- Constituent Services
- About John
I believe that H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), is unworkable in its current form. The internet is a vital tool for innovation, creativity and economic growth for individuals and communities. I believe that it is critical we put in place an online regulatory framework that ensures the relationship between online consumers and industry is fair and equitable -- all the while ensuring we do not unintentionally stifle the ingenuity and openness that has enabled the internet and online commerce to thrive. However, online piracy is a real problem and internet commerce should not be a mechanism for abusive business practices, violations of individual privacy rights or copyright infringement. To that end, I strongly believe intellectual property and privacy laws should apply to all forms of commerce.
SOPA would authorize the Department of Justice or a copyright or trademark holder to seek a court order blocking a rogue site committing or facilitating online piracy. It would also require online service providers, Internet search engines, payment network providers and Internet advertising services to carry out certain preventative measures including withholding services or blocking access to infringing sites. In particular, I believe the legislation, as written, is overly broad and could place unintended limits on free speech and threaten legitimate web sites. As this legislation proceeds, it will be critical that we settle on a policy that strikes the right balance between the protection of online intellectual property and the promotion of an open and free internet.
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