The Corner

A SOPA Alternative?

From a Darrell Issa press release:

In response to the announcement that the Senate vote on PIPA will be postponed, as well as the announcement that the House’s SOPA markup will be postponed, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today made the following statement:

“Supporters of the Internet deserve credit for pressing advocates of SOPA and PIPA to back away from an effort to ram through controversial legislation,” Issa said. “Over the last two months, the intense popular effort to stop SOPA and PIPA has defeated an effort that once looked unstoppable but lacked a fundamental understanding of how Internet technologies work.

“Postponing the Senate vote on PIPA removes the imminent threat to the Internet, but it’s not over yet. Copyright infringement remains a serious problem and any solution must be targeted, effective, and consistent with how the Internet works. After inviting all stakeholders to help improve American intellectual property protections, I have introduced the bipartisan OPEN Act with Senator Ron Wyden which can be read and commented on at It is clear that Congress needs to have more discussion and education about the workings of the Internet before it moves forward on sweeping legislation to address intellectual property theft on the Internet. I look forward to working with my colleagues and stakeholders to achieve a needed consensus about the way forward.”

Issa and Senator Ron Wyden co-authored the OPEN Act with the input of the American public through a new Internet application called Madison. Unlike SOPA and PIPA, OPEN strengthens creative ownership protections in America while securing the open, accessible Internet taxpayers deserve.

OPEN is less problematic than SOPA — in particular, the former doesn’t seem vulnerable to the over-the-top allegations that plagued the latter. However, it would still have one of the problems pointed out in NR’s editorial: It relies on private companies to enforce the laws against illegal sites.

There’s a solid, critical analysis of OPEN here.


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