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Anti-SOPA 'Blackout' Forces Political Back Downs, As MPAA Attacks 'Dangerous Gimmick'

Posted by: , 18:04 AEDT, Thu January 19, 2012

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Thousands of websites take part in a planned day of action, protesting the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, as politicians start to distance themselves from the bill

A major day of action by websites opposed to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, and the senate equivalent, Protect IP Act - PIPA) has forced politicians to distance themselves from the controversial bill.

Websites, including Reddit and Wikipedia, blacked out their entire website visitors to protest what they see as the entertainment industry's overreaching attempt to censor the web.

With Google also joining in the action, by blackening out their logo and posting information on how to oppose SOPA, millions of US Internet users were informed of the possible consequences of allowing SOPA to pass, and for the government to have the power to censor the Internet.

And the day of protest appears to have worked. USA Today reports that previous key supporters of the bill, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark) have all withdrawn their support for the bill, while Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md) have also expressed their opposition to SOPA.

But even in the face of strong public opposition, and now, political opposition to the bill, the movie industry's lobby group, the MPAA, has come out strongly defending SOPA, and attacked the protest as irresponsible.

Former US senator Chris Dodd, now chairman of the MPAA, posted on the official MPAA blog that the protest was "yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals."

Dodd also attacked the tech companies taking part in the day of protest for only doing so in order to "further their corporate interests".


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