An increasing number of congressmen are coming out against measures designed to deter Internet piracy, including some Illinois congressional Republicans. U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) says Internet piracy is a problem that must be controlled, but not through the House-proposed Stop Online Piracy Act.
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“While I believe copyright infringement is an important issue that needs to be addressed online, these are not good pieces of legislation. That’s why I refuse to support or endorse them,” Schock said. U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) says the web protests raised awareness of the issue, and took a shot at Senate Democrats for favoring the Senate’s version, the Protect Intellectual Property Act. “The telephone boards in the Congress were swamped with calls. The leader of the Democrats in the Senate for the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Leahy, is the author of the SOPA companion PIPA in the Senate. A number of prominent Democrats are backing SOPA,” Kirk said. SOPA and PIPA seek to curb online piracy by a number of measures opponents say will hinder free speech. Among the most controversial, copyright holders would be able to essentially shut down web businesses by contacting their financial providers and advertisers, requesting access be cut off. Lawmakers will continue tweaking SOPA next month, but PIPA will come up for a vote in the Senate next week.