Public Knowledge To Congress: Start Over On Intellectual Property Bills

January 20, 2012 , ,

The following is attributed to Harold Feld,
legal director of Public Knowledge:

“Everyone should be pleased that Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided not to go ahead with a vote on the
Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) on Tuesday.

“At the same time, this is a wake-up call
for Congress to abandon business as usual. 
Simply tinkering with the details of this bill, or of its House
companion, is not the way to go.  Neither
is a ‘summit’ between the Big Media companies and tech companies.

“At a minimum, Congress should start from
scratch to determine the nature of the problem. 
No one has been able to figure out how the media companies calculated
their supposed losses of jobs and income. 
If Congress goes ahead with legislation, it should hear widely from
those concerned about the pending legislation – from Internet technologists,
from law professors, artists, human rights activists, consumers and even public
interest groups.  Only then will
legislation be truly accepted and truly be effective.  As the Blackout Day protests shows, there is concern about this issue across all of America.

“The public owes a great deal of gratitude
to Sens. Ron Wyden, Maria Cantwell, Jerry Moran and Rand Paul, who led the
opposition to the bills in that chamber, and to their colleagues who were
prepared to vote in opposition on Tuesday. 
We also are thankful for the continuing work of the House champions in
opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act, Chairman Darrell Issa, Reps. Zoe
Lofgren, Jason Chaffetz and Jared Polis, as well as their colleagues who
opposed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).”