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The State of Things

Protecting Intellectual Property

When Congress reconvenes after Labor Day, it will have the opportunity to consider a major expansion of online antipiracy law. The Protect-IP Act, which passed unanimously out of a Senate committee in May, would allow the government to seek a court order against a Web site allegedly violating copyright – and that site could then be entirely removed from the Internet. Industry groups including the Motion Picture Association of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce support the bill, but consumer rights groups and free speech advocates oppose it as a threat to a free and open Internet.

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