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SOPA/PIPA sponsors bailing

Posted by Richard on January 19, 2012

Support for HR 3261, the Stopping Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), which prove that technologically challenged legislators have no business regulating the Internet, is collapsing in the face of widespread public opposition, with 14 former cosponsors dropping their support. Americans for Limited Government issued a press release today in which its president, Bill Wilson, urged other lawmakers to drop their support (emphasis added):

“The American people have spoken, with the urging of popular websites like Wikipedia, through hundreds of thousands of emails and phone calls to members of Congress in opposition to a big government takeover of the Internet. It led to no less than 14 cosponsors of SOPA and PIPA to drop their support, eight in the Senate alone. Now it is time for other cosponsors to respond to the will of the American people as well.

“There simply is no constituency for legislation that, in the name of protecting copyright, institutionalizes a system of blocking entire websites, removing visibility from search engines, and targeting ad providers, all based merely on the accusation of intellectual property theft. Existing law already provides for the removal of copyrighted material from the Internet domestically, and dealing with foreign infringement requires diplomacy with relevant nations overseas, not a regime of censorship here at home.”

Under current law, if someone uploads copyrighted content to, say, YouTube or my blog, the copyright owner can demand that it be removed. That’s reasonable. The site owner can comply or dispute the copyright claim, in which case a court will determine who’s right. But under SOPA, a single unsubstantiated claim of copyright infringement would be sufficient for the government to shut down the entire site immediately, with no judicial review.

For more information about the bills, the imploding of support, and why such legislation simply isn’t necessary to protect copyright, see the long list of references attached to the ALG press release, and especially this NetRightDaily post. To tell your senators and representatives that you don’t want the government’s boot on the Internet, click the button below.

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One Response to “SOPA/PIPA sponsors bailing”

  1. Rick Shultz said

    Thanks for providing the link Richard. I have sent letters using the link and ,in addition, have signed a couple more petitions. These bills definately need to come to a screeching, grinding halt as
    quickly as possible.

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