David Robinson on rogue websites and domain seizures

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October 11, 2011

David Robinson, a fellow at the Information and Society Project at Yale Law School, discusses his new paper, Following the Money: A Better Way Forward on the PROTECT IP Act. The bill, now being considered by Congress, targets “rouge” websites. Robinson discusses the different ways these websites host infringing content and sell counterfeit goods, as well as the remedies proposed in the bill. The measures involve two main consequences: cutting off information through the seizure of domain names by law enforcement, and cutting off financial gain by prohibiting payment processors like Visa and Mastercard from delivering profits to infringing website owners. Robinson discusses why he thinks the Act will better serve IP law if the flow of money is restricted, and not the flow of information. He goes on to discuss what he considers to be troubling about information control, including several constitutional implications.

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