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The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act is pending legislation introduced in the aftermath of the controversial PROTECT IP (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bills, which were tabled due to widespread opposition on January 18, 2012.
Based on the premise that an open Internet is critical to economic and job recovery in the U.S., the OPEN Act was designed as an alternative to the more restrictive SOPA and PIPA.
The OPEN Act was introduced to Congress by Republican Senator Ron Wyden on December 17, 2011. On January 18, 2012, the Senate version of the bill was introduced by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa. Currently, the Senate version is with the Finance Committee. The House version was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Supporters of the OPEN Act contend that it would combat the unauthorized sale of digital works by protecting creative ownership, freedom of speech and security on an open Web through the use of International Trade Commission (ITC) laws and expertise geared toward fighting unauthorized digital goods from infringers outside of U.S. borders.