I am writing to you today in regard to the proposed legislation H.R. 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate bill S. 968: Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011, known colloquially as SOPA and PIPA, respectively.
A long time ago, some people sought to restrict the free exchange of information as it was deemed a threat to their power. They wouldn't let certain books be read by most people and several copies of "controversial" books were burned. I can't remember any of the details. Normally, I would look it up on Wikipedia, but, it is down today. If memory serves, I think they were called Nazis. I know this anecdote may seem a bit satirical, but I wanted to, at once, illustrate how important I believe the free exchange of information is in society and the historical consequences of the restrictions thereof.
It has always been my understanding that we have rights in this country protecting the free exchange of information via freedom of speech and freedom of the press. These rights have existed concurrent to private property rights since the founding of this country. If these acts or any other manner of sweeping legislation is passed to protect copyrighted material and IP and upheld via the judiciary, then I feel that we will have truly "crossed the Rubicon" and our country and home will no longer be recognizable as a free and independent republic.
For the good of the country and in the names of all those who have fought and died to protect our rights, I feel that people should speak out against legislation such as SOPA and PIPA.
I urge you to protect our rights by doing all you can to vote against the passage of SOPA, PIPA and similar bills. I also encourage you to dissuade your colleagues from supporting these bills.
Thank you for your time and service.