Rep. Issa, Sen. Wyden announce competing bill to Judiciary’s Stop Online Piracy Act

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenWhat killing net neutrality means for the internet Overnight Tech: Net neutrality fight descends into trench warfare | Zuckerberg visits Ford factory | Verizon shines light on cyber espionage Franken, top Dems blast FCC over net neutrality proposal MORE (D-Ore.) unveiled the text of their online piracy bill on Thursday, intended to offer an alternative to the controversial measure currently in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act closely resembles a discussion draft of the legislation circulated last week. It would authorize the International Trade Commission to issue cease-and-desist orders against foreign websites deemed rogue or dedicated to copyright infringement.

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The bill is a response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) championed by House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act. Those bills would allow the government and copyright holders to demand Web firms delete links to rogue sites, raising concerns about free speech.

In contrast, the OPEN Act would target only payment processors, online advertising networks and other sources of revenue for rogue sites. This "follow the money" approach has been advocated by firms such as Google, which is one of the strongest opponents of SOPA.

The OPEN Act faces an uphill battle toward passage because a number of influential lawmakers in the House have signed on to support SOPA, but sources tell Hillicon that several Judiciary members have expressed serious concern about the latter since the technology industry began protesting the bill earlier this month.

Critics charge the language in SOPA is overly broad and could without intention ensnare legitimate Web companies. Smith and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyCongress strikes deal on funding for 2017 to avoid shutdown Hollywood, DC come together for First Amendment-themed VIP party The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Vt.) have indicated they are open to some changes to fine-tune the bill, but the pair appear determined to push ahead with their effort, which is championed by the TV and movie studios among other industry groups.