Among those closed today are Wikipedia, Reddit and Twitpic [Mashable, Kravets/Wired; Mike Masnick; Dan Fisher on yesterday’s player-piano threat; our SOPA/PIPA coverage; Cato event tomorrow on Capitol Hill via David Boaz]. Matt Sherman: “Please note that what Google, Reddit and others are doing today is corporate political speech.” Flickr’s protest idea is brilliant: it’s letting users censor each other.
Welcome news, if true: key members of Congress are said to be backing away from the rogue-sites legislation as currently written and in particular are willing to drop the hotly contested provisions on domain name blocking. [Timothy Lee, Sandoval/McCullagh, CNET, Mike Masnick/TechDirt] And suddenly the Obama administration is sounding skeptical notes too [Lee] As recently as last week the copyright enforcement bills were reported to be on a toboggan to quick passage [Industry Standard, earlier] More: Masnick.
Brad Plumer in the Washington Post summarizes the provisions of the bill as well as the state of play on it in Congress as of mid-month. Although much commentary has assumed that persons determined to visit blocked sites could readily find ways around the SOPA restrictions, David Post notes that the draft bill authorizes the Attorney General to seek injunctions against persons who assist in circumventing the law, which might include websites that publish “here’s how to evade SOPA blocking” information. Timothy Lee at ArsTechnica notes growing opposition to the bill among conservatives, while Joshua Kopstein at Motherboard reviews a comic markup session. Meanwhile, “Gibson Guitar & Others On SOPA Supporters List Say They Never Supported The Bill” [Mike Masnick, TechDirt] Earlier here and here.
My Cato colleague Julian Sanchez argues that a bill rapidly moving through Congress would give far too much power to authorities to close down websites without due process, yet would be readily circumvented by actual IP pirates. More: Sanchez/Cato, BoingBoing, Declan McCullagh (software execs blast proposal), Derek Bambauer/Prawfs (“Six Things Wrong With SOPA”), Stewart Baker/Volokh.
- Study of how class action lawyers interact with their named clients [Stephen Meili via Trask]
- California releases numbers on how bounty-hunting lawyers did in 2010 under Prop 65 environmental-warning law [Cal Biz Lit]
- According to the tale, lender errors in foreclosure gave Florida borrower home free and clear. Actual story may be more complicated than that [Funnell]
- The very long discovery arm of the Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, courts [Drug & Device Law, more]
- UK law firm “could face big bill” after sending thousands of file-sharing demand letters [ABA Journal]
- Goodbye to men’s track at U. of Delaware, and the women’s team is suffering too, as often happens with Title IX [Saving Sports]
- OSHA’s proposed “illness and injury prevention program” (I2P2) termed a “Super Rule” with potentially widespread economic impact [Kirsanow, NRO]
- 10th Circuit: deposition not a “take-home examination” [Ronald Miller]
- Class-action suit over salt in Campbell’s soup [NJ.com] Boom predicted in suits over claims of healthy food [Ken Odza]
- Roommate indicted in Tyler Clementi suicide [Scott Greenfield, Beldar]
- “Ban fraternities” screed in WSJ: were editors trying to make Caitlin Flanagan look ridiculous on purpose? [Ann Althouse, Instapundit]
- Emotional value of family dog: “Seattle should not set bad precedent in pet case” [John W. Schedler, Seattle Times, background]
- Investigating gas-price speculation and “price gouging”: “Obama tries to cap oil leak with lawyers” [Neil Munro, Daily Caller]
- Federal law protects peanuts on planes [CNN Travel]
Federal judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan applies some skepticism to the quantum of damages demanded by record companies in copyright actions against file-sharing service LimeWire. [American Lawyer]
After all, it’s easier to grab text from someone else’s infringement letter than to write one again from scratch, no? [Ars Technica]