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Approximately 70 grass-roots groups, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, human rights groups, communities of color, and Internet companies today said Congress should stop its work on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).
The letter, coordinated by Public Knowledge, said, “Now is the time for Congress to take a breath, step back, and approach the issues from a fresh perspective.” The text of the letter is here.
“This letter shows that the opposition to SOPA and PIPA came from an extraordinarily diverse coalition of well-informed groups and companies who understood perfectly well what was in the bills. This was not an industry-led movement, it was an Internet user movement,” said Ernesto Falcon, congressional affairs director for Public Knowledge. “Contrary to what Hollywood executives are saying, the sole reason why the Internet blackout occurred was because the public was concerned by these over-reaching bills that had no business being considered.”
In the letter, the groups argued that the concerns about the bill are too many to be addressed through “hasty revisions” to legislation, and shouldn’t be done by “closed- door negotiations among a small set of inside-the-beltway stakeholders.” Instead, Congress should determine the “true extent of online infringement and, as importantly, the economic effects of that activity.”
Any future consideration of intellectual property legislation “must avoid taking a narrow, single-industry perspective,” the letter said.Public Knowledge-Internet Letter to Congress