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70 Groups Ask Congress to Halt Work On SOPA and PIPA

February 6, 2012 , ,

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.

Download the file directly here.

Public Knowledge-Internet Letter to Congress