SOPA Author's Own Website Violated Copyright

Meanwhile, Senate author of piracy bill says it needs 'more study'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 13, 2012 9:35 AM CST

(Newser) – SOPA author Lamar Smith is being roundly mocked thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis Taete of VICE, who found that as of July, Smith's own website violated copyright, using a background image without attribution. The photo was under a Creative Commons license, so if Smith had just credited the photographer, he could have used it for free. But that little mistake would be enough to get the site shut down if Smith's legislation passed, Geek-O-System points out, calling it SOPA's "primary failing, that common, insignificant mistakes can be blown out into DNS blocking for various flimsy reasons ranging from laziness to malicious intent."

Meanwhile, the senator who introduced the controversial PROTECT IP Act (the Senate's version of the bill) now says he'll recommend further review of what many consider the bill's most controversial proposal, namely the one granting the attorney general power to seek a court order forcing ISPs to block domain names of sites suspected of copyright infringement, the Wall Street Journal reports. In a press release, Patrick Leahy says that though he doesn't agree with the complaints he's heard from engineers, human rights groups, and his constituents, he now recommends "more study" before implementing the rule.

Patrick Leahy walks towards the Senate floor on Capitol Hill, Nov. 29, 2011.
Patrick Leahy walks towards the Senate floor on Capitol Hill, Nov. 29, 2011.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Ranking member Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) participates in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on December 15, 2010 in Washington, DC.
Ranking member Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) participates in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on December 15, 2010 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)
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