SOPA and PIPA: What Went Wrong? | PCWorld Business Center
By Grant Gross, IDG News
For Internet activists, last week's Web protests against two controversial copyright enforcement bills were a huge victory against three powerful and well-funded trade groups that pushed hard for passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act.
By the time the week was over, dozens of lawmakers had abandoned the two bills or voiced opposition, and a cloture vote on PIPA scheduled for this Tuesday in the Senate was delayed as lawmakers try to find a compromise. In the House, Representative Lamar Smith, the lead SOPA sponsor and Texas Republican, killed his bill.
For one of the first times, Web-based activism had a major impact on the U.S. congressional process. On Thursday, a day after the protests, former Senator Chris Dodd, now chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, groused to the New York Times that the protests had changed Washington, D.C., with Web companies able to influence debate without regulation or fact-checking.
Underestimated the Web