Dennis Ross Statement on Withdrawing his Support for SOPA

Statement

By:  Dennis Ross
Date: Jan. 20, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

"I've always believed in being a part of the solution. With that in mind, I originally co-sponsored SOPA with the hope of being able to shape a productive consensus amongst all parties that protected the freedom of the digital frontier and fulfilled our Constitutional duty to protect American intellectual property. As this debate has progressed, the legislation has changed and the gap between content creators and web innovators grew too large to bridge. All parties agree that the internet is an unprecedented tool for economic and political liberty. Additionally, all parties agree that the federal government must do all it can to fulfill its Constitutional duties, outlined in Article I, to 'promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.' I do believe the serious reservations my friends have raised about this legislation warrant greater deliberation and public input. I also know that Chairman Smith has worked tirelessly to satisfy critics of this legislation. While I will be removing my name as a co-sponsor of SOPA upon my return to Washington this week, I sincerely hope that the passion and collaboration demonstrated over the last week by those opposed to SOPA, will be turned into an equal passion and collaboration toward ensuring those who produce the wonderful digital content we enjoy, as well as products we buy, are protected, rewarded, and encouraged to continue their work. As we all know too well, there is no itunes without content and there is no innovation without freedom."