SOPA, PIPA spur open letter to Congress from 75-group coalition

The recent controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) legislation efforts have prompted an open letter beseeching Congress to halt its intellectual property lawmaking. The letter is signed by a coalition of 75 groups that includes not only internet companies such as Reddit and Mozilla but also human rights groups, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and other communities.

Although SOPA and PIPA appear to be shelved for the time being, the letter highlights concerns that Congress will continue to push similar measures. It asks Congress to take a new approach to the issues, saying that the concerns cannot be addressed by simply revising the bills or negotiated behind closed doors with a small set of stakeholders.

The letter further accuses Congress of taking a narrow, single-industry perspective on the intellectual property issues, siding with a small group of rights holders, such as the RIAA and MPAA, that believe the current laws are too weak. It insists that Congress must also consider how the current laws have been too prohibitive, undermining free speech and innovation.