A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed an alternative to controversial online piracy bills currently pending in both chambers of Congress.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would enable the government and copyright holders to demand third parties delete links to foreign websites deemed rogue or dedicated to copyright infringement, has been labeled by critics as an assault on free speech and an underhanded government attempt to censor the Internet.
The alternate proposal would authorize the International Trade Commission (ITC) to investigate and issue cease-and-desist orders against foreign websites that provide pirated content or sell counterfeit goods. Instead of allowing third parties to sweep in and delete at will, the ITC would be tasked with providing proof that copyright violations occurred, according to The Hill.
As the new proposals are introduced, organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce continue in their vehement support of SOPA. Among those in opposition to the bill are free speech advocates, the Libertarian party, and many GOP and Democratic lawmakers, as well as software and Web-based communications companies.