Innovation Asset Blog

Investors express concerns over PROTECT IP Act

The Consumer Electronics Association recently assembled a group of 15 venture capitalists specializing in digital innovation to express their concerns over unintended consequences of the PROTECT IP Act.

One of the main points of contention surrounding the legislation is the perception that it may invite and enable frivolous lawsuits.

"The notoriously litigious content industry could simply accuse a site that it is selling a product that could 'enable or facilitate' a copyright infringement, thereby allowing accusations to shut down sites vital to the Internet economy," explained CEA executive Gary Shapiro in a recent column for Forbes.

Shapiro cited one example in which a government shut down of a pornographic website ended up negatively impacting approximately 70,000 legitimate websites that were in no way associated with the questionable content.

However, Shapiro concedes that advocates for the legislation do have a number of compelling arguments. According to Creative America, for example, more than half a million movies are pirated every year worldwide.

What Shapiro and other opponents of the legislation seem to be calling for are "well-defined" parameters governing website shutdown protocols. Painting with too broad a stroke may consequently punish the innocent in the effort to hold the guilty accountable.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.