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This letter was sent by OpenCongress user pavementends42 on November 02, 2011 in opposition to H.R.3261 Stop Online Piracy Act.
A public message by pavementends42

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H.R.3261 Stop Online Piracy Act

I am writing as your constituent in the 3rd Congressional district of Maryland. I oppose H.R.3261 - Stop Online Piracy Act, and am tracking it using, the free public resource website for government transparency and accountability.

Current laws should be sufficient to protect 'intellectual' property moving forward. Do not allow yourselves to be pressured by greedy entertainment lobbies that want you to manipulate the changing market and mold it to suit how they want to operate, rather than operate how the demand and market are suggesting.

This is backwards economics (suiting the market to the companies that stand to benefit) and a dangerous precedent that gives DoJ a broad stroke power to force the blockage of sites based only on their discretion. The streaming content provisions, as they stand, could adversely effect most user-generated content, and could potentially cripple many popular online applications, causing loss of jobs, loss of viable ad space and over-burden current businesses with sorting and filtering through user-generated content.

Please, do your part to keep the internet free of DoJ intervention. Keep the internet free of such sweeping regulations that would fundamentally change the way we are allowed to use the internet! Thank you.

Sincerely, Aaron Pratt

This letter was a reply from the office of Benjamin L. Cardin on November 02, 2011.
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This letter was a reply from the office of John P. Sarbanes on November 02, 2011.
Reply from Congressman John Sarbanes

Thank you for contacting my office. I look forward to responding shortly.

In the meantime, please subscribe to my periodic newsletter, the Sarbanes Standard at, so that I am able to provide you with important updates about the Congress throughout the year.


John Sarbanes

This letter was a reply from the office of John P. Sarbanes on November 04, 2011.
Reply from Congressman John Sarbanes

November 4, 2011

Dear Mr. Pratt:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the prospective legislation to curb online theft of intellectual property. I appreciate hearing from you about this important issue.

Online commerce should not be a mechanism for abusive business practices, violations of individual privacy rights or copyright infringement. Intellectual property and privacy laws should apply to all forms of commerce. I am privileged to serve on the House Committee on Science and Technology, the committee with jurisdiction over technology policy, and I will be certain to keep your views in mind when the Committee or the full House of Representatives considers these issues in the future.

Again, I appreciate hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact me about other issues of concern to you in the future.


John Sarbanes

Member of Congress

This letter was a reply from the office of Barbara A. Mikulski on November 15, 2011.
Protect IP Act

Dear Mr. Pratt:

Thank you for writing to me about copyright law. It's good to hear from you.

The PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) would give the Department of Justice (DoJ) authority to identify and take legal action against websites that market counterfeit or pirated goods.

I understand your concerns about this bill. Copyright laws are supposed to protect the creative property of artists, and it is important that these laws be followed. However, I agree that any efforts to strengthen the protection of copyrighted materials must be well planned, avoid unintended consequences, and must not stifle free speech or innovation.

S. 968 has been passed out of the Judiciary Committee and is awaiting action by the full Senate. Knowing of your views is helpful to me, and I will keep them in mind as Congress continues to debate this issue.

Thanks once again for writing. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in the future.

Sincerely, Barbara A. Mikulski United States Senator

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Note to Congressional staff & elected officials reading this: this letter was sent through Contact-Congress features on, a free public resource website, but in the future we seek to compel the U.S. Congress to adopt fully open technology for constituent communications. For more information how your office can better handle public feedback through an open API and open standards, contact us -- even today, there are significantly more efficient and responsive ways for our elected officials to receive email feedback than the status quo of individual webforms. For greater public accountability in government, we must make the process of writing one's members of Congress more accessible and empowering. Looking ahead, we will release more data from Contact-Congress letters and Congressional response rates back into the public commons. This will result in a new open data source on bills & issues people care about, as well as encourage best practices in constituent communications and make it possible to grade members of Congress on their responsiveness & citizen satisfaction.