I've attempted a discussion via not only email, but snailmail with Senator Leahy (one of my state senators) over this matter. He does not budge on his views regarding this issue as he is the creator of the bill.
Here is the standard issue response he has sent to those who are citizens of his state over PROTECT IP:
//"Thank you for contacting me about the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.
The growth of the digital marketplace is extraordinary and it gives creators and producers new opportunities to reach consumers, but it also brings with it the perils of piracy and counterfeiting. The increased usage and accessibility of the Internet has transformed it into the new Main Street. Internet purchases have become so commonplace that consumers are less wary of online shopping and therefore more easily victimized by online products that are unsafe or stolen. Online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods cost the American economy billions of dollars. This is unacceptable in any economic climate, but it is devastating today.
Last Congress, I introduced the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, legislation that would have provided the Department of Justice with an important tool to crack down on websites that are primarily dedicated to online infringement. This legislation was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee, where I serve as Chairman, but was not acted upon by the full Senate. Building on my effort from last Congress, I introduced the bipartisan PROTECT IP Act on May 12, 2011.
The PROTECT IP Act authorizes the Department of Justice to file a civil action against the registrant or owner of a domain name that accesses a foreign rogue website, or the foreign-registered domain name itself, and to seek a preliminary order from the court that the site is dedicated to infringing activities. The court is authorized to issue a cease and desist order against such a rogue website, and can also authorize the United States Attorney General to serve that order on specified third parties, including Internet service providers, payment processors, online advertising network providers, and search engines. These third parties would then be required to take appropriate action to either prevent access to the Internet site, or cease doing business with the site. The Act also authorizes rights holders victimized by rogue online sites to bring similar actions against such a site, but only to affect the financial viability of the theft.
This bill is designed to target the worst of the worst websites – those that only engage in the theft of American intellectual property. It does not target individual content that may be distributed on the Internet, and the infringing content made available on these sites must also be in complete or substantially complete form – not mere clips. This legislation simply provides law enforcement and rights holders with an increased ability to protect our intellectual property, which will benefit American consumers, American businesses, and American jobs. The Judiciary Committee reported this bill unanimously by voice vote on May 26, 2011. I look forward to consideration of this legislation by the full Senate.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please keep in touch.
United States Senator"//
Still pretty vague regarding who determines the "worst of the worst" and so on, and why and how third parties (search engines will be included? Jesus, Google would get three life terms) would be held criminally responsible.