The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Congress Must Not Trample Internet Users in Rush to Pass Copyright Legislation


On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would give companies largely unchecked power to blacklist thousands of websites that they suspect of copyright infringement.

If enacted, SOPA could force popular websites where people share videos, images and other data to censor user content or risk being blocked themselves.

The Senate is expected to vote on its own version of the bill, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in early 2012.

Opposition to SOPA and PIPA is far reaching and bipartisan -- from tech companies to consumer and public interest groups, from librarians to human rights advocates -- and includes more than one million citizens who have urged Congress to reject these bills.

Free Press Action Fund Political Adviser Joel Kelsey made the following statement:

"Congress is certainly earning its abysmal approval ratings by attempting to ram through these controversial bills while ignoring the massive public outcry against them. If Congress continues to put corporations before the public in this way, it can expect to see ratings drop into the single-digits -- again.

"These bills threaten to rip apart the fabric of the open Internet. It's for that reason that more than a million people have urged Congress to find a more reasonable solution to the problem of online piracy. Congress must not let the rights of innocent Internet users be trampled by entertainment industry lobbyists determined to ram SOPA and PIPA past lawmakers."

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

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