House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has issued a statement in response to the Senate decision to postpone consideration of legislation to help combat online piracy. While Chairman Smith says he agrees that the problem of online piracy may be too big to ignore, he says the House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution. He has also invited responses from organizations and individuals who have “an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem.”
Following are excerpts from the statement, which you can find here.
Chairman Smith: It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.
The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 per cent of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.
The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store. It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.
The Committee will continue work with both copyright owners and Internet companies to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property. We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem. The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.