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Price: SOPA Not 'Going Anywhere'

East Cobb-area Congressman says that controversial anti-piracy legislation is also causing "confusion" for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

As Wikipedia and other websites observed a 24-hour blackout on Wednesday, Congressional phone lines and inboxes began lighting up and filling up. 

Members of the U.S. House and Senate got the message about controversial anti-piracy legislation that appears to be stalled for now. 

In a battle that's been framed as Hollywood v. Silicon Valley, support was fading on Wednesday for passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act

That's because of intense pressure from Wikipedia, Google and other online companies and interest groups, which believe the bills will censor free speech on the Internet and harshly punish those who violate copyright infringement and other intellectual property and content laws. 

Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell), who represents East Cobb, Cherokee, north Fulton, Vinings and Dunwoody and is the House Republican Policy Committee Chairman, admitted the bills are bottled up for now: 

"There is real confusion about it, number one, but number two, there are real concerns about whether or not it would it would shutdown the ability of entrepreneurs, new businesses and the like to utilize the Internet for their purposes."

In addition to sites going dark, protests were held outside lawmakers' offices in Washington and elsewhere. Key senators in both parties withdrew their support for the bills, causing an outcry from pro-SOPA entities, including the Motion Picture Association of America, that the blackout protests are an "abuse of power."

So where does Price actually stand on the issue? The investigative news site ProPublica lists his position as "unknown." The same organization indicates that Georgia's two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of East Cobb, are supporters of the bills. 

In a posting Wednesday on his Congressional Facebook page, Price said only that "I appreciate the thoughts and concerns folks have been sharing regarding SOPA and PIPA."

But a commenter was frustrated with Price's reaction: "What are your thoughts, exactly? I didn't get a clear position from the article that you shared."

Another commenter, identifying himself as being from Cherokee County, wasn't subtle in issuing a threat to Price: "If you vote yes on this; I will be your worst nightmare. . . I am retired and I will make your defeat my FULL TIME JOB."

Tom Price's constituent January 19, 2012 at 11:14 AM
I like this piece. When it comes to controversial issues, politicians like to play both sides. For example, on the matter of torture they denounce the use of torture (which is against the law) but are for enhanced interrogation techniques (what a great grinchy lie). This article exposes Price's attempt at straddling the fence. Bravo to the Patch!

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