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  (Source: PetMD)
Even as hardliners entrench, internet protest pushes many Congress people to choose self preservation

Today was a remarkable day on the internet.  Indeed, a massive protest that consisted of editorials on some sites, full blackouts on others, a deluge of social media/microblog complaints, and even some good old fashioned phone calling (to the extent that some phone lines went down today) appears to be on the verge of bringing the controversial Orwellian "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) in the House and "PROTECT IP Act" (PIPA) (S.968) in the Senate to their true death.

SOPA had few friends -- particularly due to outlandish provisions like lengthy prison sentences for petty streaming, takedowns of sites whose users post URLs to infringing content (note: not even posting the content itself), and DNS takedowns of all sites hosted in the same block as an infringer.

But SOPA did have one powerful friend -- big media.  Media powerhouses like News Corp. (NWS) poured tens of millions into funding the campaign.  Our summary of analysis by Maplight indicated that 10 percent of the election costs of (all) active Senators were paid by big media companies lobbying for SOPA and similar laws.  Another helpful breakdown of the numerous payouts is given here by Propublica.

Some thought SOPA was dead when top House Republican, House Oversight Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) blasted the bill, and President Obama's advisors hinted at the threat of veto.  But PIPA's proponents hardly flinched and SOPA's backers agreed vowed to revive it in February, anyways, and force the President's hand.

That was the position of those backers, at least, until they got smacked with one of the most focused demonstrations of populist anger that American has seen in the internet era.

Soon the Representatives and Senators who sponsored the bill were dropping their support.

The original list of supporters was:

SOPA Supporters -- original
[Image Source: Propublica]

But after today at least four Senators and two Representatives have abandoned their support, likely out of fear of what it might do to their election prospects.  The critters fleeing the sinking SOPA/PIPA ship are:
SOPA/PIPA supporters -- post protest

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), one of those looking to belated retract his sponsorship comments:

After listening to the concerns on both sides of the debate over the PROTECT IP Act, it is simply not ready for prime time and both sides must continue working together to find a better path forward. Despite the concerns about the unintended consequences of this legislation, the Senate remains on a path to consider this bill next week. Rushing something with such potential for far-reaching consequences is something I cannot support and that's why I will not only vote against moving the bill forward next week but also remove my cosponsorship of the bill.

Add'l Sources: [1][2][3][4][5]

While it might be tempting to chastise these individuals while they're down, a better thought is to head over to their Facebooks or Twitters to thank them for make a decision (albeit forced) to put the American people and economic prosperity above a small coalition of well-heeled special interests.  After all, as you can see there's plenty of SOPA/PIPA supporters digging in their heels and entrenching for the fight ahead.

That said, one can only expect this is the start and more of their fellow Congressional creatures will follow in suit, panickedly abandoning the bills, now that the American public has smelled a rat.

We will endeavor to keep this list and the numbers who have abandoned SOPA/PIPA up to date.

It appears to be Wikipedia that was the straw that broke the camel's back, possibly.  While readers at DailyTech and elsewhere are well versed in the issues with SOPA/PIPA, the blackout of the ubiquitous Wikipedia crossed over into the "People Magazine" crowd -- members of the American public who typically show little interest in politics.

Note some brave souls in Congress were even inspired to join the list of opposers to the bill -- including Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) who boldly writes on Facebook:

On Wednesday, January 18, I will join others across the Internet in a 24-hour “blackout” to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate. These bills give the federal government unprecedented power to censor Internet content and will stifle the free flow of information and ideas. In protest, I have changed my profile picture and will temporarily disable your ability to post independent content on my Wall (although you still may comment under this post). Demand that Congress and the President keep the Internet open and free. Please borrow my profile pic, share this message, and contact your Representatives and Senators in Congress to urge them to protect your right to free speech by opposing SOPA and PIPA.

Here is a list of those who previously opposed the bill:

SOPA/PIPA opponents
Note the opposition of (R) Presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

SOPA/PIPA aren't dead yet, so opponents will need to keep up the heat until the bills are fully removed from the Congressional dockets.  And even if that happens, people should take this as a wake up call, both at their own power and at the importance of keeping an eye on these shifty individuals who accept hundreds of millions in campaign donations yearly from biased sources to gain their office.

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RE: Boycott?
By Ringold on 1/19/2012 12:18:44 AM , Rating: 5
If you wanna live like they did in the effing 1700s, then yeah. Sure, by all means, roll back time and re-create the original, constitutionally limited government of that era when there was no global market, no modern industry, banking, trade, communications and so on, when sending a message from Moscow to New York would take several months if it got there at all, when the human population of the entire world was less than one billion people and science and medicine as we know it scarcely existed at all.

^ That, folks, is the state of government education in this nation.

First of all, there was a global economy. The East India company got its charter, for example, in 1599. People living off the land in the virtually unpopulated vast stretches of Canada sold animal skins to the European public. Early America imported, well, just about everything, until we had a manufacturing base. Further, the theories that underpin current economic thought existed then and greatly influenced the founding fathers.

Banking, also, has largely been unchanged in a strict sense since.. well.. A long ass time ago. Only things that have changed is the details in how deposits are converted in to earnings by way of lending. The recent crisis is very similar to countless ones before in history.

Second, so what if a letter took months to travel from New York to Moscow then but milliseconds now? Does that at all impact the right of an American in New York to say whatever he wants to whoever he wants via the contemporary method of mass communication?

Third, what does population have to do with it? Some states were more populated then others at the time. Worked then. And so science has advanced. Obviously. It advances every day. Maybe we need a new constitution, say, every 4 years? Maybe every 10?

No, absolutely nothing about what it means to be a human being in a civilized society has changed, and you present no intellectual evidence contrary regarding a document that lays down broad guidelines for stable, eternal government and individual liberty and freedom from state oppression and violence and leaves the details of law to Congress to change over time. What has changed is what people want from government. People have forgot, in the West, what ultimately happens when governments accumulate power, and instead wish largesse from the public treasury to make their own lives easier.

Indeed, the framers actually saw you coming over 200 years ago, and predicted once government educated trolls such as yourself figured out that the ballot box and a mob majority can vote themselves benefits from the treasury that democracy would fall apart.

Wait, no, maybe that was Tocqueville. Whatever.

RE: Boycott?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/19/2012 10:00:01 AM , Rating: 5
^ That, folks, is the state of government education in this nation.

Great post. What the hell ARE they teaching kids these days? That the Constitution is some old document so it can't possibly be relevant today or else we'd have to revert to "1700's" society? What the hell...

Indeed, the framers actually saw you coming over 200 years ago, and predicted once government educated trolls such as yourself figured out that the ballot box and a mob majority can vote themselves benefits from the treasury that democracy would fall apart.

It's really scary how accurate Tocqville was, isn't it?

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

Man if that isn't EXACTLY what's happening today, I don't know what is.

RE: Boycott?
By twhittet on 1/19/2012 11:44:39 AM , Rating: 1
So, your point is that democracy doesn't work. Time for a monarchy? Socialism? Communism?

RE: Boycott?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/19/2012 12:00:56 PM , Rating: 2
Umm no, that's NOT the point....

Jesus Christ /facepalm

RE: Boycott?
By wempa on 1/19/2012 12:39:39 PM , Rating: 3

RE: Boycott?
By woody1 on 1/21/2012 12:52:50 PM , Rating: 1
Damn that government education! Let's can government education and just hope that people somehow learn to read and write on their own! Works great in those 3rd world countries that aren't plagued with "big government"!

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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