01.19.2012 in Featured, Politics by Robert Romano 15

SOPA Support Implodes

By Robert Romano — It is telling that on the same day the Wall Street Journal published a lead editorial in favor of legislation that would censor the Internet in the name of protecting copyright that the bill lost no less than 14 previous backers, who dropped their support of the legislation.

Eight were in the Senate alone, including Senators Marco Rubio, Jim Inhofe, John Cornyn, Orrin Hatch, John Boozman, David Vitter, Kelly Ayotte, and Roy Blunt. On the House side, former cosponsors Representatives Ben Quayle, Lee Terry, Dennis Ross, Steve Scalise, Tim Griffin and Tim Holden also bolted from a bill that can only be said to be imploding.

What was behind the defections? A flood of thousands of emails and phone calls from concerned Americans, prodded on by super-popular websites like Wikipedia.org that went dark on Jan. 18 in protest of the legislation. Instead of being able to look up information, the thousands of sites that went black urged regular users to contact their Senators and Congressmen in opposition to the bills.

It appears to be working, and more defections are expected. A number of previously undeclared legislators have also come out against the bill, striking a significant blow to the legislation’s momentum.

“Wikipedia and other websites are to be praised for going black today, and showing what the world might be like without websites that depend on user contributions,” commented Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson.

Wilson criticized provisions of the legislation for going too far in the name of protecting intellectual property. “Whether intended or not, SOPA and PIPA will result in a regime of censorship on the Internet, particularly targeted at sites that allow users to upload content without restriction,” he said, explaining, “Because of the broad language of the bills in both houses, any site that allegedly ‘facilitates’ features that could be used for posting copyrighted materials could be targeted, along with their revenue streams and visibility in search engines, by the government. The problem is that’s any site that allows uploading, which is practically every social network and blogging website on the Internet.”

It appears that the legislation may not even be necessary to protect copyright domestically, Wilson noted, pointing to federal law that’s been on the books for over a decade: “Existing protections under the Digital Copyright Millennium Act already provide for the removal of copyrighted material from user-based websites, and give safe harbor to sites that actively remove content that violates intellectual property. SOPA and PIPA will override those safe harbor provisions, and take the posture that websites are guilty until proven innocent.”

Wilson concluded, “In a free society, that is unacceptable. It is un-American.”

Fortunately, it appears the legacy media’s support for the bills is not helping it along. While new media sites like Wikipedia, Google, and Facebook were galvanizing hundreds of thousands of Americans against the legislation, leading to at least 14 defections, there were no reports of previous opponents of the legislation who had turned into supporters.

All of which may tell us a lot about how much weight the mainstream media even carries anymore.

By our count, that’s Wikipedia 14, Wall Street Journal 0.

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leonard-W-Giddens-Jr/100000473956548 Leonard W Giddens Jr

    That’s old news. How gives a rat’s a##? I don’t care whom is elected as long as it isn’t the muslim prince. He has don’t too much damage already. 4 more years of a traitor will sink the US.

  • Sokedai

    Wel , if the Wall Street Yournal likes censorship then let them be censored., but leave the damn internet ALONE! Any Rep or Sen of mine that votes for this piece of crap will be FIRED!!!

  • Mary

    Get with it, America– The TEA Party meets all over the US, in every city and No, we are not phasing out.  We are as strong as ever, working to elect REAL Americans to represent us.  Those patriots that love the Constitution and Freedom, join us.  All are welcome.  Without the TEA Party holding Congress and the socialist/statists feet to the fire, I wonder how much worse it would have been..considering the decisions made by this President and Congress, without the TEA Party.  WE are losing our freedoms, folks!  Stand up and learn about the issues of the day and what lies the governemnt and the Lame Stream Media is peddling! 2012 is a turning point, people.  Work to make it turn back to freedom.

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  • http://www.degaston.org/ Andebach

    This is the first step (even if the bills are amended) to taking over free part of our lives and liberty.  It will create more offices and government employees.  Nobody will really know what might be receiving application of these bills.  And worse yet, the addition of regulations by a President who canceled the Keystone Pipeline.  Imagine, now accounting as to the decision is made; and, it terribly anti-American…just wait until the Chinese are getting oil from our good ally, Canada, to the north.  GOVERNMENT GROWTH MUST BE HALTED, AND THEN WHAT IS MUST RECEDE.
    These bills must be thrown out, and NO OTHER BILLS (however palatably they may be presented) be subsituted.  Let the rich movie moguls be “free-enterprising” and solve their own problems.

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  • Lynn

    NOW WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS NEW LAW, THAT CAN PUT AWAY ANY AMERICAN NDAA,
    it was passed on New Years eve, which can detain any American Indefinately, exactly what
    Obama needs to slide into dictator ship, and Lynsie Grahm saying he can tell someone to shut up and  you won’t have a lawyer, period.

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  • Steppenwolve53

    THE VOTES ARE COMING TO CLEAN HOUSE , BOTH HOUSES WILL BE CLEANED OUT THIS YEAR , WE WILL NOT TOLERATE A DICTATOR OR THEIR GIRLFRIENDS ~ ITS WE THE PEOPLE AN BY GOLLY ALL VOTES ARE BEING WATCHED REAL CAREFUL NOW , THE BEST IS YET TO COME AS MR.BIG IS NOW GONNA ANSWER FOR HIS USURPING , ALL STATES ARE GOING TO ASK FOR THE REAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE , ALABAMA HAS STOOD UP , AND THIS JUDGE IS NO PUSH OVER , HE IS A CONSTITUTION ROAD MAP TO FORT LEAVENWORTHS BIG HOUSE , GET READY MR BIG FOR BUBBA IS WAITING , HE THINKS HIS ONE MAN TEAM WAS GOOD WAIT TILL HE MEETS HIS NEW FRIENDS ! AND I THINK HE HAS SOME FOLLOWERS GOING WITH HIM !

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