As the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives considers the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) this week, there is a clear choice between targeting criminals or allowing them to reap profits at the expense of the American economy while preying on consumers through rogue websites.
Content producers want and need the Internet to flourish. Protecting copyrighted works is pro-Internet and pro-free speech. Copyright protection laws have allowed the Internet to grow and flourish. Going after rogue websites that profit from stolen American content and counterfeit goods will make the Internet safer for consumers and preserve American jobs.
What consumers look for is high quality entertainment that is produced by the content industry. Content producers and technology companies thrive and grow together when products like movies and television shows are distributed legally via the Internet.
Many opponents of the legislation have presented a false choice between copyright protection and free speech; content versus technology; Hollywood v. Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, these attacks are a distraction from the real harm caused by rogue websites that are violating current copyright law.
Stealing is not free speech and is harmful to the Internet. The Stop Online Piracy Act, like our copyright laws, promotes free speech and rewards creativity. Every day that Congress does not act rogue websites and companies profiting from these websites continue to reap financial gain at the expense of Americans’ jobs and safety.