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More objections. Thousands of Web sites have pledged to go dark today in opposition to pending anti-piracy bills currently making their way through Congress.

More objections

Reddit, Wikipedia, Mozilla, and WordPress are just a few of the sites that will be inaccessible on Wednesday in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). The bills would allow the Justice Department to obtain a court order and go after overseas, "rogue" Web sites that traffic in fake goods, from purses to prescription drugs. The DOJ could have these sites removed from search engines, while copyright holders could have the agency target sites they believe to contain infringing content. Detractors believe SOPA and PIPA are too broad and could have unintedned consequences for legitimate sites. Most are in agreement that something needs to be done about Web sites offering pirated goods, but how exactly to accomplish that goal remains a sticking point.

Is there anything that you're concerned about in SOPA or PIPA? Is Against SOPA/PIPA And That's All We're Writing About Today. Pressure from US on AUS to enact similar law. Reinforces Australia's reputation as one of the world's leading countries in protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.

Pressure from US on AUS to enact similar law

Harmonises our intellectual property laws more closely with the largest intellectual property market in the world, which is recognised as a global leader in innovation and creative products. At the same time it allows Australia considerable flexibility to implement the Agreement in a way that reflects the interests of our domestic interest groups and Australia's legal and regulatory environment. Aus tends not to resist US pressure. "The US will go to the ends of the earth to protect its big entertainment corporations and Australia could be the scene of a bigger coup in coming months".

Aus tends not to resist US pressure.

Photo: AFP It is hard to know what was more surprising for the average online file-sharer - that sleepy New Zealand was home to the likes of Kim Dotcom, the corpulent magnate behind the Megaupload website; or that the FBI had hunted him halfway around the world and arrested him in the panic room of his $30 million mansion. But we should be surprised on neither front. The US will go to the ends of the earth to protect its big entertainment corporations and Australia could be the scene of a bigger coup in coming months. The Americans have no qualms about interfering in our domestic politics and local legal systems. We can be a cowardly bunch, so scared of an unknown invader that we will sell our sovereignty for the illusion of protection. "Julian Assange has shone a sterilising light on the behaviour of the US embassy in Canberra". Stifles innovation. Take, for instance, the impact this would have on search engines like Google.

Stifles innovation

In an effort to avoid dealing with the drama and cost of obeying a court order, Google would have to scrutinize websites much more diligently, particularly with more human eyes, and the development of even more sophisticated software to test all content. In other words, they would have to become at their own cost the internet police, ensuring that the sites they are indexing are not violating any copyright laws. So, search engines would have to go through the process of removing sites currently in violation from their index, and then they would have to be extremely careful about who they let into their index after the fact. Just like black hat SEO gurus simply move on to the next money-making project after getting penalized, pirates will take their money and move on to the next domain they get their hands on.

Of course, a sandbox effect would then serve to discourage small businesses to spring up online. U.S. laws apply to U.S. registered domain names, regardless of server location. Efforts to take down websites for copyright infringement are likely to move beyond U.S.

U.S. laws apply to U.S. registered domain names, regardless of server location

-based registries, with ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) promising to more closely cooperate with global law enforcement agencies and governments. Cooperation to combat copyright infringement has been a hot topic this week at ICANN's international meeting in San José, Costa Rica. There are 22 registries and over 700 registrars accredited by ICANN. Registries contain domain names registered in a top-level domain, while registrars sell domains.

Any domain under a U.S. registry must follow U.S. laws regardless of where the servers are, according to agreements currently in place. During an open session with the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), the ICANN board confirmed that it will enforce its contracts with registrars more effectively in order to meet expectations from governments and law enforcement authorities.

Have a .com web address? Know the legal risks. Impossible.

Have a .com web address? Know the legal risks

Nuts. Unbelievable. Those are some of the more polite reactions when I tell people that having a .com domain name for their website is sufficient for them to be subject to US jurisdiction - which allows for nasty stuff like the US government seizing their website or extradition to USA to stand trial over there based on allegations alone. The bottom line: If you have a .com domain name, or other at-risk domain names like .net, you are subject to US domestic laws and jurisdiction. This allows the US government to seize your website or even seek your extradition to USA to stand trial, based on allegations of breaking their laws. I was initially hesitant to raise this issue because it might sound self-serving. Two of our subsidiary companies do the actual technical and policy bits for the .nz domain name space. The easiest way to explain is using a recent example, (have a look at the website to see what a seized website looks like). ICANN up in arms?