SOPA and PIPA Effectively Killed by Internet Lashback and Blackouts

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The Internet protests to the proposed anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA, including the ‘blackouts’ by sites like Wikipedia, and protest-filled homepages of sites like Craigslist, have had a real impact. So real, in fact, that the status of SOPA and PIPA is that they are now effectively dead.

SOPA and PIPA were backed by, of course, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), along with several key legislators. As of this morning, many of those legislators have withdrawn their support.


Florida Senator Marco Rubio withdrew his support for PIPA, saying that “I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the internet.”

And Senator Roy Blunt explained that “I continue to believe that we can come to a solution that will cut off the revenue sources for foreign websites dedicated to counterfeiting and piracy that steal American jobs, hurt the economy, and harm consumers. But the PROTECT IP Act is flawed as it stands today, and I cannot support it moving forward.”

One of the bigger issues that Internet companies and technologists had with SOPA and PIPA as they were worded was that the bills would have made it too easy for a complainant to force Google or other Internet providers to knock a site offline with allegations that the site was hosting infringing material (hence the demostrative blackouts – removal of sites – yesterday). The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) currently requires the site to remove the material; opponents of SOPA and PIPA said that requiring the entire site be taken down – especially prior to a full inquiry or court adjudication – went way too far.

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Observes John Feehery, a legislative aide who has worked at the MPAA, “The problem for the content industry is they just don’t know how to mobilize people. They have a small group of content makers, a few unions, whereas the Internet world, the social media world especially, can reach people in ways we never dreamed of before.”

“This has been a real learning experience for the content world,” Feehery added.

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One thought on “SOPA and PIPA Effectively Killed by Internet Lashback and Blackouts

  1. it is most surely NOT dead – it is merely postponed til later – when with a few minor tweaks it can be slipped through when people are so busy celebrating their victory that no one will be looking. Anyway what sort of values do people have now – they bring in a law that says you can be imprisoned without trial indefinitely ( but by the military – so your rights dont apply) and there is not a word of protest… BUT threaten the net and the outcry is immediate, organised and so effective… I fear for this society

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