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Public Statements

Congressman Cassidy Opposes SOPA and PIPA Legislation

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Popular websites like Wikipedia will shut down for 24 hours beginning at midnight on Wednesday, January 18th, to protest a bill making its way through Congress.

There are two bills, which essentially have the same language. The House bill is called SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act. It's similar to the Senate's, PIPA, Protect IP Act. IP means intellectual property, like movies, writing, or music copied and transmitted online without paying the people who created it.

"In its current form I won't support it but I do advocate there's a need for something. We just want to make something that doesn't limit our freedoms or hurt our economy," Baton Rouge Congressman Bill Cassidy said.

He says the measure is still in committee in the House, meaning it could be weeks before it hits the floor.

Hollywood studios and music moguls say piracy threatens their business. If PIPA and SOPA become law, Wikipedia, Google, Facebook and other popular sites say it would threaten their business. The sites would have to make sure users do not link to stolen content.

"Theft is theft in my opinion," said Chris Stelly, director of Louisiana Entertainment.

Stelly runs Louisiana's film industry. He says his office does not have an official stance on the issue, but he personally feels the issue is a catch-22.
"It's about protecting intellectual property. And at the same time making sure freedom of speech is not infringed upon," Stelly said.

If you visit the sites Wednesday, you may get an error message or messages urging you to oppose the bills in Congress. Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu both in statements to 9 News say there is a concern about piracy, but more discussions need to take place before a final vote happens.

Twitter's CEO, Dick Costolo, said Monday, "Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish."

Google will post a link to show its opposition to the bill.


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