On Wednesday, Congressman Andrews voiced his strong opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). This bill would give the Attorney General of the United States the power to obstruct access to foreign websites on the internet accused of being "dedicated to the infringement of copyrighted material'. Sites accused of infringement may be defunded and removed from search engines before court hearings take place, according to the bill. One of the most important pillars of American values is the respect for due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a jury of peers.
While Congressman Andrews rejects SOPA, he also stands in strong support of the right of artists, musicians and filmmakers to protect intellectual property rights. Online piracy hurts not only the companies that undertake significant financial risk in the production of media, but it also reduces the number of jobs available to the thousands of middle class Americans all over the country that work in or help to support these industries. In addition it severely hurts artists' ability to produce future content. In the past, Congressman Andrews has voted to protect the rights of intellectual property, evidenced by his support for the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that criminalized the production or services or devices dedicated to stealing copyrighted content.
"SOPA does a disservice to freedom of the internet and its ability to innovate and create jobs suited for the modern world. We can afford neither," Congressman Andrews said. "We can protect the rights of creators without stifling freedom on the Internet."