Stop Online Piracy Act Appears Stopped
Congress has yet to vote, but it now seems apparent that in the battle between the movie studios/television networks/recording industry and the Internet, over the House and Senate antipiracy bills, the Internet has won. Deluged with protests from Internet users generated by a slew of leading websites, including Google, Wikipedia, Facebook and Reddit, several lawmakers who had previously indicated that they would support the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in the Senate switched to the opposition, saying that they could not support the bills in their "present forms." Today's (Thursday) Wall Street Journal commented, "Hollywood's efforts on behalf of the legislation seemed outpaced by its opponents in Silicon Valley." On Twitter News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch criticized Hollywood actors for not supporting the legislation. "Where are all big film stars with many millions to lose [from piracy]?" he asked. (All of the major entertainment unions jointly announced their support of the SOPA and PIPA bills last October.) Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America, blasted the tactics of the Internet opponents. "It's a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users and arm them with misinformation," he said. But clicking on Google's logo on Wednesday (it was mostly covered with a black rectangle), brought up a message urging users to sign a stop-SOPA petition "before it is too late." By 4 30 p.m. the search engine said that it had collected 4.5 million signatures.