Oklahoma lawmakers oppose Internet anti-piracy bills

Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation aren’t ready to support legislation that has spawned mass online protests and attacks by groups that say anti-piracy bills threaten free speech and the vitality of the Internet

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Published: January 22, 2012
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WASHINGTON — For Rep. Tom Cole, the math was pretty simple.

He had received hundreds of contacts in his office opposing legislation aimed at curbing online piracy but no letters backing the bill.

Supporters, he said,...

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at a glance
What lawmakers said
WASHINGTON — Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation commented last week on House and Senate bills to combat international Internet sites that traffic in copyrighted music, video and other content, or intellectual property.

The bills are known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa

“While I believe that the intellectual property rights of American companies deserve substantial protection under the law, S. 968, the PROTECT-IP Act, is not the answer to the problem of online counterfeiting and piracy.

“I share the concerns of America’s technology companies, industry leaders and the many citizens who have voiced their concerns to my office. It is clear to me that this bill will inflict too heavy a burden on third-party non-infringing entities and could do serious harm to one of the last vestiges that is relatively free from government regulation, the Internet.”

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne

“I cannot support H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011 in its current form. While I am a strong advocate for protecting intellectual property, I believe this bill allows the government to overstep its authority, and I have my doubts that this legislation will effectively protect intellectual property rights without compromising Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech.”

Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa

“I have heard from hundreds of my constituents over the past several days about their concerns with this legislation. As currently drafted, I have significant concerns that SOPA may limit free speech on the Internet. As we address legislation to protect intellectual property rights, Congress must be mindful that the bills intended to protect honest, American innovators are not doing more harm than good.”

Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau

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