White House: SOPA Does Not Support Innovation and Business

Recently, We the People distributed two online petitions: one about SOPA and the other about online piracy. The language included the following; “VETO the SOPA bill and any other future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information.”

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The White House has responded to the petitions through a written statement by Victoria Espinel, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at Office of Management and Budget, Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff. The group’s response included language stressing the importance of protecting online intellectual property so it doesn’t threaten an open and innovative Internet.

Here are some highlights from the response …

  • 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.
  • Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.
  • We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security.
  • Let us be clear—online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation’s most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs.
  • The Administration calls on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year that provides prosecutors and rights holders new legal tools to combat online piracy originating beyond U.S. borders while staying true to the principles outlined above in this response.  We should never let criminals hide behind a hollow embrace of legitimate American values.
  • We expect and encourage all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.
  • Rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right.

AOL (NYSE:AOL), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), Facebook, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Mozilla, IAC (NASDAQ:IACI), Twitter, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) continue to put massive weight behind the OPEN. Some sites including Google are threatening site blackouts in protest if SOPA gains legislative backing.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Debbie Baratz at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com