Press Release

January 13, 2012
Final legislation must balance freedom of the Internet with protections against piracy

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) released the following statement on S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PROTECT IP Act:

“I have heard from many constituents in person, online, and through calls and correspondence regarding the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).  Individuals and groups continue to meet with my staff and provide detailed information that is helpful as we seek to find a better path forward. There is a common awareness that something must be done to stop this theft of American intellectual property. 

“The Internet is the transformational tool that it is because of the freedoms it allows and the connections that it helps make possible. The reality is that Internet piracy costs America’s economy billions of dollars each year and hundreds of thousands of jobs. I believe that we can find a way to balance the very freedoms inherent to the online world with protections from illegal activity solely designed to steal or cheat.

“PIPA is narrowly tailored legislation that does differ from the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA); however, there are real concerns still to be addressed. For example, I was very pleased to hear that Senator Leahy has proposed further study of the potential impact on how ISPs respond to rogue websites, putting those provisions on hold.

“As the remaining portions of PIPA progress, I will continue to seek out meaningful amendments and alternative proposals to address the bill’s current flaws.  Since I am no longer a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, remaining a cosponsor of the bill provides me the opportunity to be an active participant in the process of addressing the most serious concerns raised by my constituents. I would not vote for final passage of PIPA, as currently written, on the Senate floor.”