Amidst SOPA Blackout, Senate Copyright Bill Loses A Key Supporter

Amidst SOPA Blackout, Senate Copyright Bill Loses A Key Supporter

Wednesday’s mass protest strike of popular websites including Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing and others against the Stop Online Piracy Act has had its intended effect–at least on one Senator.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who co-sponsored the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) that served as the Senate equivalent of the SOPA bill, has officially withdrawn his support of PIPA and called for more discussion before new copyright legislation is introduced.

“Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy. Since then, we’ve heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet,” Rubio wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday morning. “Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.”

“Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act,” the statement continued. “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.”

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Amidst SOPA Blackout, Senate Copyright Bill Loses A Key Supporter

Today there are some lame attempts at a protest by supposed major players on the ‘net taking place. It appears that Wikipedia was very sincere in their promise to shut down their site for 24 hours.

It also appears that a site called Reddit held with their promise to *go dark* as well.

Rumor had it that Facebook was going to shut down in protest as well, but Facebook is not a reliable entity, it’s pure social media and it just didn’t happen. Had Facebook actually *gone dark* for 24 hours, that would have been a gigantic statement of protest.

I have NO problem with ANY site *going dark* to protest SOPA and PIPA, what really surprised me though was the protest put forth by Google. You would expect a company as large and powerful as Google would have some serious influence on the ‘net and would exercise that influence. Right?

Maybe not so much.

Google didn’t *go dark*, their search engine tools, and all other functions are still up and running at this time. Google put a BLACKED OUT rectangle over their logo. Now THAT is what I call serious solidarity!

It’s up to the biggest and most powerful businesses on the ‘net to get involved and help to hold the politicians in check, especially where internet freedom is involved, because without that freedom, those HUGE business concerns will cease to exist.

Imagine what that does to the small-time guys like me, and countless other bloggers?

I know that a few of my fellow bloggers *went dark* for the day, I applaud them for that bit of civil insurrection, but their efforts are, for the most part, an exercise in futility.

If you want to stage a massive *blogger blackout* I am all for it, and would participate in that act of defiance, but it can’t be a spur of the moment thing where it’s decided that we’re going to all meet at the mall and do a flash mob rendition of the old Coca-Cola song, I’d like to teach the world to sing.

To stage a massive internet protest takes connections and organization.

It really CAN happen fast, but it won’t do any good if other bloggers don’t know about it until it’s being done by a very few others.

And something else to consider about a *blogger blackout*, especially a Conservative one, do you honestly believe that the *powers that be* in Washington would care? That it would make even a little bit of difference?

My guess is that some goofy libber like Jay Carney would be incredibly happy. “Wow Mr. President, all of those rabid Obama hating Conservatives are leaving you alone today Sir. You know Mr. President, if you could just make them all go away for good Sir…”

You get the idea. Unintended consequences can work BOTH ways.

Rubio is only the latest to reverse course on the two controversial copyright bills. The White House has already come out in opposition to the bills in their current form, SOPA has been tabled, had some of its most controversial portions excised and may be altogether dead, and other senators had already called for a delay in voting on PIPA to address oversights in the bill.

Quite frankly, I was surprised that Marco Rubio attached himself to this to begin with.

The Internet’s protest will go on, with dozens of sites remaining offline for the rest of the day and even Google displaying a black banner over its logo and linking to a page about protesting the copyright bills. And the battle is hardly over: Lamar Smith, the Texas representative who first introduced SOPA in October, has derided the blackout a “publicity stunt” and promised to reintroduce the bill to the House for discussion in February.

Lamar Smith is, apparently, not the brightest bulb on the string. It may well be a publicity stunt, but these ridiculous SOPA and PIPA bills need to be defeated. Smith is a Republican, just because they have an *R* behind their name doesn’t always make them the best and the brightest.

I think that is part of what disappoints me about Marco Rubio and his former involvement with PIPA. Yes, he *saw the light*, but damn, it took a One Million Candle Power flash to get his attention.

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5 Responses to Amidst SOPA Blackout, Senate Copyright Bill Loses A Key Supporter

  1. Robert says:

    All true Fred. The reason I did it was to support those bloggers who chose to do it as well. The bill is a farce and as you pointed out Rubio supporting it in the first place gives me a pain in my ass. The man is supposedly the tea party backed hope of the future and here’s a BIG GOVERNMENT type solution to a minor problem… Not the change I was hoping for. BUT:

    On the bright side, Rubio listened, made a decision to reverse course and re-examine the legislation. And took the blame for taking it on in the first place. In the days of finger pointing/blame shifting/lies and deceit his actions at the very least give you hope that SOME in congress know who they work for.

    I’m not happy that Rubio signed on to it, but I’m overjoyed that he had the balls to remove his support after the facts and hearing the people. Now if only Harry had that kind of testicle placement.

  2. Bunkerville says:

    It was members of Lamar Smith’s staff that wrote a good part of the bill. Guess where a couple of them are working? With the Music industry and the Motion picture industry. Chris Dodd, of the Dodd Frank bill gets a million and a half from the same folks. Says it all. Lamar needs to be retired.

  3. Cary says:

    It surprised me that Google even had the black bar across it. Facebook? Yeah, like that lefty-owned social media site would EVER cross TEH WON.

    As Bunkerville alludes, follow the money …

  4. BobF says:

    When he found out it was bad legislation, he did the right thing and pulled his support. Apparently, a handful of other senators have done the same. That’s rare in politicians nowadays.

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