Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s postponement of a vote on the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), as well as the related announcement by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) of the postponement of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House:
“We appreciate the actions by Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Judiciary Chairman Smith for removing PIPA and SOPA from the agenda. PIPA and SOPA were overly broad bills that would have hurt legitimate businesses, hampered innovation and cost American jobs. We thank all members of Congress who spoke out against PIPA and SOPA.
“Innovation must be America’s economic strategy. It must not be blocked by one industry seeking to protect itself at the expense of another, especially when core American values are affected. This week millions of Americans declared their concern about the PIPA SOPA legislation and their support for the Internet and innovation. The record-setting volume of calls, tweets, posts and e-mails to Congress spoke to Americans’ willingness to engage in this debate to ensure the Internet remains open and vibrant.
“We want a smart and targeted solution to the issue of foreign ‘rogue’ websites that steal American trademarks and copyrights. We believe the OPEN Act can and should be passed immediately as it will allow copyright and trademark owners to act quickly against the worst foreign offenders. We urge the content community to embrace it immediately. We also invite discussions, privately and publicly, on the real issue of rogue websites stealing American trademarks and copyrights.”