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PIPA BILL WITHDRAWN FROM SENATE VOTE

Senate Bill 968, Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA) which was up for vote has been withdrawn from the Senate floor consideration.

Here is a response from Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. She was not a co-sponsor of the bill, but, she did work in the interests of those who contacted her to vote against the passing of PIPA:

Dear Friend:
Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA).  The parallel, but not identical, legislation in the House of Representatives is H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  I welcome your thoughts and comments.
I did not cosponsor this legislation.  By letter, e-mail, and telephone call, thousands of constituents like you have highlighted the potential pitfalls in the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who was a strong supporter of PIPA, has withdrawn the bill from Senate floor consideration. I agree with this decision. Although there are legitimate issues to be addressed regarding so-called internet piracy, I believe that several provisions of the current legislation need to be clarified or revised.
Protecting intellectual property is more challenging than ever before.  For example, high speed broadband enables access to the entire catalog of movies, music, books, television, and technology.  These protections should not censor free speech, nor should they hinder innovation.
Online promotion of counterfeit goods by foreign entities is also a growing concern.  Assessing how to protect copyright, patent, and intellectual property rights — and doing so without infringing on consumers’ legitimate interests — requires dealing with a complex series of problems.
Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind should this bill or related legislation be reported to the floor for action by the full Senate.  I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.
Sincerely,
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510
202-224-5922 (tel)
202-224-0776 (fax)
And this recent response, e-mailed to me by Senator Cornyn, on January 26,2012:
Dear Ms. “Ann”:
Thank you for contacting me about the PROTECT IP Act of 2011 (S. 968).  I share your concerns regarding this legislation, and I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important issue.
The PROTECT IP Act of 2011 was introduced in the Senate on May 26, 2011, in an effort to counter the increasing number of websites, often foreign, dedicated to selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals, pirated copies of movies, music and other stolen property.  While I appreciate the intent of this legislation, and believe that Congress should exercise its constitutional authority to protect Americans’ property rights online, I have concerns that certain provisions of the PROTECT IP Act could lead to unintended consequences, including breaches in cybersecurity, damage to the integrity of the Internet, burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights.
In response, on January 13, 2012, I along with several of my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to Majority Leader Harry Reid expressing our concern that the PROTECT IP Act was moving too quickly.  We argued that it was necessary to hear from experts and build consensus before moving forward with this legislation.  On January 20, 2012, Majority Leader Reid complied with our request and announced the indefinite postponement of scheduled votes on the PROTECT IP Act.
I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate and you may be certain that I will oppose any legislation that will censor the Internet or otherwise infringe upon an individual’s First Amendment rights.  Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
Sincerely,
JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
(Post revised January 26, 2012)

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