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Wyden puts the brakes on the Protect IP Act* again

John Moe May 27, 2011

Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) efforts to put the clamp down on websites that peddle counterfeit goods and pirated content just passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously this morning and now Sen. Wyden (D-OR.) has put a hold on the bill. Which means he doesn’t want the bill to come for a vote on the floor; if the Majority Leader does call the bill up for a vote, the Senator who put the hold on the bill can filibuster “any motion to proceed to consider the measure.”

Ars Technica has the explanation for the hold from Wyden’s office:
“In December of last year I placed a hold on similar legislation, commonly called COICA, because I felt the costs of the legislation far outweighed the benefits. After careful analysis of the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, I am compelled to draw the same conclusion. I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective. At the expense of legitimate commerce, PIPA’s prescription takes an overreaching approach to policing the Internet when a more balanced and targeted approach would be more effective. The collateral damage of this approach is speech, innovation and the very integrity of the Internet.”

*formerly known as COICA

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