Home / Congress / SOPA Sinks. Congress Abandons Ship.
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SOPA Sinks. Congress Abandons Ship.

Written by Gary North on January 19, 2012

I have never seen anything to match it, not in 50 years of monitoring politics. The Internet mobilized millions of outraged voters who contacted their Senators and Congressmen.

At one stage, my subscribers could not contact their representatives online. The Senate’s site went down from the overload.

The Good Old Boys thought they would sneak SOPA through — a quiet little bill to undermine our freedom of digital communication. It was a nice payoff to Hollywood and the record industry. And then, “Wham!” The explosion blew their scheme to bits.

With the growing reservations, a bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy may be in serious trouble.

In serious trouble? It’s dead in the water!

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader and Democrat of Nevada, has scheduled a procedural vote on the Leahy version for early next week, but unless negotiators can alter it to satisfy the outraged online world, no one expects it to get 60 votes.

Marco Rubio, the Senator from Disney World, bailed out first. He had been a co-sponsor of the bill. By mid-morning, he reversed himself. All day long the defections came.

Senator John Cornyn, the Texas Republican who heads the campaign operation for his party, quickly followed suit and urged Congress take more time to study the measure, which had been set for a test vote next week.

By Wednesday afternoon, Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah and one of the Senate bill’s original co-sponsors, called it “simply not ready for prime time” and withdrew his support.

They will not try this again, I think. Hollywood does not have enough clout.

In the Tea Party era of grass-roots muscle, though, the old school was taken to school, Congressional aides and media lobbyists agree.

“The problem for the content industry is they just don’t know how to mobilize people,” said John P. Feehery, a former Republican leadership aide and executive at the motion picture lobby. “They have a small group of content makers, a few unions, whereas the Internet world, the social media world especially, has a tremendous reach. They can reach people in ways we never dreamed of before.

“This has been a real learning experience for the content world,” Mr. Feehery added.

They got taken the the woodshed. They found out what a handful of sites can do to mobilize voters.

It was magnificent!

It was a moment of truth. The Good Old Boys cannot safely tangle with the Internet. The risk is very high. The payoff is very low.

Politicians respond to pain. The Internet inflicted a great deal of pain.

The next time Hollywood comes calling, the answer will be, “See you later, aligator.” If any bill re-surfaces, it will have no teeth.

Continue Reading on www.nytimes.com

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20 thoughts on “SOPA Sinks. Congress Abandons Ship.

  1. Dick Connor says:

    Good work! How about killing the "Let's mess with the electric bulbs" craziness..

  2. 'If any bill re-surfaces, it will have no teeth'. And then it begins, get what you can sneak through, then quietly ammend modify and interpert it untill it is as onerous as it was intended to be.

  3. o yeah we saved the internet but no one said a peep when they pushed the ndaa act thru literally overnight thereby eliminating the 4th ammendment. while everyone was distracted by this crap

  4. Bill McCroskey says:

    Yes….D.C. uses 'creeping' to twist and turn unpopular laws from benign to onerous. Throw a frog in boiling water and it'll jump right out……..however put it in tepid water and increase the heat slowly …..you can boil it to death.

  5. I think people are waking up to just what our politicians really do in Washington. I don't care what letter is behind their names, the agenda is the same and we, the people, are quickly losing our constitution. We need to have the watchdogs on every single bill and then let the public take up their voice and tell them what we want for America. Obviously we can make a difference and just by what was done here, we have power when we choose to use it. Now we know the method, let's tell Washington what we want instead of them telling us what they want to do to us.

  6. bikermailman says:

    Don't get complacent. Lamar Smith said they would take the bill back up next month after things have settled down.

  7. bikermailman says:

    http://judiciary.house.gov/news/01172012.html. Straight from the horse's (a$$), er, mouth!

  8. Bill McCroskey says:

    Right on!!! R. or D. ??? about 2 degrees of separation ….Ron Paul, Rand Paul and maybe a few others of the gang of 535 excluded. Annoy an anti Ron Paul critic…..talk logic….then listen to the 'if'n and buts' they will sputter about. Eisenhower warned this country about the military/industrial complex over 50 years ago in his farewell speech….he was most prophetic.

  9. Paul Trombley says:

    "Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah and one of the Senate bill’s original co-sponsors, called it “simply not ready for prime time"

    Interpretation: We intend to try again later, although not necessarily in the same format. Perhaps we'll insert its provisions one at a time, as an amendment here and an amendment there, into other bills. After all, almost no one reads the bills anyway, and when taken out of context, the provisions of SOPA will seem innocuous.

