Dear Mr. Drang,
Thank you for contacting me this week about the internet streaming of copyrighted material. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.
I would like to give you an update as to where the proposed legislation is in the process. The Protect IP Act was scheduled to go to the Senate floor for a procedural vote on January 23, 2011. Due to the effective grassroots advocacy and public outcry against the bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has pulled the proposed legislation from the floor calendar.
I appreciate Senator Reid's decision to postpone a vote on the PROTECT IP Act. America's economy thrives on innovation and freedom of speech. We can't afford to rush an Internet policy that could trample on our innovation economy. This week, the American people clearly spoke and their voices were heard. As we move forward, I'll continue to advocate for a policy that protects both creative content and online freedom of speech.
Now, I encourage Congress to consider the OPEN Act, which addresses illegal piracy and security while keeping the Internet open for free speech and innovation. The OPEN Act would build on the existing legal framework for resolving unfair acts in the importation of articles, including those that infringe a valid and enforceable U.S. patent, copyright, or trademark. Through the International Trade Commission, violations of digital trade can be investigated and websites found to be "willfully" and "primarily" infringing on copyright material can be shut down. The ITC will create a transparent and adversarial process where all parties would receive due process and IP rules can be consistently applied. Neither the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House nor the Protect IP Act in the Senate allow for similar due process.
Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
United States Senator
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