I believe that online theft is a serious issue, and that Congress does need to make certain that the law adequately protects the interests of rights holders. Not only do we need to be concerned about intellectual property, such as movies and books, but also items such as counterfeit toothpaste or mouthwash from China that pose serious safety issues to all Americans. Because of this, I am a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act. I have listened to the concerns of many Georgians and I agree that these concerns must be addressed. Congress should avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences. However, as a co-sponsor I am in a better position legislatively to voice my concerns, and craft legislation that addresses Internet piracy while still protecting free and open access to the Internet. Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson posted his PIPA position to his website:"Johnny is a cosponsor of the Protect IP Act, commonly referred to as PIPA, the Senate bill that targets websites registered outside of the United States that are dedicated to infringing activities. It is specifically aimed at foreign criminals who steal American goods and content, sap the economy, and are a danger to consumers. The bill will not shut down sites such as YouTube. A rogue site is a foreign site with no significant purpose other than engaging in, enabling or facilitating copyright violations and/or trademark counterfeiting as defined under U.S. law; or is operated primarily as a means for engaging in, enabling, or facilitating copyright violations and/or trademark counterfeiting. Sites such as YouTube and Facebook receive safe harbor protection from the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Those safe harbor protections protect legitimate websites, not websites that are dedicated to theft and have no intention of complying with U.S. law. Additionally, the Attorney General must follow established due process and court approval. For domestic search engines and Internet service providers, the Attorney General cannot demand that they stop linking to foreign infringing sites."Stay connected to MySouthWestGA.com as this story develops and the Fox 31 Newscast at 10 P.M. We will have more coverage on PIPA and SOPA later today.
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