E-Net News

Elon scholar engages Congress on intellectual property bill

David Levine is leading an effort among intellectual property law scholars to oppose legislation in Congress that he says threatens Internet commerce.

Elon Law professor David Levine

Together with professors Mark Lemley of Stanford Law School and David Post of Temple University School of Law, Levine authored a Nov. 15 open letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, detailing concerns with the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a hearing for which was held by the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 16.

“By failing to guarantee the challenged web sites notice or an opportunity to be heard in court before their sites are shut down, SOPA represents the most ill-advised and destructive intellectual property legislation in recent memory,” the letter states.

“In sum, SOPA is a dangerous bill,” the letter continues. “It threatens the most vibrant sector of our economy – Internet commerce. It is directly at odds with the United States’ foreign policy of Internet openness, a fact that repressive regimes will seize upon to justify their censorship of the Internet. And it violates the First Amendment.”

The letter follows a prior letter that the three law scholars spearheaded opposing the PROTECT IP Act, legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate that is similar to SOPA. That earlier letter was signed by 108 intellectual property and cyberlaw experts and was sent to members of Congress on July 6.

Several news outlets have reported on the law scholars’ actions, including the following:

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Law Professors Join Critics of Antipiracy Bill Discussed at House Hearings

Talking Points Memo
Showdown Looms Over Stop Online Piracy Act

Google, Facebook, Zynga oppose new SOPA copyright bill

Over 100 Lawyers, Law Professors & Practitioners Come Out Against SOPA

Intellectual Property Watch
Barrage Of Doubts Voiced On US Internet Piracy Bill

Researchers Say SOPA is on the Wrong Track

Law Professors Oppose “Stop Online Piracy Act”

Click here or on the E-Cast link adjacent to this article to read the letters by law scholars opposing the SOPA and PROTECT IP legislation.

Click here for more information on Elon Law professor David Levine.


Philip Craft,
11/16/2011 5:11 PM