Feeds

Two PROTECT IP sponsors drop support for their own bill

Politicians scatter in the face of public ire

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Two of the co-sponsors of the PROTECT IP anti-piracy bill currently working its way through Congress have dropped support for the legislation.

“I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act,” said Florida Senator Marco Rubio on his Facebook page. “Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. 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.”

Shortly after Rubio’s announcement another of the co-sponsors (there are eleven cited in Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy’s bill) announced he was dropping his support. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt took to Facebook to decry legislation that he had initially been so keen on.

“The right to free speech is one of the most basic foundations that makes our nation great, and I strongly oppose sanctioning Americans’ right to free speech in any medium – including over the internet,” his post reads. “I continue to believe that we can come to a solution that will cut off the revenue sources for foreign websites dedicated to counterfeiting and piracy that steal American jobs, hurt the economy, and harm consumers. But the PROTECT IP Act is flawed as it stands today, and I cannot support it moving forward.”

Both claimed that they had changed their minds because the Democrats were trying to rush the vote for January 24, and don't mention the public and private opposition being expressed. The PROTECT IP Act, aka PIPA, and the proposed SOPA legislation are the source of today’s internet blackout by a host of websites, and public demonstrations in larger US cities are also being planned.

Not one to be left out, Texan Senator John Cornyn also used Facebook to announce that he was dropping his support to SOPA and related legislation. He said that the legislation was too far-reaching to ram through Congress and said it was as flawed as President Obama’s health plan.

“SOPA: better to get this done right rather than fast and wrong. Stealing content is theft, plain and simple, but concerns about unintended damage to the internet and innovation in the tech sector require a more thoughtful balance, which will take more time,” he posted.

These latest defections may not be enough to kill the proposed legislation however. If enough support remains, they could be pushed through, and while the White House has indicated its unhappiness with the bills as they stand, the President isn’t committing to a veto. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.