  10. Yep folks, we have the finest government that money can buy. American citizens have by and large become lazy, apathetic, and ignorant when it comes to our stewardship of our Liberty. The direct result is that we spend a great deal of energy "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic". Until and unless we wake up and replace these clowns with real, upright, successful in real life Americans, and soon, we're toast so far as life, liberty and pursuit of happiness in the classic American sense is concerned. Of our current crop of presidential wannabes, even though he is old, boring, and maybe even a bit teched, Dr. Paul is the only one who even comes close to the real definition of a public servant: One who lives to serve the public, rather than to enrich himself at our expense; one who stands firmly outspoken in his conduct and speech in support of the public good as he sees it. However wanting his cool factor may be, he is an honorable man, in both public and private life. This alone puts him in the first tier of those to be considered for a position of high public trust and leadership. unless of course America wishes to talk the talk but not to walk the walk. Even Dr. Paul's foreign policy, which most love to hate, contains an element of subtle genius: America is better off IF our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, and cousins in the US Military protecting our Republic from enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC, are here, among u,s on home soil when the feces hits the propeller, rather than half a world away…

    Things to make you say "Hmmm…"

  11. Oh yeah, keep your video cameras charged, at the ready, drink upstream from the herd, and keep your powder dry…

  12. Why didn't this happen with the NDAA or the TSA sticking their hands down everyones pants. We need to keep the HEAT on Congress people don't let up keep calling, keep writing, set up times to talk to your rep. God Bless

  13. You got that right…now we have to get everyone that signed the bill, and charge them with "TREASON" get with Oath Keepers they are leading the Charge.

  14. jayqpublic says:

    Well, I am surprised as that cat taking a car ride in that popular YouTube internet video! I just cannot believe that "We the People" finally made our voice count to getting Congress to listen to what we really want and it somehow worked in the end. I suppose the career politicians got scared that if they passed this legislation in the current form that maybe they might lose their jobs in the process. Make no mistakes, though……they will try again in a few months to sneak these ideas through in some way when this attention all dies down. The USA's citizens must be ever vigilant to do everything we can to protect our freedom of speech, so the traitors to liberty cannot continue their attempts of shredding of our Bill of Rights & the Constitution. We Must Fight the Power!

  15. They Keep Removing Our Constitutional Rights! Next They will outlaw all gun sales!
    If We Don’ WAKE UP AMERICA Now!!!
    This Is Our Future Now! http://www.infowars.com/government-censors-docume….
    This Future is already here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6nchQl9JDg&fe….
    America is on the precipice of demise! http://www.inflation.us/videos.html
    Help WAKE UP AMERICA Now!!!
    Info @ http://www.wakeupamerica.com/constitutionalbeliev…. just as many conservative groups have, along with thousands of other people have joined WAKE UP AMERICA! I believe thousands more, hundreds of thousands, or millions more will help take back our republic with Wake Up America! So The POTENTIAL IS HUGE!
    Take Care and GOD BLESS!
    Mr. Harris

  16. It's not over, folks. The hydra head just sprouted elsewhere.

    If you thought SOPA/PIPA was bad…just wait until you find out about ACTA! It's yet another secretive threat.

    Courtesy of: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/23/i

  17. aliceinwonderland says:

    A response from one of my US Senators (received 1/24/2012):

    Dear Friend:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA). The parallel, but not identical, legislation in the House of Representatives is H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I welcome your thoughts and comments.

    I did not cosponsor this legislation. By letter, e-mail, and telephone call, thousands of constituents like you have highlighted the potential pitfalls in the bill.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who was a strong supporter of PIPA, has withdrawn the bill from Senate floor consideration. I agree with this decision. Although there are legitimate issues to be addressed regarding so-called internet piracy, I believe that several provisions of the current legislation need to be clarified or revised.

    Protecting intellectual property is more challenging than ever before. For example, high speed broadband enables access to the entire catalog of movies, music, books, television, and technology. These protections should not censor free speech, nor should they hinder innovation.

    Online promotion of counterfeit goods by foreign entities is also a growing concern. Assessing how to protect copyright, patent, and intellectual property rights — and doing so without infringing on consumers’ legitimate interests — requires dealing with a complex series of problems.

    [THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH MAY ACTUALLY BE IN REFERENCE TO THE SECRETIVE, LOW-PROFILE "ACTA" TREATY – BEWARE! See: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/23/i… ]

    Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind should this bill or related legislation be reported to the floor for action by the full Senate. I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.

    Kay Bailey Hutchison
    United States Senator
    284 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    202-224-5922 (tel)
    202-224-0776 (fax) http://hutchison.senate.gov

  18. AliceInWonderland says:

    Forbes.com re: the SOPA / PIPA Aftermath, and ACTA / PCIP to come

    You Will Never Kill Piracy, and Piracy Will Never Kill You by Paul Tassi

    "Realize piracy is a service problem."

  19. AliceInWonderLand says:

    How Do We Know That Piracy Isn't Really A Big Issue? Because Media Companies Still Haven't Needed To Change As A Result Of It

    From the "calling-their-bluff dept"

  20. Really informative article.Really thank you! Cool.