House panel wants to fix online piracy 'Whac-A-Mole'

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Lawmakers are looking for ways to fix the country’s “Whac-A-Mole” copyright system. During a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, members said they want to find a solution for copyright holders who must repeatedly ask Internet companies like Google to take down infringing content online.

“Victims of theft but have to fight tooth and nail to protect their property” from online piracy, Rep Judy Chu (D-CA) said.

Under current copyright law, Internet platforms are not held liable for copyright infringement committed by users as long as they have policies that prohibit infringement and take actions to remove infringing content when notified. Members on both sides of the aisle drilled down on how the current system affects small and independent creators.

House Judiciary Committee ranking member John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) said he wants to focus on independent creators. “Those are the ones I’m mostly concerned with because the big corporations are going to usually take care of themselves,” he said. Members of the subcommittee urged the tech companies and content creators to work together to avoid government intervention in the online space.

House panel wants to fix online piracy 'Whac-A-Mole'