House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today issued a statement in response to reports that some members have dropped their support of the Stop Online Piracy Act under pressure from critics of the bill.
Chairman Smith: "I realize some people are nervous because of misinformation about this bill, but I am confident that ultimately the facts will overcome fears. We will continue to work with members, outside organizations and stakeholders to reach consensus and produce strong legislation that protects both intellectual property and technology.
"Contrary to critics' claims, SOPA does not censor the Internet. It only targets activity that is already illegal, and only targets foreign websites that steal and sell America's technology, inventions and products. And it is similar to laws that already govern websites based in the U.S.
"I am open to constructive suggestions that protect American inventors and intellectual property rights holders. Unfortunately, some critics simply want to maintain the status quo which harms U.S. companies, consumers and innovators. Illegal piracy and counterfeiting cost the U.S. economy $100 billion and thousands of jobs every year. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while some of America's most profitable and productive industries are under attack.
"We need strong and effective legislation to protect American technology and put foreign thieves out of business. I will continue to work to address legitimate concerns and encourage members and stakeholders to provide substantive recommendations for how best to address the problem of online theft."