Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Online Piracy Legislation Gets Vote of Confidence From Sen. Harry Reid

On a recent episode of "Meet the Press," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threw his support behind advancing legislation to curb online piracy. Both chambers of Congress have drafted legislation to address online piracy from foreign websites, but both bills have faced strong public outcry that has put their chances of passage in doubt without significant changes.

The Senate is considering the Protect IP Act ( S 968), known as PIPA, while the House is considering the Stop Online Piracy Act ( HR 3261), known as SOPA. The Senate is expected to vote on PIPA on Jan. 24, and Reid has indicated there could be significant changes that would make the bill a "winner for everyone, not just for the content people."

MapLight has conducted an analysis of campaign contributions from key industry groups to members of the U.S. Senate (July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2011) and found that:
  • Entertainment interest groups that support these bills gave 7.2 times as much ($14,423,991) to members of the U.S. Senate as Internet interest groups that oppose these bills ($2,011,332).
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has received 4.8 times as much from entertainment interest groups that support these bills ($571,500) as from Internet interest groups that oppose these bills ($118,050).
Opponents of these two bills, such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, eBay, and Twitter, fear the measures as currently drafted will grant the U.S. government power to curb free speech online and, with it, snare otherwise innocuous third-party sites. The bills' supporters, such as Disney, Time Warner, Comcast, CBS, and the Recording Industry Association of America, hope to be able to use the expanded authority to shut down websites trafficking in pirated content. Drafting language that appeases both sides has been difficult and may result in Congress's choosing one side over the other.

METHODOLOGY: Includes reported contributions to congressional campaigns of senators in office during the 112th U.S. Congress, from Cable & satellite TV production & distribution, Motion Picture production & distribution, Entertainment Industry/Broadcast & Motion Pictures, Commercial TV & radio stations, Recorded Music & music production, TV production & distribution, and Online computer services interest groups selected by MapLight, July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2011. Contributions data source: OpenSecrets.org.

Stop SOPA / PIPA!

Misguided Republicans are sponsoring a bill that will hurt YOUR freedoms. I actually LIKE some of the people who are sponsoring this mess, so I'm kind of with Eric Erickson / RedState (below). Here's a link for a Google petition you can sign to help send a message to Congress. Do some research. Take a look at this mess. Drudge has a link to a New York Times story that gives a good wrap up. Anyway, here's the petition link: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/. If you don't like Google, I would bet there are a zillion different ones floating around.

Oh, Heritage has a great article on this issue also. I received it in my morning email batch (love getting Heritage info, Morning Bell - be sure to sign up if you haven't). Here's a link to their write up: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/01/18/morning-bell-an-internet-blackout-over-sopa-and-pipa/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBell.

You know, we have to teach our representatives to READ THE STUPID BILLS and think about the long-term repercussions of their actions. Grrrr....

One good thing about this one? All sides out here in non-political-elite-land, from Democrat to Libertarian to Republican to I-don't-care-a-fig-about-politics are united!

From Eric Erickson via email distro:

Today is an unusual day at RedState.

Many websites around the nation and the world are going dark today in solidarity against SOPA, the Stopping Online Piracy Act (SOPA) pending in Congress. Many of this site’s good friends, like Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Marco Rubio of Florida (a co-sponsor of the Protect IP Act in the Senate, which is the Senate version of SOPA) are supporters of this horrible legislation that would give Eric Holder and future attorneys general the right to shut down websites with minimal, if any, due process.

While it pains us to do so, we are committed to working against the re-election of each Republican co-sponsor of SOPA and Protect IP, including Rep. Blackburn and Sen. Rubio. Both pieces of legislation overreach their goals and will harm the internet.

We hope the Republican co-sponsors of these pieces of legislation will remove their names and we hope the legislation will die. In solidarity with those sites shutting down today to show you the potential impact of this legislation, RedState will suspend posting new content for much of today.

On the front page of RedState you’ll find a tool you can use to contact your member of Congress and urge they oppose both SOPA and Protect IP.