THE MAFIAA'S Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are losing support as well as gaining opponents, as US legislators retreat in the face of widespread public outrage.
PIPA once had the support of more than 40 Senators, however, it lost a clutch of them yesterday as blackouts and messages of opposition spread across the internet.
Among the eight defecting Senators are two of PIPA's main sponsors, Marco Rubio from Florida and Roy Blunt from Missouri, which should tell you something about the bill's odious nature.
Other legislators that have backed away from supporting PIPA are Orrin Hatch of Utah, Ben Cardi of Maryland, Ben Quayle of Arizona, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, Lee Terry of Nebraska and Dennis Ross of Florida.
Fittingly, since they were two of the few web sites that were still live yesterday, some of the politicians used Twitter to post their messages of opposition and some used Facebook.
"I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor," reads a post on Senator Rubio's Facebook page. "Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet.
"After listening to the concerns on both sides of the debate over the PROTECT IP Act, it is simply not ready for prime time," said Hatch on Twitter. "I believe #SOPA is dead. I will not support #SOPA if this headlong rush continues. As a true free marketer, I want IP protected correctly," commented Ross.
People other than politicians are still backing PIPA however, including the head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
"It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this 'blackout' to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy," said MPAA CEO and former US Senator Chris Dodd yesterday. µ
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