipartisan support and the backing of business and labor groups, the bill has run into staunch opposition from digital-rights advocacy groups and others for fears that it will unfairly target innocent Web companies. Datamation has the story.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously passed a bill that would give the Department of Justice new authority to crack down on website operators at home and abroad trafficking in knock-off or stolen goods and pirated digital content.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) now heads to the Senate floor, where it faces a narrow window for debate in the lame-duck session, though it enjoys strong bipartisan support, with 18 senators signed on as sponsors or co-sponsors.

Read the full story at Datamation:

Senate Panel Passes Controversial Online Piracy Bill

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