White House opposes antipiracy legislation

Top White House officials said Sunday that they would oppose legislation that could force Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and other broadband ISPs to block access to websites that contain pirated movies and TV series.

"While we believe that online piracy by foreign Websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,"  U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President Aneesh Chopra said regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The letter was also signed by Victoria Espinel, intellectual property enforcement coordinator at Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and Howard Schmidt, a Special Assistant to the President.

Executives at News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA), Comcast and other media companies have been pushing Congress to pass SOPA, while Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and other Web companies have fought the legislation. Wikipedia says that it will shut down its English-language sites on Wednesday in protest of the legislation.

For more:
- see the White House statement
- the Washington Post has this story

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