Congressman Lloyd Doggett Issues Statement Opposing #SOPA

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Congressman Lloyd Doggett issued this statement to Burnt Orange Report in opposition to SOPA:

“Lamar Smith's self-styled 'Stop Online Piracy Act' (SOPA) threatens freedom of expression, cybersecurity and technological innovation.  I have joined colleagues to offer a more focused alternative, which addresses legitimate piracy concerns without mandating censorship or blocking websites.  Our 'Online Protection & Enforcement of Digital Trade' (OPEN) Act, as the name indicates, seeks to maintain an internet that is as open and free as possible.  The reasonable goal of fighting copyright infringement must be pursued in a way that does not impair the web as an important engine for economic growth in Central Texas.”

Doggett's Austin-based district includes many technology firms, Internet entrepreneurs, and new media companies whose very livelihood could be threatened by the misleadingly named “Stop Online Piracy Act.”

Doggett is instead a sponsor of the OPEN Act, an alternative to SOPA that won't end the Internet as we know it. OPEN is the work of Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a vocal critic of SOPA since Lamar Smith introduced it. While OPEN is far from perfect, it presents a solid beginning framework with which to address the issue of international piracy of copyrighted content without shutting down the Internet as we know, enjoy, and love it.

Over on Ars Technica, Eric Goldman has a solid explanation of why OPEN is a better starting point than SOPA:

Unlike SOPA's disgustingly blatant rent-seeking, which was such an over-the-top abuse of the legislative process that it did not (and could not) support a principled or even intelligent conversations about it, OPEN provides a useful starting point for a sensible conversation that could actually lead to acceptable compromises.


OPEN is a comparatively svelte 18 pages focused mostly on one core concept, compared to SOPA's 78-page monstrosity that advanced about a dozen different substantive proposals. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen very smart people stymied to keep all of SOPA's moving parts separate, and the failure to do so meant that they were conflating different parts of the statute in ways that prevented productive discussion.

Go read the rest here, and thanks again to Congressman Doggett for opposing SOPA.


All #SOPA Coverage on BOR:


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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