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Rep. Diane Black re: SOPA

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  1. From: Congressman Diane Black <TN06DBIMA@mail.house.gov>
  2. Date: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 5:16 PM
  3. Subject: Responding to your message
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  6. Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3261, the "Stop Online Piracy Act," also known as SOPA.  I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.  Like you, I have concerns about this legislation.
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  10. H.R. 3261 was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) in October of 2011.  This legislation seeks to expand intellectual property protections and combat illegal distribution of counterfeit goods online, as well as increase penalties for foreign espionage.  However, many technology advocates are concerned that this legislation will create excess regulations that will subsequently stifle innovation made possible by the internet, while others have concerns regarding the constitutionality of this legislation.
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  14. While I do believe we need to protect intellectual property rights, I do not believe that the solution needs to be done at the expense of our constitutional freedoms.  Therefore, I do not support SOPA in its current form.
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  18. In response to SOPA, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced H.R. 3782, the "Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act," in January.  The OPEN Act allows intellectual property rights (IPR) holders to file a petition against websites that sell or make available counterfeit goods with the International Trade Counsel (ITC).  The IPR owner can take the ITC determination to payment service providers and advertising networks to have them stop payments to the "rogue website."  For more information on the OPEN Act, go to www.keepthewebopen.com.
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  22. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on SOPA in November and marked-up the legislation in December.   Currently, House leadership has decided to postpone further consideration of SOPA on the floor until questions and concerns regarding SOPA have been answered.  Should H.R. 3261 come to the House floor for a vote in its current form, I will vote against it.  With your thoughts in mind, I will continue to follow the debate on this legislation closely.
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  26. It is an honor to serve Tennessee's 6th Congressional District.  If you wish to share additional information with me concerning this or any other issue, please feel free to contact me or my staff at (202) 225-4231 or through email by going to my website http://black.house.gov.