Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, issued the following statement today regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), which are pending anti-online piracy bills in Congress.
"I support strong efforts to curb piracy and protect intellectual property, but SOPA and PIPA create unacceptable threats to free speech and free access to the internet," Larsen said. "I have heard from many of my constituents in Northwest Washington who are deeply concerned about the potential impacts of SOPA and PIPA. Online piracy is a serious problem that costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars. Government agencies must be empowered to stop and prosecute intellectual property thieves. But in doing so we cannot undermine freedom of speech or jeopardize the free flow of information on the internet. I will work with my colleagues to see that any final anti-online piracy legislation protects the internet and does not encroach on free speech rights. Until then, I will oppose SOPA and PIPA in their current forms."