Online protests against Big Content taking over the US Justice system appear to have got the message to Washington politicians that the world is pretty hacked off with them.
According to Reuters, politicians which stood for Big Content and all that sails with it, are switching sides as they realise their careers will be that much tougher if they are treated as lepers by their voters.
Big Content is finding that its Washington campaign is faltering. Already the MPAA described the campaign by internet companies as an “abuse of power” which indicates that it really does not know how to cope. We guess the Roman slave owners much have felt the same way during the Sparticus revolt.
Wikipedia, the world’s free online encyclopedia, shut down for a day. Google and others used the black censorship bars to draw attention to what had until recently been an obscure and technical legislative proposal to curb access to overseas websites that traffic in stolen content or counterfeit goods.
Sites participating in the blackout urged their users to contact their legislators on the issue, and it seems that that is exactly what they did.
Then sponsors of the legislation, including Senators Roy Blunt, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and John Boozman and Marco Rubio, said they were withdrawing their support. Others started attacking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for rushing the Senate version of the bill.
It is hardly Reid’s fault, he was only doing what he was told, and besides with political apathy in the US about such matters he probably thought it was worth a go to get much needed campaign contributions from Big Content for the coming elections.
In switching sides, Blunt called the legislation “deeply flawed” while Rubio and Boozman cited “unintended consequences” that could stem from the proposed law. They all said that they supported taking action against online piracy.
Other lawmakers, such as Senator Kristen Gillibrand, said they supported changes to the legislation.
That is not to say that the Big Content and sock puppets all gave up in the face of public opinion.
Creative America, a studio- and union-supported group that fights piracy, launched a television advertising campaign that it said would air in the districts of key legislators. In Times Square, it turned on a digital pro-SOPA and PIPA billboard for the day in space provided by News Corp, which owns Fox Studios.
Rupert Murdoch has been a support of SOPA and and Pipa and has dubbed Google a pirate.