This Week In Tech: Battle lines drawn over online piracy bills

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But the unveiling of OPEN has drawn several volleys from the Judiciary Committee and the movie studios, which have denounced the bill as being easy on Internet piracy, and claimed its court-based solution would be expensive and favor tech companies over content creators.

Issa has fired back by claiming SOPA in its current form has no chance of passing the House. Sources have told Hillicon that some of the original sponsors are rethinking their support after taking a closer look at the bill's language.

Regardless, SOPA is likely to pass the committee, and debate will probably be settled on the House floor.

On Tuesday, former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), now the head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), will talk about the future of creative industries and the relationship between technology and intellectual property at the Center for American Progress. Culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg will moderate the conversation.

The MPAA is one of the strongest proponents of SOPA, arguing it is necessary to combat online theft of movies.

On Tuesday, the House Transportation subcommittee on Emergency Management will hold a hearing on the effectiveness of the nation's public alert systems, just a few weeks after the first-ever national test of the Emergency Alert System. Consumers reported several glitches during the test that will doubtless come under scrutiny during the hearing.

The House Energy and Commerce telecom subpanel will hold a hearing on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers's plan to expand top-level domains so almost any word can be used to conclude a Web address in addition to current options such as .com and .org.

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz blasted the plan in an interview with Hillicon this week, claiming the resulting land rush has the potential to be a disaster.

Federal Judge Ellen Huvelle is expected to rule on Thursday on a Justice Department motion to put its lawsuit against the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile on hold until AT&T re-applies with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The Justice Department argues that because AT&T withdrew its FCC application, there is no longer an active deal to challenge. AT&T wants to move forward with the trial to keep alive its hopes of closing the deal by its Sept. 12 deadline. Justice will file its motion on Tuesday to either delay the case or withdraw it entirely until AT&T re-applies. AT&T must respond by Wednesday.