“I think people’s first read of this is that it is hard to know how or when they would be in compliance even if they make a good faith effort,” Halataei said. The industry council has not yet taken a public stance on the proposal.
“We support the bill’s stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting,” the Internet companies wrote in Tuesday’s letter. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.”
A spokesman for the chamber declined to comment on the letter because it involved members who oppose the chamber’s official position.
“It is great that everyone agrees that rogue sites have no place in a legitimate online marketplace,” said Steve Tepp, chief intellectual property counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber-led coalition in support of the bill includes Walmart, Eli Lilly & Co. and Netflix. Google and other opponents of the legislation argue that restricting the Internet in the U.S. sets a bad international precedent and that the language defines infringing too broadly. Other opponents, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has put a hold on the bill, argue that it will restrain online commerce and that it is the first step to censoring the Web.
Sources familiar with the state of play said the Senate could take up the proposal sometime after Thanksgiving. Google executives are set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in a hearing addressing the House proposal today, but the politics are tough with two major California constituencies — Hollywood and Silicon Valley — facing off.