SOPA Blackout Protests May Already Be Paying Off

stop sopa greenpeaceWow, that was fast! This morning some 10,000 websites participated in a blackout protest against anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA. Thousands more people protested via Twitter. And now, support for the controversial bills is already evaporating.

It's too soon to do the end-zone victory dance, but it looks like SOPA's days are numbered. I don't want to get too excited yet, but I can't help but be glad that this coordinated protest of these bills may have actually worked! The score so far looks promising.

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The New York Times reports that Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah and one of the original co-sponsors!) have dropped their support for PIPA. Meanwhile, the LA Times says Reps. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) and Ben Quayle (R-Arizona) have dropped their support for SOPA. "Not ready for prime time," says Orrin Hatch of PIPA, in what is probably the biggest understatement he'll make all year.

A lot of the people who protested SOPA and PIPA today have said that they do not support piracy, and some even say that stealing content hurts their business. But the two bills went too far in protecting content -- and I'm glad Congressional and Senate leaders are finally getting the message!

We've got a lot of smart people assembled to figure this out. Oh sure, a few years ago, Senator Ted Stevens showed how clueless our representatives can be when he said the Internet was "not a big truck" but "a series of tubes." (It's neither -- everyone knows the Internet is a giant burrito floating through space.) Today gives me new hope that the crew on Capitol Hill will come up with a better plan for protecting content and freedom on the Internet.

Are you surprised to see the effect the blackouts had?

 

Image via Greenpeace

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