January 20, 2012

Wyden and Moran Respond to the Postponing of Protect IP Vote in the Senate

Washington, D.C. – Following the announcement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the vote on the Protect IP Act scheduled for Tuesday will be postponed, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jerry Moran (R- Kan.) released the following statements. Wyden and Moran are the lead Senate co-sponsors of The OPEN Act, an alternative to Protect IP.

Senator Wyden’s Statement:

“Senator Reid’s decision to pull PIPA from the floor is the right one.  Legislation impacting the future of the Internet is simply too important to get wrong.

PIPA’s authors have been right to identify copyright infringement and the online sale of counterfeit goods as a problem that Congress should work to address.  The problem with the approach taken by PIPA and the House, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is that it treats the Internet as if its only purpose was to promote infringement.  That approach not only resulted in remedies that would have done irreparable harm to online innovation, openness and free speech, it neglects the considerable opportunities presented by today’s digital economy. 

Congress should take this opportunity to do more than work out a compromise bill, Congress should take this opportunity to gain a better understanding of the digital world and look for ways to both protect and promote digital trade and innovation.  I believe the OPEN Act is a good place to start.

But before we think about next steps, we should reflect on the history that was made this week.  More than 15 million Americans got involved in a policy debate demonstrating that even in the face of some of the biggest and most powerful special interests, every voice counts.”

Senator Moran’s Statement:

“Due to the strong opposition by so many Americans, Majority Leader Reid has withdrawn his plan to consider the Protect IP Act next Tuesday. This is the outcome so many of us have been working to achieve. I am grateful that citizens across this country have had their voices heard. In November, I joined forces with Senator Wyden as the first Republican Senator to oppose PIPA. We worked together to see that PIPA did not become law, and we were prepared to filibuster this legislation next week to keep it from coming to a vote.

“PIPA had support from many influential Senators and powerful interest groups, but the Majority Leader’s decision to withdraw it from the Senate calendar demonstrates the power of engaged citizens using the Internet. I will continue to work to protect the creative rights of those who innovate, but any solution to this real problem must also protect Americans’ freedom of speech and thought, safeguard internet security, and allow the internet to remain a driving force in American innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. I expect this threat to resurface and I will remain vigilant with Senator Wyden, Congressman Issa and others to make certain any bill that is brought up protects a free and open internet.”