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Senator Ron Wyden Intros OPEN Act Legislation - Protect IP Alternative 

January 09, 2012

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) delivered the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate after cloture was invoked on the motion to proceed to the Protect IP legislation when the Senate returns from recess. Protect IP will do serious damage to the free and open Internet in order to combat infringement of intellectual property. Wyden has been a staunch opponent of the legislation and has offered an alternative – the OPEN Act – which will combat IP infringement without doing irreparable harm to the Internet.

“I understand that cloture has been filed on the motion to proceed to the PIPA legislation. As one of a bipartisan group of Senators who strongly objects to proceeding to this bill I believe it is important to begin to outline the very real dangers posed by this bill.

The primary architects of the Internet and our leading cyber-security experts have made it clear that this legislation will undermine the key technologies that prevent fraud and protect consumers on the Internet. Our nation’s leading first amendment scholars have made it clear that this bill poses a serious threat to speech and civil liberties for all who use the Internet. And our nation’s leading technology employers warn that this bill presents a clear and present danger to innovation and job growth in an area that is going to be a major source of new jobs for this century.

Along with Sen. Moran of Kansas and Sen. Cantwell of Washington, I have introduced the OPEN Act. we believe this is a reasonable and bipartisan alternative to the PIPA bill and to the legislation that is before the other body and we hope that the Senate will take the time to consider alternatives before taking action that could deal an enormous body blow to a vital job engine for our economy.

Over the past few weeks more than a million Americans have weighed in strongly in opposition to this legislation. Therefore, I will be working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle over the next month to explain the basis for this wide-spread concern and I intend to follow through on a commitment that I made more than a year ago, to filibuster this bill when the Senate returns in January.”

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