Timeline: Rep. Smith and SOPA
A list of statements and legislative actions made by Rep. Smith relating to SOPA.
Contact us at sopa[at]propublica.org if you have additions or corrections.
Jan 20, 2012
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products...The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution."
Jan 18, 2012
Quoted in the New York Times
From the Times: Rep. Smith said opposition Web sites were spreading “fear rather than fact.”...“When the opposition is based upon misinformation, I have confidence in the facts and confidence that the facts will ultimately prevail."
Jan 17, 2012
Announces SOPA markup is expected to resume in February.
“Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February...I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property."
Jan 13, 2012
Announces that DNS blocking will be removed from SOPA
"After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision. We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers."
Dec 29, 2011
Letter to Politico
"Perhaps [critics] don’t want to be held accountable for directing consumers to illegal websites...[Google] recently paid $500 million to settle a criminal case because of the company’s active promotion of foreign rogue pharmacies that sold counterfeit and illegal drugs to U.S. patients. Their opposition to this legislation is self-serving since they profit from doing business with rogue sites that steal and sell America’s intellectual property."
Dec 15, 2011
Statement during House Judiciary committee markup of SOPA
"The bill in Congress now, critics say, goes much too far...The Internet’s potential … could be crippled...[The bill] could... turn out to be the executioner of the Internet’s real promise.' With all the strident and unfounded claims that have been made about H.R. 3261, the 'Stop Online Piracy Act,' one can be forgiven for thinking those words were written about [SOPA]. But those words were published 15 years ago. And the bill that critics targeted for defeat was the measure that eventually was signed into law as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or the DMCA."
Dec 14, 2011
Op-ed in The Hill
"The recently introduced manager’s amendment to the Stop Online Piracy Act makes clear that the legislation specifically targets the worst-of-the-worst foreign rogue websites. Legitimate and lawful websites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have nothing to worry about under this bill."
Dec 1, 2011
Op-ed in the National Review
"This bill does not allow anyone to seek an order to block any website. It affords the same due-process protections provided in all civil litigation in federal courts. If a federal judge agrees that the website in question is dedicated to illegal and infringing activity, then a court order can be issued directing companies to sever ties with the illegal website."
Oct 26, 2011
Introduces the H.R.3261 Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to House
Apr 4, 2011
"From movies and music to software and medicine, IP theft drains our economy and puts lives at risk. We must do more to combat the theft, marketing and distribution of America’s intellectual property to ensure that the profits and jobs these industries generate stay here at home. If we can reduce the impact of IP theft on the U.S. economy, we can not only save jobs, we can gain jobs."
See a complete list of actions and statements by members of Congress