For Immediate Release

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Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Free Press Action Fund: Changes to Piracy Bills Could Help, but Problems Remain

WASHINGTON - On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in an interview with Vermont Public Radio that he was willing to eliminate a provision from the controversial PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) that allows for blocking domain names of websites that illegally post copyrighted content.

Free Press is one of many groups opposing both PIPA and its companion bill in the House, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Senator Leahy's statement follows on news that a similar change, to drop DNS-blocking provisions, could be made to SOPA.

Free Press Action Fund Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:


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“Senator Leahy’s indication that he would remove the DNS provision from the PROTECT IP Act is a step in the right direction, but the problems with this legislation — and the process by which it is being created — are still troubling. We agree that the rights of content creators should be respected, but this is absolutely the wrong way to do it.

“Both bills in their present form would alter the technical operations of the Internet, and threaten openness and freedom online with a series of overbroad measures. Until now the process to craft these bills has involved no meaningful collaboration with stakeholders, but we are glad to see that the strong public opposition has moved the conversation in this direction.”


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