The form response Lamar Smith sends to opponents of SOPA.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I live in Lamar Smith’s district in Texas. His office is literally a couple miles from mine. Smith is the sponsor of Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
I wrote to him a week ago via his web site expressing how I didn’t like the SOPA bill because it reinforces the idea that America owns the internet.
Here’s the form response I received:
Dear Mr. Allemann,
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3621, the “Stop Online Piracy Act.” I appreciate hearing from you.
The Stop Online Piracy Act specifically targets foreign, not domestic, websites primarily dedicated to illegal activity. The bill addresses the real and widespread problem of foreign online criminals who steal and sell America’s intellectual property and seek to keep the profits for themselves.
These foreign websites are called “rogue sites” because they are out of reach of U.S. laws. Movies and music are not the only stolen products that are offered by rogue sites. Counterfeit medicine, automotive parts and even baby food are a big part of the counterfeiting business and pose a serious threat to the health and safety of American consumers.
While some critics of online piracy and counterfeiting legislation acknowledge that intellectual property should be protected, they oppose every proposal to effectively reduce the theft of intellectual property and the counterfeiting of American products.
The Stop Online Piracy Act does not threaten the Internet nor does it impede the ability of any American to exercise their First Amendment rights. But it does threaten the profits sought by those who willfully steal intellectual property by trafficking in counterfeit or pirated goods. Claims that the bill would allow anyone to file a complaint to block access or support to a website for any reason are blatantly false. The bill affords the same due process protections provided in all civil litigation in federal courts and requires a judge to make a determination and issue a court order prior to there being any obligation to take action in compliance with the Act.
For more information on issues of interest to you or to send me an electronic message, please visit the 21st District’s website, http://lamarsmith.house.gov.