How Not to Combat Piracy

I’m admittedly ambivalent about Internet Piracy.  But this isn’t a post about the ethics of copying things.  It’s about the stupidity of the way Government’s think about these issues.

Consider the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (aka COICA), a bill that Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced a few days ago.  The bill, which has subsequently been shelved by the adjournment of Congress, would enable the government to suspend the domain name of any site that has been accused of facilitating copyright infringement.  

That just seems like a bad idea on so many levels.  The government has a hard enough time understanding how the internet works.  Why should we feel comfortable giving it the power to shut down portions of it at will?  

You can sign a petition against COICA here.  Maybe if enough people step up and demonstrate why things like COICA are the dumbest possible way to combat illegal downloading, the RIAA and MPAA will finally get off their collective asses and find a way to get artist’s paid for the work they do in the 21st century.