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How Lamar Smith will respond to your SOPA complaint

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.

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  1. Mike

    One doesnt have to read past the title:

    “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.”

    to figure out that “and for other purposes” is the part that should scare the daylights out of anyone with any sort of common sense.

    What “other” purposes? Name them or else I am 110% in opposition of it just by the title alone.

  2. SL

    After reading that response, it seems clear that his focus is still not on the problem of *how* it will be implemented. It’s solely about what its goals are.

    A solid debate about the implementation has been thwarted by not just him, but other representatives too. Witness the recent hearings where technical experts were consistently rebuked in the proceedings. And in the response he even states that “The Stop Online Piracy Act does not threaten the Internet”.

    Well guess what? Without a thorough debate including technical details, how do you know that it doesn’t “threaten the internet”? The law of unintended consequences is a universal constant. Root DNS will be affected; wishing it away doesn’t have any effect.

    And what if there is a better non-technical way to achieve the goal? Then wait for it, don’t force through a bill that does damage just because other equally bad attempts have been blocked.

    Imho he really needs to start again with a truly balanced discussion between both pro and anti-SOPA folks. Btw, one of the clearest articles from the anti-SOPA is the following:

    http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/online/dont-break-internet

  3. Terry Garcia

    I agree.. what are “other purposes”?

    Who writes a bill that way? Only those with other secret motives, that’s who. In law…..EVERYTHING must be defined, same with contracts, etc…

    Something very fishy here.

    Even more fishy is how this is being sponsored in Texas. There has been a concerted effort from certain lawyers and people and companies in Texas for many years to take domains away from rightful owners, make trademark laws more stringent, and now this bill, written in vague terms, meant to protect brands and retailers, supposedly.

    There has been nothing but sh*t coming out of texas for years. Funny thing is this can all be traced to the Koch Brothers and Enron. It’s the Koch brothers and their well-paid legions of lawyers that are behind this.

    Just like they do in every other industry, they want to control the Net and it’s parts also, like domains.

    Do your own due diligence and you’ll come to the same conclusions. Don’t think I am paranoid until you do your own research.

    Go find out who bought the pieces of Enron and where all those pieces lead to and you’ll see they are knee-deep in the domain realm, among other areas of the Net.

    Who do you think actually owns some of these parking companies, it’s not the face they put up for you and I to see all these years of parking domains.

    .

  4. Jeremy Leader

    SL, it looks like stanfordlawreview.org is now parked with Sedo, so that link no longer works.

    However, the “Don’t Break the Internet” page is still cached at Google (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:wTFZNr7vJhcJ:www.stanfordlawreview.org/online/dont-break-internet), and a PDF version of the paper can be downloaded from the Social Science Research Network (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1978989)

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