SOPA/PIPA Opponents Tell Hill to Scrap Legislation, Period

Letter to legislators suggests all efforts, including OPEN Act, should be deep-sixed for a do-over
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House
and Senate antipiracy legislation opponents are pressing their offensive.
Having tabled versions of PIPA and SOPA they argued were Internet chillers or
killers, they are calling on Congress to essentially to back off any
legislative antipiracy efforts at all.

In
an open letter to the House and Senate, Free Press, Public Knowledge, Mozilla
(though not Google or Yahoo!), and a laundry list of groups and companies from
the Electronic Frontier Foundation to the Cheeseburger Network, said that SOPA
and PIPA can't be fixed, that they shouldn't be fixed by politicians behind
closed doors, and that nothing should be done until Congress has determined the
"true extent" of online infringement and the economic effects of that
activity.

"Now
is the time for Congress to take a breath, step back and approach the issues
from a fresh perspective," they said.

While
some SOPA/PIPA opponents offered an alternative bill, the OPEN Act, which would
go at the issue by treating it as one of illegal imports and giving the
International Trade Commission the charter of going after such illegal imports,
that appeared to be more of a fallback position if PIPA/SOPA retained traction
on the Hill. A spokesman for Public Knowledge said the letter was a signal that
that, too, should be scrapped and legislators should "start from
scratch" to get "a better handle" on the issue.

The
letter came as Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who sponsored the bill, put
sections of the OPEN Act in "the cloud" for vetting by the public, which was
being billed as the first "public" markup of a bill.

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