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January 23, 2012

Editorial Commentary: PRSA Voices Opposition for SOPA and PIPA Antipiracy Bills — New York Times Letter to the Editor

In a Jan. 23, 2012, letter to the editor of The New York Times, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) expresses its opposition to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). In the letter, PRSA states, in part, that the current forms of the bills “overreach” and “threaten the innovation and development of the Internet.”
 
PRSA issued a statement Jan. 18, 2012, in opposition of SOPA and PIPA.
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Published: Jan. 23, 2012

To the Editor:

Re “Online Piracy and Political Overreach” (editorial, Jan. 19):
 
We agree that legislators’ “newfound caution about the potential consequences” of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect I.P. Act offers encouragement that a workable compromise can be found that meets the competing interests of copyright owners and technology companies.
 
We respect the protection of a company’s or an individual’s intellectual property rights, while also firmly believing in the freedom of expression and the continuation of an open and unrestricted Internet. As such, we oppose the bills, believing that they overreach and threaten the innovation and development of the Internet.
 
Consumers should have access to legitimate content. Copyright owners should have practical means of protecting their works that also consider and serve the public interest. And technology companies should be free from undue legal or regulatory burdens.
 
It is our hope that lawmakers will not impede the growth of the Internet or the public’s access to online content by passing laws that aim to censor and unnecessarily target content providers and search engines in an arbitrary and capricious manner.
 
GERARD F. CORBETT
Chairman and Chief Executive
Public Relations Society of America
New York, Jan. 19, 2012

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