So Long, SOPA?

“Stunts”: So Chris Dodd, former senator and now chair and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), described the anti-SOPA blackout and protest that Wikipedia, Reddit and numerous other Internet sites staged today, January 18. But the web-wide movement against two anti-piracy bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), has indeed “rattled” Congress. Early Wednesday morning, freshman senator Marco Rubio ( R-Fl.) withdrew his support from PIPA, which he had co-sponsored. Also in the Senate, John Cornyn (R-Tx.) called for more time to study the bill and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Scott Brown (R-Ma.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) — the co-chairman of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus – all withdrew their support from PIPA, which is scheduled for a vote early next week.

President Barack Obama also said that he will not support SOPA.

Rubio explained his change of heart in a Facebook post, “A Better Way to Fight the Online Theft of American Ideas and Jobs“:

On the Senate side, I have been a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act because I believe it’s important to protect American ingenuity, ideas and jobs from being stolen through Internet piracy, much of it occurring overseas through rogue websites in China. As a senator from Florida, a state with a large presence of artists, creators and businesses connected to the creation of intellectual property, I have a strong interest in stopping online piracy that costs Florida jobs.

However, we must do this while simultaneously promoting an open, dynamic Internet environment that is ripe for innovation and promotes new technologies.

A spokesperson for Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) — a sponsor of PIPA — said that a “significant” volume of calls had been received on Wednesday. CNET notes that those legislators who remain as co-sponsors “are now doing so with markedly less enthusiasm.”

Two co-sponsors of SOPA, Representatives Ben Quayle (R-AZ) and Lee Terry (R-NE), have indicated on Wednesday afternoon that they are no longer behind the bill.

As many as 7,000 U.S. websites joined in the protest. The Cheezburger network, document service Scribd and news site Raw Story joined in the blackout. Google put a big black rectangular over its logo and  black boxes checkered Wired‘s site, a graphic display of what censorship of the Internet could look like. (CNET has an image gallery of SOPA protests.) WordPressAmazon and Flickr also joined in. Craigslist posted this message:


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his first tweet in three years to announce his opposition to SOPA and PIPA (he also posted on Facebook).

The scope of the online protest was indeed “unprecedented” and reveals the power of new media interests “against some of the most powerful old-line interests in Washington” — namely, the MPAA, the Recording Industry Association of America (RPAA) and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. While “practiced at old-time lobbying,” they are less adept at using newer social media tools (as suggested by the volume of criticism directed at Murdoch when he accused Google on Twitter of being a “piracy leader”). As the New York Times observes:

In the Tea Party era of grass-roots muscle, though, the old school was taken to school, Congressional aides and media lobbyists agree.

“The problem for the content industry is they just don’t know how to mobilize people,” said John P. Feehery, a former Republican leadership aide and executive at the motion picture lobby. “They have a small group of content makers, a few unions, whereas the Internet world, the social media world especially, has a tremendous reach. They can reach people in ways we never dreamed of before.

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

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube: Were not these the sites that broadcast last year’s Arab Spring uprisings to the world?

The Worst Thing About Censorship


Previous Care2 Coverage

Google To Join Anti-SOPA Protest

Wikipedia Will Go Dark On Wednesday to Protest SOPA

SOPA Shelved Until “Consensus” Found


Photo of anti-SOPA protest in New York by gfhdickinson


Lee Witton
6 years ago

Care2 censors all the time; but I hear nothing in regard to that. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Care2 picks and chooses who is allowed to be heard and who is not. That is censorship in the extreme.

Ferdinand G.
Ferdinand G6 years ago

@Marcheal G.

I will give u a solution, make it cheaper and more available......
Lot's of people will stay away from pirated stuff if it cheap and plenty (there always security and quality issue of pirated goods). Some people doesn't have the money or either the goods not available to them....

The only one says cannot do it is the one who clinging in old bussines model and refuse to think a new one, history repeated them self now we talking about digital years ago we fight counterfeid shoes, bags, etc..... (looks who survived and who doesn't)

The bills is more about censorship and tackling down your rival..... (If some like this pass, I will not able to write this anymore)

Cathryn C.
Cathryn C6 years ago

For those who may be interested here is a link to what SOPA and PIPA would have done and to what is ALREADY in place and in Action.

Cathryn C.
Cathryn C6 years ago

Correction this "that ALLs pirates to get not hacked plans or product," should have read ALLOWS Pirates to get not hacked Plans or products, but"

Sorry brain faster than the speed of fingers and keyboard :D

Cathryn C.
Cathryn C6 years ago

@Portland N. Sadly I have to disagree. Neither of these bills addresses outsourcing or bringing back jobs. If you read them, what they do is continue to allow Hollywood, Software and hardware as well as product Manufactuerers to continue to outsource the jobs over seas that ALLs pirates to get not hacked plans or product, but actual plans and product to copy. The majority of movies, music, and products like the iPhone were made from Master copies and prototypes given to Chinese and other countries factories to produce. An iPhone clone was released in China BEFOre it was even announced here or released.

What these bills do instead is censor the web just as it is censored in China and and many Communist Counties. Based on the determination of Government what sites are good for you to go on and see. A Site such as Wkileaks would have been shut down before people saw it, and other sites they determine were "detrimental" to either Government transparency rights or Corproate rights...such as Care 2. Not the bills I want governing my life.

Portland N.
P. L. Neola6 years ago

We need something like SOPA.

If it takes drawing up another bill, then, it needs to be done!!!!!!!!!! By passing something like SOPA, we will prevent a degree of outsourcing and protect some of our much needed American jobs!!!

John Kramer
John Kramer6 years ago

The fight is far from over. We still need to keep up the pressure on Congress to make sure SOPA
gets eliminated. We still need to make sure the bill gets killed. We also need to put the pressure on Congress to eliminate all the decency laws passed in 2004 by Congress. We also need to put a lot of pressure on congress to eliminate every bit of censorship.

Michael C.
Michael C6 years ago

SOPA &PIPA are too, all inclusive, imagine a 11 year in trouble for file sharing, your owing money to Time-Warner for singing Happy Birthday on You Tube.

It is not so much about need, as it is to serve the greed.

Citizen C.
Citizen Citizen6 years ago

Sometimes it's hard to understand mankind. On one hand it appears as if the world is taking the fact that capitalism is a mess seriously, albeit apologists; and if you listen to any of those is not you who doesn't understand. Nothing they are saying is meant to be understood.

The age of the internet and media bring something beyond what capitalism can offer, it is a new market, meant to be a free market, (free in the real sense of the word), meant to connect the globe. Instead, here in Britain we are starting to see one or two communication channels/ sites blocked due to some international relation flaw or at least in disguise of it. The barriers are meant for profit. Most of you would say the system that is now evidenced as flawed was created before you were born. You cannot say that now. These others are taking and privatising freedom; that is how the old system was made. Piracy or no piracy, what the internet has to offer is above and beyond that. There is a law- An anti-piracy law in this new market. It states if you care about piracy more than freedom then you cannot be among the free lest you corrupt them. This new market is yours. It's the world's. 'They' (capitalists) are attempting to steal it again, but you have all learnt and it shall not happen. Who dares even mention piracy when we are talking about freedom! Let them not catch up to it They shall not....It's a fast one!

Margaret Paddock
M A Paddock6 years ago

It is good to see congressmen re considering this legislation and going back to the drawing board to find a better way to help protect those on the internet.
Perhaps they should work with some gurus who have been here all along and know more about it than they ever will. Perhaps the CEO's from Google, Yahoo, etc. should offer their advise.