Iowa Congressman, Bruce Braley, is speaking out against a controversial bill that seeks to stop the illegal sharing of music and movies on the internet. Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says his stance against the Stop On-line Piracy Act” or SOPA doesn’t mean he condones the illegal activity.
“The problem of on-line piracy is real and takes millions and billions of dollars away from American companies, so the fact that I am opposed to the bill does not suggest that I don’t recognize there’s a problem,” Braley says.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, said earlier this week he thinks the legislation is well meaning but needs some tweaking. Braley says he may have a disagreement with Grassley on “what constitutes a tweak.”
“I think that there are real serious problems with this bill. I think that good people can come together and protect the freedom of the internet, while at the same time cracking down on on-line pirates who are causing these problems,” according to Braley. “But it has to be done in a way that is sensitive to the freedom of the internet, and goes after the real target, that is people who are stealing intellectual property from American companies.”
Braley says he has heard from over 800 Iowans who have told him they are against SOPA, and he says the public outcry has had an impact on its future. “The people I talk with suggest that the Republicans who are in charge with moving this bill through the House Judiciary Committee were really caught off guard by the amount of opposition to this bill. So the question is whether they pull the bill to make to try to make significant changes to it, or they just give up and don’t do anything the rest of the year,” Braley said.
Several popular websites, including Wikipedia, went”dark” on Wednesday to protest this bill and another known as PIPA, or “Protect Internet Protocol.”