SOPA foes warn: Not much time left to act

Declan McCullagh
Thursday, January 12, 2012

Congressional foes of Hollywood-backed copyright legislation came to the Consumer Electronics Show today to warn technology companies that there’s not much time left to derail the controversial proposals.

The remarks from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) were meant to deliver a blunt warning: if you were intending to do anything about proposals to levy the equivalent of a death penalty on allegedly piratical Web sites, now’s the time.

“This is a crucial window here for those who want to see the Net come out of this debate without this enormous collateral damage caused by the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, Wyden said this afternoon. “We are not prepared to say that this juggernaut for innovation and freedom and citizen empowerment, the Internet, ought to be dealt such a serious body blow in the name of copyright.

As CNET was the first to report last month, major Web companies have mulled blackouts“a kind of nuclear option“in advance of a Senate floor debate beginning January 24 on its Protect IP bill. A House Judiciary debate on SOPA is expected to resume soon as well.

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