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US Senators Push New Copyright Bill to Deter Online Piracy

Two United States Senators are pushing a new copyright bill called the SMART Copyright Act of 2022 to help deter online piracy.

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As first reported by TorrentFreak, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis and Patrick Leahy are introducing the new SMART Copyright Act of 2022. “Smart” in this case stands for Strengthening Measures to Advance Rights Technologies.

This new copyright bill would require online hosting services to implement new protection measures designated by the U.S. Copyright Office.

In effect, this could result in some major changes to the current DMCA laws.

In an official press release, Senator Thom Tillis stated the following about this new copyright legislation:

“In the fight to combat copyright theft, there is currently no consensus-based standard technical measures and that needs to be addressed. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will provide widely available piracy-fighting measures and create a trusted and workable internet for our creative communities.”

Senator Tillis may be a familiar name to some, as he spearheaded the controversial Felony Streaming Bill in late 2020 that made its way into the Covid Relief Bill.

One of the bipartisan supporters of the SMART Copyright Act, Senator Patrick Leahy, also commented on this new bill:

“Nearly twenty-five years ago we enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a landmark update to the copyright laws for the internet age.  Since then, the internet has significantly changed, and with it so has the world of copyright. I’m excited to work, alongside Senator Tillis, with filmmakers, musicians, authors, and artists of all stripes, enlisting the help of online platforms, to address online copyright theft that robs these artists of the fruits of their creativity and hard work.

What’s most interesting about this proposed copyright legislation are the different responses from various organizations.

On one side, you have overwhelming support from groups like Author’s Guild, Creative Future, and the Motion Pictures Association (MPA).

In a recent press release, the MPA stated the following:

“We are thankful to Ranking Member Tillis and Chairman Leahy for their continued work to protect the rights of the creative community from digital theft. In enacting the DMCA, Congress envisioned that creators and online service providers would work together on technical solutions to protect copyrighted works.”

On the other side, we see groups such as Public Knowledge and ReCreate explain their opposition to this bill.

Public Knowledge published an article with their thoughts on the SMART Copyright Act bill which states the following:

“This bill opens the door to online censorship on a massive scale. While Public Knowledge steadfastly believes that protecting copyrighted works is essential for promoting creativity and protecting the livelihoods of creators, this bill threatens the very values it claims to protect and would be disastrous for a free, creative, and culturally rich internet. Unfortunately, the SMART Act is anything but.”

You can view the official documentation for the SMART Copyright Act of 2022 including the “Myths vs Facts” document provided by the official website for Senator Tillis.

SMART Copyright Act of 2022 – Full Bill (PDF)

SMART Copyright Act of 2022 – Myths vs Facts (PDF)

Overall, it will be interesting to see what happens with the new SMART Copyright Act of 2022 and what’s next on the list for U.S. copyright authorities.

We will keep our visitors informed as more news arrives on the situation.

What do you think of this new SMART Copyright ACT? Will this be better or worse for creators?

Comment Below!

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