SOPA Author: 'I Don't Mind Taking That On'
Lamar Smith seems unfazed by powerful opponents to piracy bill
By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2012 5:30 PM CST
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, in a 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Drew Angerer, File)

(Newser) – Rep. Lamar Smith, author of the fiercely controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, doesn't sound like he's bothered much by the heated opposition from e-powerhouses such as Facebook, Google, Reddit, and Twitter. "It is amazing to me that the opponents apparently don't want to protect American consumers and businesses," the Texas Republican tells Reuters. The SOPA bill, which would authorize the government to seek federal injunctions against foreign-based websites suspected of piracy, is still in committee hearings and could reach the House floor in a few weeks.

In the meantime, the rhetoric is only intensifying. Reddit, whose founder says SOPA would "obliterate the tech industry," pledges to go dark for a day next week in protest, and Google's Eric Schmidt has said it would "effectively break the Internet." Smith: "Are they somehow benefiting by directing customers to these foreign websites? Do they profit from selling advertising to these foreign websites? And if they do, they need to be stopped. And I don't mind taking that on."

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Jan 14, 2012 6:25 PM CST
Other countries are going to laugh at this legislation. But they think it will lead them to censoring the net here in the states. I don't think these Politicians are ready for the shit storm these hackers will rain down.
Jan 14, 2012 6:58 AM CST
Giving the feds the ability to control anything is ALWAYS the wrong move.... Where is a revolution when you need one. These ASSHOLES are completely out of control.
Jan 14, 2012 6:47 AM CST
Apparently, Agent Smith - I mean Representative Smith, you do not realize the full effect this bill will have on the internet as a whole. This act will not, in fact protect any industry as it is targeting piracy, an illegal activity that can easily go dark once faced with strong opposition, like the black market and drug trafficking. Meanwhile legitimate sites will become the target of pissed off corporations who are overprotective of their properties (Apple) or wish to censor bad reviews and public relations (any corporation or business you can think of). Secondly, protecting business and industry should not come before our First Amendment right to freedom of expression. Otherwise you might as well imprison any business that trash talks their competition.