Members of Congress change their minds, RE: SOPA/PIPA

Nathan Pensky · January 18, 2012 · Short URL:

The list of members of Congress who have reversed their position on SOPA/PIPA is growing

The protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) has already done some good. Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and many other sites changed their homepages -- some notably blacking out their sites altogether -- in protest of SOPA and PIPA, causing a landslide of negative buzz for the already highly controversial legislation.

And several US Congress members, who had either supported the proposed bills or remained silent concerning them, have come out against SOPA/PIPA, reports Politico.

Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) was one of the original co-sponsors of SOPA, and he withdrew his support of the bill Tuesday. "Representative Quayle believes that as the bill currently stands, it could have unintended consequences that need to be addressed before moving forward and these concerns led him to withdraw his name as a co-sponsor," said a Quayle representative to The New Times. Another original co-sponsor, Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) said Wednesday that he would pull his support of the bill.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) had been silent on the subject of PIPA, but Tweeted Wednesday, "I support intellectual property rights, but I oppose SOPA & PIPA. They're misguided bills that will cause more harm than good. When protecting intellectual property rights, we must not undermine free speech, threaten economic growth, or impose burdensome regulations."

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) has changed the profile photo of his Facebook page to reflect his anti-SOPA/PIPA views. "These bills give the federal government unprecedented power to censor Internet content and will stifle the free flow of information and ideas... Demand that Congress and the President keep the Internet open and free."

Other members of Congress to bail on their SOPA/PIPA support just Wednesday include: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), a co-sponsor of PIPA, Sen. John Bozeman (R-AR), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Rep. Nita Lowery (D-NY).

In other words, this Internet protest seems to be having a real, tangible effect on the upper reaches of the US government.

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