Originally published: April 9, 2012
Last updated: April 9, 2012 - 1:00pm
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) sponsor and defender Rep Lamar Smith (R-TX) just can’t let the ideas that led him to sponsor the bill die. Rep Smith, who is from Austin (TX), gave a few moments to a local community newspaper that I happened to see over the weekend. In it he pledged to deal with online piracy and called SOPA supporters misinformed.
In an interview with John Garrett, the publisher of Community Impact, Rep Smith said, “Well, SOPA is not going to rise again in its current form. I do think we have to address the current concerns. I still feel there is a serious problem with online piracy. And a lot of folks in Austin will agree, whether they are musicians who see their recordings stolen and downloaded for free … there are a lot of individuals who are hurt by online piracy. But there was also a lot of misinformation about this particular piece of legislation. The language of the bill clearly limited our concerns to foreign websites primarily engaged in illegal activity. When we would get calls at the office about, ‘You’re getting ready to shut down Facebook,’ or ‘you’re getting ready to stop Google,’ … no one had made a clear distinction between domestic websites and foreign websites primarily engaged in illegal activity. And we were simply overwhelmed by that misinformation.”
Hmmm, it seems as if Smith is a bit misinformed himself.
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