Public Knowledge To Congress:  Start Over On Intellectual Property Bills

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).”

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