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Groups ask Congress to "step back" from IP law proceedings

updated 09:30 pm EST, Mon February 6, 2012

Lawmakers asked to take "fresh perspective"

A long list of companies and organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Open Congress, have sent an open letter urging congressional lawmakers to take an entirely new approach to intellectual property law. The authors suggest concerns raised over SOPA and PIPA legislation are "too fundamental and too numerous" to be resolved through "hasty revisions" to the existing bills.

"Now is the time for Congress to take a breath, step back, and approach the issues from a fresh perspective," the letter says.

In a jab at numbers referenced by the RIAA and MPAA to support SOPA and PIPA, the letter warns that Congress should not "simply accept" industry estimates of infringement and economic implications. Lawmakers are asked to find "accurate and unbiased sources" before making decisions regarding the potential effects of new copyright laws.

"Too often, Congress has focused exclusively on areas where some rights holders believe existing law is too weak, without also considering the ways in which existing policies have undermined free speech and innovation," the letter adds.

Recent reports suggest SOPA supporters may have only made minor changes to the existing proposals, after online protests showed much stronger and widespread opposition than initially expected. It remains unclear if the legislation will be scrapped or merely amended before coming to a vote. [via The Verge]

by MacNN Staff



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