WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 18) - Congressman Tim Griffin issued the following statement in announcing his withdrawal of support for the Stop Online Piracy Act:
"Stopping theft of American intellectual property by foreign rogue websites is critical to protecting American ideas and jobs. I co-sponsored SOPA because I firmly believe we must protect American ideas and innovation--the foundation of the world's greatest economy--and job creators in my district supported it.
"I welcome input on SOPA from all sides and have heard from many constituents loud and clear. I was hopeful we could revise SOPA to address the concerns raised, but that now looks improbable, if not impossible. While many claims being made in opposition to SOPA are addressed through proposed amendments and changes to the bill, my constituents have made it clear to me that they still oppose SOPA.
"I pledged to take a second look at SOPA, and I did just that. I also said that I would not support a bill unless my constituents are comfortable with it. And I won't. Recently, I have spoken with a number of constituents in person in Conway, Little Rock and around the District, and via Twitter and Facebook. In addition, I have received over 800 emails and over 250 telephone calls. I considered every constituent opinion expressed. In this case, I am convinced that there has to be a better vehicle to protect American intellectual property than SOPA. Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for SOPA and remove my name as a co-sponsor.
"It is time to press the reset button with regard to combating online theft. More work must be done by Members of Congress and the content and tech communities to reach consensus on this issue."
(Copyright 2012 Office of Tim Griffin)