Dear Mr. Wiginton:
Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 968, the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011,” and H.R. 3261, the “Stop Online Piracy Act.” It is good to hear from you.
S. 968 was introduced on May 12, 2011, and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. On May 26, S. 968 was reported out of committee and placed on the general legislative calendar. If enacted, S. 968 would amend federal copyright law to authorize the Attorney General to file civil action against violators of copyright infringement law.
H.R. 3261 was introduced on October 26, 2011, and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. On December 16, H.R. 3261 was considered before the full committee; however, the bill was not voted out for consideration by the full House. If enacted, H.R. 3261 would authorize the Attorney General to seek a court order against a U.S.-directed foreign Internet site committing or facilitating online piracy.
I am concerned about the substantial negative impacts that intellectual property theft and the sale of counterfeit goods have on our nation’s economy. As Congress reviews potential reforms to our nation’s intellectual property laws and enforcement mechanisms in response to technological advances, we must be certain that we do not make changes that encroach on fair and lawful enjoyment of creative works and legitimate websites. However, we must also be aware of the substantial negative impacts that intellectual property violations have on American businesses and our economy.
It is the role of Congress to seek out an appropriate balance between the lawful use and enjoyment of the public while protecting the rights of the rights holder. Should these bills come before the full Senate for consideration, I will keep your thoughts in mind.
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