Cable Show 2012: Protect IP, SOPA Defeat Jeopardizes Future Legislation

3:59 PM PST 05/21/2012 by Alex Ben Block

At the NCTA convention on Monday, a group of Congressional staffers acknowledged that new efforts to combat theft of intellectual piracy may face tougher challenges as a result of the decision.

BOSTON -- The failure of the Protect IP and SOPA legislation on Capitol Hill has evidenced greater repercussions than killing off legislation to combat theft of intellectual property by foreign pirates. Among legislators in Washington, it has become code for any bill that might spur a coalition of opponents from the industrial and private sectors.

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The reverberations of that legislation's failure was one of many topics discussed at a panel at the NCTA convention entitled "View From the Hill: Judiciary Committee Staffers on Communications Policy," in which a group of Congressional staffers examined the present and future of public policy.

“The way things ended very much poisoned the well,” said Rob Moore, general counsel for Senator Mike Lee, a conservative Republican. “It’s going to be tough to engage again…It’s certainly damaged goods in that respect.”

Although SOPA's failure has made efforts to advance anti-piracy legislation more difficult, panelists indicated that Congress still wants to address the issue.

Stephanie Moore, the Democrat’s chief counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, agreed that it would be difficult to pass such a broad bill again; but she was clearly angry about the way that the defeat came about.

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“What happened was a misinformation campaign,” said Moore. “People were basically misled into contacting Congressmen with claims that were extraordinary. There was some genuine concern, but as for it being a genuine home grown grassroots up-from-the-streets opposition, I beg to differ on that.”

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