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Senator Brown Says He'll Vote 'No' on Anti-Piracy Bills

As Wikipedia prepares to blackout the English-language site Wednesday to protest two Congressional anti-piracy bills, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown tweeted his plans to vote against the bills.

 

Wikipedia will blackout the English language version of its website on Wednesday for 24 hours to protest anti-piracy legislation being considered in Congress.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the force behind the popular community-based online encyclopedia, released a a statement Monday night about the planned blackout. The company, along with others including Twitpic and Wordpress will blackout to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, as well as the proposed Protect Intellectual Property Act, according to the Associated Press.

Critics claim the legislation could infringe on free-speech rights as well as weaken cyber-security for companies and hinder rights to domain access.

Tuesday afternoon, US Senator Scott Brown joined more than a dozen other legislators in announcing that he will vote 'no' on both the Stop Online Piracy and the Protect Intellectual Property bills.

"I’m going to vote NO on #PIPA and #SOPA. The Internet is too important to our economy," he tweeted.

"If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States," the Wikimedia foundation said.

The Stop Online Piracy Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Protect Intellectual Property Act under consideration in the Senate are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas.

Supporters include the film and music industry, which often sees its products sold illegally. They say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.

The most controversial provision is in the House bill, which would have enabled federal authorities to "blacklist" sites that are alleged to distribute pirated content. That would essentially cut off portions of the Internet to all U.S. users. But congressional leaders appear to be backing off this provision.

Read the text of the bill: Stop Online Piracy Act here.

Read the text of the bill: Protect Intellectual Property Act here

Paul Henrion January 18, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Senator, as a Republican and a lawyer supporting high tech companies in cloud computing, privacy, IT security and employment law issues, you need to do more than just vote NO on SOPA and PIPA. As the FTC learned in privacy and IT security, you need to regulate bad acts holding the bad actors accountable, NOT REGULATE TECHNOLOGY. Hurting the new internet marketplace and the firms who deliver it by requiring burdensome screening and censorship in order to protect music and other valuable IP is just as misguided as thinking CAN SPAM would stop spam. All it did was create costs for companies that comply without reducing or burdening the spammers and allow Congress to say they addressed the issue. We're seeing the same thing in advertising tracking, ie. trying to ban technology rather than stopping irresponsible and unauthorized use, retention and sale of the data. Read what the Center for Democracy and Technology says on SOPA and PIPA. Read what the Center for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams says on Accountability. Asking Google, Yahoo and other search engines to do what apparently the Justice Dept can't, makes no sense to me. Outlaw the practices (if not already) and give the enforcement agencies the money to protect our most valuable business assets and jobs in an increasingly commoditized world. Just voting no on bad bills doesn't solve problems. We need real solutions that work. With all due respect, please make it so Mr. Senator. Thank you.

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