Today, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261), a bill that stops foreign online criminals from stealing and selling America's intellectual property and keeping the profits for themselves. According to estimates, IP theft costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. The Stop Online Piracy Act specifically targets foreign websites primarily dedicated to illegal activity or foreign websites that market themselves as such.
The bill ensures that profits from America's innovations go to American innovators. The Stop Online Piracy Act has 31 bipartisan cosponsors.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): "There is a vast virtual market online run by criminals who steal products and profits that rightly belong to American innovators. These foreign rogue websites not only steal movies and music, they offer counterfeit medicine, automobile parts and even baby food, which harm American industries and put American lives at risk.
"Because the U.S. produces the most intellectual property, our nation has the most to lose if we fail to address the problem of rogue sites. The Stop Online Piracy Act stops foreign rogue websites from taking jobs and profits away from America's innovators. The bill's broad bipartisan support shows Congress's commitment to combating rogue sites and ensuring that profits go to American innovators, not criminals who steal our products and damage our economy."
Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.): "Today's markup is a victory for American artists and jobs. Online property crime robs American artists and harms American consumers, and the Stop Online Piracy Act provides important tools to safeguard our jobs and property."
IP Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.): "Intellectual property is one of America's chief job creators and competitive advantages in the global marketplace, yet American inventors, authors, and entrepreneurs have been forced to stand by and watch as their works are stolen by foreign infringers beyond the reach of current U.S. laws. The Stop Online Piracy Act will update the laws to ensure that the economic incentives our Framers enshrined in the Constitution over 220 years ago - to encourage new writings, research, products and services - remain effective in the 21st Century's global marketplace, which will create more American jobs."
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.): "As a co-chair of the Congressional Anti Piracy Caucus, I know how hard it is to safeguard our Intellectual Property from foreign rogue websites, and as a Representative from Los Angeles, I know what it costs us in terms of well-paying jobs. The Stop Online Piracy Act is a huge step forward, giving legitimate creators a fighting chance against foreign rogue websites who steal their work."
Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.): "Online piracy by foreign websites is a $100 billion a year assault on our already wounded economy. I can't sit idly by when millions of American jobs -- including those in Nevada's gaming technology industry -- are threatened like this. SOPA provides greater protections for targets of online piracy and helps shield American consumers from dangerous counterfeit goods, such as pharmaceuticals."
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.): "SOPA protects American ideas and saves American jobs lost through online theft. There is no difference between stealing a DVD from a store and stealing a copyrighted movie from the Internet. Our founding fathers understood the importance of protecting intellectual property to ensure fair competition in a free market, and they authorized Congress to protect it in Article I of the U.S. Constitution. American ideas and innovation are the foundation of the world's greatest economy. I support SOPA because it's a narrowly tailored bill that targets foreign-based rogue websites in order to protect American ideas and American jobs."
Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY): "What we are doing here is applying the same legislative policy that we do to the importation of pirated goods, which is set forth in the Lanham Act. The goal of this bill is to stop the theft of intellectual property just like we work to prevent the importation of knock-off goods into the United States."
Background information on the Stop Online Piracy Act:
The Stop Online Piracy Act targets foreign web sites that steal and sell America's intellectual property and keep the profits for themselves. The manager's amendment, introduced on Monday, is the result of work with additional groups and stakeholders to address technical concerns with the first draft. The bill takes legitimate concerns into consideration, while still providing strong tools to fight foreign rogue sites. The resulting bill improves the legislation, increases industry support, and ensures the protection of American innovation and jobs.