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Letting commercial businesses with their own competitive motivations decide which internet sites are “rogue” or “pirate” sites is a recipe for abuse. It implies that site owners who comply with The legislators’ letter does not define “online piracy sites,” but many of the definitions we have seen lately focus on the number of takedown requests a site has acquired from Since a number of businesses send out a large portion of the takedown requests, those agencies would with no trouble have the ability to manage who gets deemed a “piracy site. ” As a federal law, this scheme would have created critical First Amendment and due system issues. As a non-public contract among competing ad networks, it could raise other legal problems.

Under the Sherman Antitrust Act, businesses that compete with one another aren’t allowed to make a pact amongst themselves about who they’ll refuse to do business with, especially if the aim of the pact is to squelch competition or punish a rival. It’s called a “group boycott” or “concerted refusal to deal,” and it can result in big money proceedings and years of hassle. In some cases, groups of rivals sharing a list of companies that they deem to be bad actors, with a wink wink understanding that no one in the group should do business with those companies, was deemed a contravention of the Sherman Act1. Claiming that an market wide refusal to deal is justified by “fighting piracy” doesn’t necessarily avoid an antitrust jam. In 2003, the Motion Picture Association of America decided that its contributors, major movie studios who compete with one one other, would now not send pre launch “screener” copies of movies to individuals of awards committees just like the Motion Picture Academy. According to the MPAA, the group boycott of awards committees was needed to prevent infringement of pre release movies.

But the crowd ban put smaller studios at a huge drawback in getting award nominations and votes. In just two months, a court determined that the MPAA’s screener ban was likely illegal, and that loss could have caused MPAA head Jack Valenti’s retirement a few months later.

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