CES 2012: Consumer Electronics CEO Blasts SOPA as Threat to Innovation and Freedom
By David Zielenziger | January 11, 2012 6:37 AM EST
Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro Tuesday denounced the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act pending in the U.S. Congress as "terrible," a "threat to innovation" and potentially destructive legislation.
Shapiro spoke before his Arlington, Va.-based trade group, which represents the $190 billion U.S. electronics industry, as it opened its International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
"The drafters of this legislation are profoundly unaware of how the Internet works," Shapiro told an audience of about 3,000 just before introducing Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs. He asked technology professionals to "fight this terrible, ill-intentioned bill."
SOPA is pending before the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
Shapiro, a former corporate lawyer, knocked SOPA's backers as "well-heeled copyright and patent lawyers who seek to inhibit free thought and speech," blasting broadcasters and publishers like News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Viacom that had originally propounded the law.
Indeed, executives of these companies are attending CES, showing off their programs, which can now be streamed or broadcast directly to smartphones, laptops and other products.
Shapiro lauded a competing bill, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN), co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Wyden is scheduled to address a private lunch convened by Shapiro in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Technology leaders including Google Chairman Eric Schmidt testified against the SOPA law before Smith's committee in November.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- Lunch with the Gods: Pope Francis Eats with Vatican Workers in Cafeteria
Join the Conversation
- Toyota Tops World Sales of Cars, Sells Over 5K Million Vehicles in First Half of 2014
- Man Swindles Apple for $309,768 in 16 States
- Air New Zealand Pays $1000 to NZ9 Passengers After Three-Night Delay
- Qatar's Surging Real Estate Prices Won't Affect Thriving Economy – Report
- Formula 1 Chief Sues Google over Sex Party Pictures
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Alpha Leaks Online: Release Date, Five Features to Wait for New Smart Phone
- Photos of Motorola Moto X+1 Prototype and Specs Leak Online, Release Date, Four Fresh Features Revealed
- Sony Xperia Z3: Release Date, Five Features to Expect from New Android Smart Phone
- 5 Food Scandals That Shocked The World
- Iran Leader Asks Muslims to Supply Arms to Palestine, Calls Israel ‘Rapacious Wolf’
- Nexus 6 Likely Confirmed as Motorola 5.9-Inch Phablet on Release Date – Report
- Apple on 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Release Will Not Happen Until 2015 with Stocks Poised to Soar