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White House Explains SOPA/PIPA Position

by Jeff Cork on Jan 15, 2012 at 02:42 AM

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Three officials from the Obama administration articulated the White House's position on proposed anti-piracy legislation, balancing the need for strong antipiracy measures while respecting both freedom of expression and the way information and ideas are share on the Internet.

The statement, which was made in response to a pair of polls drafted through the White House's official site, was released yesterday.

"Right now, Congress is debating a few pieces of legislation concerning the very real issue of online piracy, including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the PROTECT IP Act and the Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act (OPEN). We want to take this opportunity to tell you what the Administration will support—and what we will not support. Any effective legislation should reflect a wide range of stakeholders, including everyone from content creators to the engineers that build and maintain the infrastructure of the Internet.

"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet."

The statement then urges private parties to come up with their own ways to prevent piracy, via voluntary measures.

"Moving forward, we will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation."