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Sen. Al Franken

Democrat from Minnesota

Update (1/20/2012): SOPA and PIPA have been indefinitely postponed; see statements by Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Lamar Smith.


Stance on PIPA
Years served in Senate
% Votes with Party
Official homepage
Phone 202-224-5641
Office 309 Hart Senate Office Building

Financial Contributions by Industry

This reported campaign contributions information comes from the OpenSecrets/Center for Responsive Politics API (read more about their campaign-contributions-per-industry API). You can also visit the OpenSecrets profile for Sen. Franken.

Industry Election Cycle Amount
Computers/Internet 2010 $30,300
2008 $183,726
TV/Movies/Music 2010 $88,900
2008 $781,518

Timeline: Sen. Franken and PIPA

A list of statements and legislative actions made by Sen. Franken relating to PIPA. Contact us at sopa[at] if you have additions or corrections.

Jan 20, 2012 Blog post defending PIPA

As someone who has worked hard to protect net neutrality, I understand as well as anyone the importance of keeping the Internet free from undue corporate influence. There are millions of Americans who rely on a free and open Internet to learn, communicate with friends and family, and do business.

At the same time, there are millions of Americans whose livelihoods rely on strong protections for intellectual property: middle-class workers — most of them union workers — in all 50 states, thousands of them here in Minnesota, working in a variety of industries from film production to publishing to software development.

If we don’t protect our intellectual property, international criminals — as well as legitimate businesses like payment processors and ad networks — will continue to profit dishonestly from the work these Americans are doing every day. And that puts these millions of jobs at serious risk.

That’s reason enough to act. But these criminals are also putting Minnesota families in danger by flooding our nation with counterfeit products — not just bootleg movies and software, but phony medications and knockoff equipment for first responders.

We cannot simply shrug off the threat of online piracy. We cannot do nothing.

I have supported the approach Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has taken in crafting legislation to respond to the threat of online piracy — and I appreciate his leadership on this important issue.

But I’ve also been listening carefully to the debate — and to the many Minnesotans who have told me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and good old fashioned phone calls that they are worried about what this bill would mean for the future of the Internet.

Frankly, there is a lot of misinformation floating around out there: If this bill really did some of the things people have heard it would do (like shutting down YouTube), I would never have supported it.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take seriously the concerns people have shared. And if holding off on this legislation gives us an opportunity to take a step back and try to bring everybody back to the table, I think it’s the right thing to do. This is a difficult issue, and also an important one. It’s worth getting this right.

I strongly believe that we need to protect intellectual property – and protect the free and open Internet. I think most people, even those who have expressed concern about this particular bill, agree. And it’s my hope that we can now build a stronger consensus around how to accomplish these two important goals.

Dec 16, 2011 Letter to constituent Christopher Bryant
"We must protect American jobs from piracy, which has become rampant on the Internet. We don’t tolerate shoplifters in stores and we should not tolerate them online. The PROTECT IP Act would authorize only the Attorney General to seek a court order to block foreign websites whose primary purpose is to sell or distribute pirated goods. Right now, a company has no way to enforce its rights if it finds that its products are being pirated or counterfeited on a website hosted overseas. The PROTECT IP Act gives the Attorney General (and not private companies) jurisdiction over foreign websites."
May 26, 2011 Votes to move PIPA out of committee
Part of unanimous vote of approval by Senate Judiciary committee to move PIPA forward.
May 12, 2011 Co-sponsors PIPA
Feb 16, 2011 Prepared Statement to Senate Committee on the Judiciary, re: Targeting Websites Dedicated to Stealing American Intellectual Property
"Every year, American industry loses tens of billions of dollars as a result of online sales of copyrighted content and counterfeit goods. That's not just profit in the pocket of a movie producer or music mogul. It comes out of the pockets of the hundreds of crew and craft services staff who work on these movies and television shows."
Nov 18, 2010 Votes to move COICA out of committee
The Senate Judiciary committee voted unanimously to move COICA forward.

See a complete list of actions and statements by members of Congress