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Super Opposed

September 22, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an intellectual property enforcement bill, S.3325, with support from 15 of its 19 members.

But the bill is not faring well at all on OpenCongress. Users who have voted on on the bill oppose it unanimously. In the upper right-hand corner of the bill page you can see the current vote tally for the bill – 81 against, 0 in favor.

Here’s Sherwin Siy of Public Knowledge on problems with the bill as it passed the committee

>Still in the bill is a section authorizing the federal government to sue infringers in civil court in order to turn the money over to copyright holders. This provision lets the Attorney General take advantage of the lower standard for burden of proof in civil cases—here, the government only needs to prove infringement with a “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that it’s more likely than not that infringement occurred, as opposed to the usual criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” And the only penalty available under such cases is restitution—the government turns over the amount of damages to the copyright holder. This is a win-win for the content industry, which now can get money damages while taking advantage of the legal services of the Justice Department.

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