South Dakota representatives distance themselves from online piracy bills

2012-01-19T05:30:00Z 2012-02-09T02:51:36Z South Dakota representatives distance themselves from online piracy billsDavid Montgomery Journal staff Rapid City Journal
January 19, 2012 5:30 am  • 

South Dakota's representatives in Congress distanced themselves Wednesday from two bills targeting online piracy that have sparked a fierce Internet backlash.

The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Internet Property Act are the House and Senate versions of a proposal to give government and copyright holders more tools to target websites accused of facilitating copyright infringement.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., is a co-sponsor of PIPA who stands behind the need for new legislation.

"At the heart of the issue, it's about protecting American goods from being pirated by rogue foreign websites," Johnson said.

But Johnson said in a statement that he has asked Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the lead sponsor of PIPA, "to refine the bill and work with stakeholders to ensure their concerns are heard."

Johnson also said he has more problems with SOPA, the House version.

Neither Sen. John Thune nor Rep. Kristi Noem, both Republicans, have expressed concerns about the legislation.

"While critical reforms need to be made to put an end to online piracy, I do not believe PIPA, in its current form is the appropriate solution," Thune said in a statement.

Thune said he would work to alter the bill. But absent "fundamental changes," Thune said he would vote to block PIPA from being approved by the Senate.

Noem is hoping for a compromise, her spokesman, Joshua Shields, said in an e-mail.

"She hopes the two sides can hammer out their differences on this legislation and come to a compromise that creates new tools to fight piracy without creating a chilling effect on Internet entrepreneurs and web developers," Shields said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact David Montgomery at 394-8329 or


Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. Inthemiddle
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    Inthemiddle - January 19, 2012 1:55 pm
    I recently found out the CEO and Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America requested this legislation from the start. Reading where 196th mentions Johnson being wrong (as he is a sponsor) make all the more sense. Why? The CEO/Chairman of the MPAA happens to no other than the former Democratis Senator from Conn. Chris Dodd. Unbelievable.
  2. Progstopper
    Report Abuse
    Progstopper - January 19, 2012 9:28 am
    196th I agree. I suggest you contack Thune also. I have contacted both senators.
  3. 196thlightinfantry
    Report Abuse
    196thlightinfantry - January 19, 2012 8:49 am
    I am reading between the lines with Thune and have made the call that he will vote against it if his bosses tell him so. Johnson, on the other hand, is wrong as two left feet on this and I have sent him calls and emails regarding why I feel that way. It looks like he is not going to change unless we make him. If you do not know what this is, educate yourselves, it is a very dangerous control that could be put on the internet, we certainly do not need that.
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