BLOG: Brown favors SOPA and PIPA, Kaptur and Latta oppose

Tom Jackson
Jan 19, 2012


(Updated with Sherrod Brown statement). Many of the Internet's most popular sites, such as Wikipedia and Boing Boing, have gone black today to protest SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Supporters say the bill is necessary to stop online piracy of movies, music, etc.; opponents say it invites government censorship and restriction of the Internet.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is a SOPA supporter. In fact, he's signed on as a co-sponsor of PIPA, a similar bill. So far, I have not been able to find a statement from Brown on the subject. A web site says it has caught Brown violating Google's copyright.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, and U.S. Rep Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, have both come out against SOPA.

Kaptur: "The Internet must remain free from government interference. Of course I support the protection of copyrights, but we have seen what government interference has meant in countries such as China, Iran and Syria. The SOPA is poorly crafted and ultimately threatens free speech."

Latta: "SOPA and Protect IP Act are well-intentioned proposals that attempt to address online piracy concerns; however, in their current form the legislation goes too far. The proposals can present damaging ramifications to free speech, global cybersecurity and Internet functionality. At this time, I do not support SOPA and Protect IP Act in their current form, and I hope further committee hearing will be held to resolve these concerns."

If/when I get comments from Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, I will update. 

UPDATE: Brown now says he is searching for "middle ground."

Statement from his press secretary, Allison Preiss: "Sen. Brown believes that we must find a middle ground that combats online piracy while protecting innovation and free speech. He wants to be sure the legislation is targeted at foreign rogue sites that sell knock-off pharmaceuticals, scam consumers and cost U.S jobs rather than sites that drive American innovation."

UPDATE II: Preiss said that Brown's Web site always included attribution.

"The image in question is a rotating thumbnail image from our homepage that links to a larger map with full Google attribution, both in text and in the embedding code," she said.

A screen shot shows that Brown's office added a plainly-visible attribution after the original report appeared. Google's policy requires attribution "readable to the average reader or viewer."



Gee, is this an election year? Kaptur's response sure confirms it!!! Leave it to Mr. Connie Schultz for supporting it!!


Bottom line is, the internet is like a balloon, squeeze it here, and it will bulge somewhere else in response.


@ big_d: Nice anology! Kinda' like a Radpublicans' "bottomline" mentality.

Mr. Connie Schultz, hahaha…easy to guess he sponsored this. So the AFL-UFO supports this bill also? Why do I not find that surprising.

Both measures seem overly simplistic and ripe for abuse, it strikes me that whoever crafted them didn't have an adequte base in technology.  While they may well be playing politics (imagine that) the statements by Kaptur and Latta are accurate.  Brown backing off in his latest declaration?!  He must have heard from the electorate.  Is it possible he is waffling? 


@wetsu: Atta girl!


limit the use of the internet to americans while the rest of the world abuses it. yea, right!

FruGalSpender Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S. the congress members with greasy palms will be voting not for americans but for those who pay under the table.


china and other countries pirate and copy clothing, movies, music, watches and high dollar items and then sell them all over the world. look at all of the copy cat crap that china sends to america after violating copyright material and patents. vote out those in congress who refuse to listen to americans.


@frugalspender: Since when does Congress listen to the American public? ( get my applause.)


Free speech comes in many formats. Why should the public suffer while everyone can come, go, do and say whatever they want? Why not use existing bills already on the books and prosecute the _ell out those who violate the law? (That includes, most of all,.....politicians.)

BW1's picture

pntbutterandjelly: Why not use existing bills already on the books

Because they don't adequately serve the rent-seeking MPAA and RIAA in protecting  their 1950's business model from obsolescence


SOPA and PIPA are both nasty pieces of work. In fact, the DNS blocking technologies specified is IDENTICAL to that used in China. You know, that bastion of freedom out east?

If you want to be able to keep expressing your opinions freely (and no, it doesn't matter whether I agree witih that opinion or not), this is one time you need to use your computer (or phone or pen-and-paper) for something to defend that right. It is no exaggeration to suggest that these measures, if implemented, would severely curb that right and dramatically undermine the utility of the Internet.

Nobody supports copyright infringement or the theft of intellectual property. Nobody is defending foreign citizens or countries that engage in abuse. But SOPA and PIPA won't do much to stop them, even as they cause tremendous damages all their own. Who will end up being punished? Not the bad guys. US. In fact, you'll be punished even if there's no way for you to have known you did anything wrong!

Some good information as well as everything you need to take action is available at the Downsize DC Website. The direct link to the relevant page is

6079 Smith W

"Did you really think we want those laws observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against...

We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.

Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone?

But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

('Atlas Shrugged' 1957)


Increasingly the feds are throwing out the age old judicial concept of "mens rea" (intent). They can convict you for merely commiting the act, not just your "intent."

Didn't know that you were breaking a federal law? Too bad. You're guilty, convicted, fined and/or imprisoned.




if this bill passes, people will wonder why someone else didn't do something. people are too busy with their materialistic lives and expect others to do their complaining. those gas holes in washington don't care about american people or american business. they care more about themselves and lobbyist friends and what is in for them. we no longer have public servents. we have become a nation of serfs who must obey those in authority. the serfs must obey the new light bulb law. next the serfs must obey what they can use the internet for. mean while the materialistic people will continue buying pirated goods from china and the gas holes in washington look the other way.