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SOPA Supporters Back Off After Websites Protest Bill

Wikipedia and other websites closed last Wednesday to protest the SOPA legislation. Photo by Victor Grigas, released through Wikipedia under CC attribution sharealike license.

By The Open Globe, Reprinted With Permission By The Raleigh Telegram

WASHINGTON DC – Several major US politicians who had supported the anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA publicly stated on last week that they no longer back the legislation, as an estimated 7,000 websites were shuttered in protest of the bills on Wednesday, January 18th.

Eight senators and congressmen said that they no longer support the bills, including two co-sponsors of PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act), the Senate version of the better-known SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).

PIPA co-sponsers Marco Rubio and Roy Blunt were joined in the Senate defection by Orrin Hatch and Ben Cardin; all but Cardin, a Democrat, are Republicans. In the House of Representatives, Republicans Ben Quayle, Lee Terry, Dennis Ross and Democrat Tim Holden said they had dropped their support for SOPA.

Rubio said in a statement on his Facebook page that he has “heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet.”

In the Senate, PIPA is scheduled to go to vote on January 24th.  Whether it has enough support to pass is now in question, as there are less than 40 co-sponsors of the bill in a 100-person chamber. SOPA progress has temporarily halted and work is planned to resume in February, according to Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith.

Wednesday also saw an estimated 7,000 or more websites at least partially shut down to protest SOPA/PIPA. Some major sites like Wikipedia, WordPress and Reddit shut down entirely, while others, like Google and Wired, placed black censored bars over parts of their homepages.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which represents Hollywood film companies and has been a consistent supporter of the SOPA/PIPA legislation, said that the websites’ actions were “irresponsible stunts.” The MPAA’s leader, former Senator Chris Dodd, said that the blackouts were an “irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them [involved websites] for information.”

The US Chamber of Commerce also made a statement of support for the bills, saying that they are “two pieces of legislation that are narrowly tailored and commercially reasonable for taking an effective swipe at the business models of rogue sites.” ::

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.theopenglobe.org

2 Responses to SOPA Supporters Back Off After Websites Protest Bill

  1. emmanuel goldstein

    January 23, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Chris Dodd is a worthless ***** whose found a new john, the mpaa. He failed miserably to prevent the credit bubble collapse and his tenure with the mpaa will br short lived as well. Sopa and pipa are totally unnecessary as the doj just shut down megaupload without these two draconian big brother here we come bills. Aren’t Hollywood movie stars making enough money as is? Tom cruise is a billionaire ..so is mel Gibson. Charlie when makes $2m per episode and you expect me to live in a totalitarian nightmare so those jet setters can buy another yacht? Get real!

  2. Javan

    January 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Orrin Hatch said it’s not yet “prime time” for this bill. This means it’ll have to pass with another “new years eve scandal.” Hatch has been in the Senate for 36 years now, this is what he thinks of the Internet: http://www.dethronehatch.com/orrin-hatch-is-no-friend-of-the-internet/