By Gautham Nagesh - 01/19/12 11:48 PM EST
Leahy applauds piracy crackdown, Anonymous retaliates: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was quick to congratulate the Justice Department for shutting down MegaUpload.com, one of the world's most popular file-sharing websites. The site's seven employees were charged with criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit racketeering and other charges. Each faces up to 55 years in prison.
Leahy said the arrests were possible because the site is covered under domestic laws, and questioned why foreign sites shouldn't be given the same treatment via PIPA and SOPA. But the vigilante hacker group Anonymous struck back, claiming credit for attacks on the websites of the Justice Department, the Recording Industry Association of America and Universal Music Group, among others. The group promised more attacks as the night continues, with targets named including the Motion Picture Association of America and the FBI.
Smith slams OPEN Act: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) took aim at the rival online piracy legislation offered by opponents of SOPA as an alternative on Thursday. Smith said OPEN would be less effective than his bill as well as bad for small business and ineffective.
Said Smith: “Illegal counterfeiting and intellectual property theft costs the U.S. economy $100 billion and thousands of jobs every year. The Wyden-Issa OPEN Act expands government, does not do enough to combat online piracy, and may make the problem worse. The OPEN Act creates loopholes that make the Internet even more open to foreign thieves that steal America’s technology and IP without protecting U.S. businesses and consumers. It amounts to a safe harbor for foreign criminals who steal American technology, products and intellectual property."