Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) today released the following statement regarding his opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act:

“I am committed to finding ways to more effectively protect American innovation that helps drive our economy, but I do not support the Stop Online Piracy Act as it currently stands. Intellectual property theft and piracy undermines our competitive advantage within the global economy, negatively impacts multiple sectors within Washington State and the national economy, and costs individuals and U.S. - based businesses of all sizes billions of dollars each year.

“It is vitally important that we protect the intellectual property of content providers in the United States from serious threats posed by online piracy, but it is also important to ensure innovators have the ability to continue creating, producing and sharing new ideas. SOPA, as it stands, would significantly prevent that from happening.

“Though intellectual property protection is critical, the policies proposed by the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) are troubling. There is great concern among technology professionals and Internet users that these measures, if enacted, would place unacceptable limitations on the accessibility of online information and content, impose undue burdens on small and innovative websites and applications, and would not be the most effective way to curtail overseas illegal piracy and theft of intellectual property.

“I appreciate the attention this issue has received and the focus on finding better ways to protect American innovation and creativity without impeding the historic strengths and benefits of the Internet. I look forward to working with my colleagues to balance these important priorities in future legislation.”