The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (Protect IP Act) is a controversial bill which was introduced in the U.S. on May 12.
This Act seeks to enhance enforcement against rogue Web sites operated and registered overseas and eliminate the financial incentive to steal intellectual property online.
It authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to ask the court to issue an order to block the Web site, upon satisfaction that the Web site is directed at U.S. consumers and harms holders of U.S. intellectual property.
This order may be served on Internet service providers, search engines, financial transaction providers and Internet advertising services. These third parties would be required to take reasonable measures to expeditiously cease to do business with the infringing Web site or prevent access to it.
Critics are charging that the solution which is based on the DNS system may be easily circumvented. They also point out that it gives the U.S. powers to bring down Web sites which are possibly out of jurisdiction and becomes a form of disguised trade protectionism.
More critically, the U.S. has been known to pressurize countries to adopt its IP-protection standards.
The question now remains whether Protect IP will one day reach Asian shores.