Senators Toomey and Casey,
I've written to you previously regarding PIPA. I am a Republican and small business owner in Northumberland County. I make my living directly by selling products and services from my home in Pennsylvania.
Many of my products are electronically published products, and I have personally seen my products pirated. I do understand and respect how destructive piracy and counterfeit goods can be.
Our country is unique in that our ability to speak, write, and share information is virtually unbridled, particularly online. I would rather live in a country where piracy and counterfeit goods were rampant, than one without easy access to free speech, free protest, and the right to assemble.
I hate the messages displayed by the Westboro Baptist Church. I dislike many of the actions of so-called political advocates who claim to represent the universal viewpoints of both Democrats or Republicans. However, I would defend their right to do so without hesitation in both cases.
The music, film, television, banking and sports entertainment industries have lots of money at stake because of piracy and counterfeit goods. I understand their plight, and for the most part, hope they continue to thrive financially. At no point, however, should our ability as citizens to create original content and share that content with others be hampered.
Supporters of bills that influence control over the Internet are doing so to squelch competition. Supporting these bills is anti-capitalist and anti-democratic.
I urge you not to support PIPA, or similar bills that will inevitably follow.
Additionally, I encourage you to speak out in favor of a free Internet. Make sure that it's known that our elected officials are not available for hire, when it comes to hampering the freedoms America holds dear.
Sincerely, Jason Tweed
Father, business owner, husband, and voter.