US Senators Backpedal from PIPA

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 19, 2012

this blog entry has been updated

Ars Technica reports that 16 members of the US Senate - nearly all of them Republicans - have publicly announced their opposition to the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) after yesterday's online protest against PIPA/SOPA.

The list includes six of the bill's 11 co-sponsors: Roy Blunt, John Boozman, Ben Cardin, Orrin Hatch, Marco Rubio and David Vitter.

Overall, 36 Senators oppose the bill or lean toward opposition. 31 Senators - 23 of them Democrats - still support the bill, and the remaining 31 have not yet publicly taken a position.

Senate Support for PIPA
Support Oppose Undeclared
Dem Rep Ind Dem Rep Ind Dem Rep Ind
Source: OpenCongress PIPA Whip Count
23 9 1 12 24 0 16 14 1
33 36 31

Public Outcry

According to Google, 4.5 million people signed its petition telling Congress: "Don't censor the Web".

The Wikimedia Foundation reports that the English language Wikipedia blackout reached over 162 million people:

You shut down Congress's switchboards. You melted their servers. From all around the world your messages dominated social media and the news. Millions of people have spoken in defense of a free and open Internet.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who opposes PIPA, said that his website temporarily shut down under the weight of incoming traffic.

Yesterday, twitter noted that users posted over 2.4 million tweets yesterday about SOPA, PIPA and the blackout.

Update: Senator Harry Reid, the author of PIPA, has just announced that he is postponing a vote on the bill:

In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP Act #PIPA

The Senate was scheduled to vote on the bill this coming Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 19, 2012 at 10:29:10

But how will hollywood survive without it? Especially since all of their movies lose money:

'Hollywood Accounting' Losing In The Courts (from the math-is-hard dept)

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[ - ]

By TreyS (registered) | Posted January 21, 2012 at 23:15:47

I love the USA

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[ - ]

By A Birch (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2012 at 17:16:06

Canada is sad by comparison. Forget C11 (temporarily), and just look at our telecommunications corporations.

"In 2010, Shaw throttled 14% of users and Bell throttled 16% of users. Rogers? The Toronto-based telco throttled a startling 78% of users, and this number has surpassed 90% during some quarters since 2008."

Srsly sick.

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