If Grover Norquist isn't breaking up with SOPA, he's certainly taking some time to revealuate his relationship with the anti-piracy bill. The face of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform is letting his underlings say the things he hasn't personally said about SOPA: he doesn't like it in its current form.
Earlier this week Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian took a few minutes to talk to Bloomberg TV about the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. It's an interesting but short interview that brings to bear the main point that tech innovators opposing this bill have been saying: companies like Reddit who rely on user-generated content - would not have been possible had these laws been in effect.
The choice quote of the interview, as pointed out by BetaBeat, is this one:
According to more than 100 leaked diplomatic cables, the reason that Spain passed such a strict anti-piracy law was because the United States government made strong threats against the country. The cables were part of a recent WikiLeaks release. Many have long suspected that the United States government has been interfering in other countries' copyright legislation, and these new cables certainly prove critics' points.
The RIAA earlier this week strongly and quite publicly rejected calls to support the OPEN Act, the SOPA alternate online piracy bill from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The group which represents the music industry said that the OPEN Act was not a "meaningful solution" to the problem of online piracy.
RIAA senior executive vice president Mitch Glazier argued that the ITC doesn't move fast enough for their tastes.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has put together a nice little list of where each member of the ESA stand on SOPA. While many of the member companies have not responded, the list shows that - when pressed - many don't support it.
Forbes has an excellent editorial up about the ESA's support of the Stop Online Piracy Act that does a great job of explaining - in simple English - how it could affect every day web sites who might not necessarily be engaged in anything but providing content.
In a response to a question about the protests over SOPA going on at Reddit, the bill's sponsor Lamar Smith (R-Texas) described the community to political site Roll Call as a "vocal minority" whose complaints about the bill were "unfounded." Reddit users have a simple response for the head of the House Judiciary Committee: Challenge Accepted and Completed.
A report on Digital Trends confirms that Capcom supports the efforts of the ESA as it relates to the Stop Online Piracy Act, though the confirmation is merely one sentence from a Capcom representative.
When asked about the company's support, Capcom's representative responded in an email saying "The ESA represents us on these matters."
In a brief statement on the official Epic Games forums, PR Manager Dana Crowley shared the company's position on the Stop Piracy Online Act. The short story is that they do not support it in its current form.
Epic also acknowledges that they are a member of the Entertainment Software Association, which strongly supports the house bill that will be taken up again by the House Judiciary community on January 23.
From the Epic forums:
Speaking to political publication Roll Call, SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) took shots earlier this week at critics of the bill that has gained as much bi-partisan opposition as it has support.
Take a look at this list. We love the companies on this list because, for the most part, they make great games. The problem is that they are members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), and by proxy they support SOPA. And, according to the statement issued to Joystiq today, the ESA is not backing down from that support.
In a statement emailed to Joystiq, the trade group said the following:
Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games - the company behind Serious Sam: Double D - has written an open letter to members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) asking them to urge the trade group to drop its support of SOPA. He also urged gamers, supposedly represented by the ESA and its Video Game Voters Network, to urge the group to drop its support of the bill as well.
While U.S. politicians get ready to return to fight over SOPA, new legislation to combat file-sharing in Spain has been approved. The legislation, called the "Sustainable Economy Law" (LES), was specifically designed to stop Spanish Internet users from accessing file-sharing sites either by blocking them at the ISP level or by shutting them down completely.
A TechieBuzz report points out an interesting fact about GoDaddy's initial support of SOPA; that it may have been done as a way to deal with some problems related to some pending legal action against the company by some major Hollywood trade organizations. The report suggests that GoDaddy might have supported the bill to gain immunity from a court-case against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
It looks like Nintendo, Sony, and Electronic Arts have withdrawn their support for the much maligned SOPA bill. An update to the government’s list of SOPA supporters (PDF) no longer sports the companies’ names (although Sony’s music divisions are still on there).
Why the change of heart? We’re not sure.
Last month the American Assembly, a non-partisan public policy forum associated with Columbia University, released a paper titled "Copyright Infringement and Enforcement in the US." That paper came to the conclusion that 15 percent of U.S. file-sharers hide their IP-addresses using proxies and virtual private networks. Researchers, who conducted 2,303 telephone interviews, also found that roughly half of all adults could be branded as pirates.
A new video supposedly from the hacking group Anonymous warns Sony that they are soon to be targeted for their support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
TechDirt reports that the boycott of GoDaddy over its support for SOPA may be fizzling out. Pointing to data from DailyChanges, TechDirt says that the domain name and hosting service actually gained more customers than it lost. According to this graphic, GoDaddy saw a net gain of 20,748 new domains registered (43,304 new registrations versus 35,907 deletions) yesterday.
Domain registrar and web hosting provider Domain.com is taking advantage of GoDaddy's bad PR related to its support of SOPA to steal away customers. The company, which claims to have over five million domains under its management, said this morning in a press release that it "is unwavering in its opposition to SOPA's infringement of First Amendment rights," adding that it "firmly opposes the legislation, and invites like-minded domain owners to join them by transferring away from companies that have shown support for SOPA."
Reddit users, buoyed by its part in the damage done to GoDaddy over its support for SOPA, have decided to make an example of Paul Ryan (R-WI) for his support of the anti-piracy / rogue web sites bills in the Senate and the House. A sub-Reddit called "OperationPullRyan" has been created and users are throwing their support behind Wisconsin Democrat Rob Zerban, who will try to take Paul out in 2012.
While lawmakers are arguing over SOPA and Protect IP - two bills that could change the way the Internet works in order to fight piracy - it seems that many staffers on Capitol Hill are spending a lot of time downloading movies, TV shows, music, games and books via BitTorrent. According to a report from TorrentFreak over 800 IP's that originate from Capitol Hill are at the BitTorrent trough, even as they write laws against illegal downloading and file-sharing.
Bloggers of all stripes and political persuasions are joining together to oppose SOPA and Protect IP, with some telling political publications like Politico that the passage of these bills will be the end of the blogosphere as we know it.
I know we've written quite a bit about GoDaddy and SOPA today, but this short TechDirt post shows that the hosting company is really reaching out to customers who have left the fold because of SOPA. According to former GoDaddy customer Chris Heald, some of those individuals who have transferred domains to other providers are now receiving phone calls from GoDaddy customer service asking them why they left and trying to win them back.
GoDaddy is not having a merry Christmas, and the way things have started out this week, its New Year's celebration will be punctuated with audible sobbing. A lot has happened to the company since last Friday. The first notable thing, according to VentureBeat, is that it has lost 37,000 domains - mostly the result of boycott efforts after the company was revealed on a list of companies that support SOPA.
As I was writing a story about some customers lining up to boycott GoDaddy.com, I stumbled across another story about the company dropping its support of the antic-piracy bill.
The company said in a statement on its web site that it is "no longer supporting SOPA, the 'Stop Online Piracy Act' currently working its way through U.S. Congress."
The House Judiciary Committee has released this PDF with a list of organizations and companies that support the anti-piracy/rogue web sites bill, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). We have listed some of the companies that have publicly thrown their support behind this controversial legislation, but today we offer the full list.
Leah Kauffman, who wrote and sang the popular song "I Got a Crush on Obama" (lip-synched by a woman who would later became known as Obama Girl), has released a new video about SOPA called "Firewall." In the video Kaufman dances with a man dressed as the "Internet" and begs him not to "put up a firewall."