Google, Wikipedia, N4G, Blues News and a number of other high-profile and niche websites staged a bit of an online protest yesterday on January 18th to make a statement: They're not for the Stop Online Piracy Act or the Protect IP Act. In result, many state representatives are now withdrawing their support for both bills.
According to GameIndustry, not only has some of the Senators withdrawn support but they have also made their stance vocal, actually opposing the bill(s). For instance, Florida Senator Marc Rubio let loose comments on Facebook, saying...
"I have a strong interest in stopping online piracy that costs Florida jobs," ... "However, we must do this while simultaneously promoting an open, dynamic internet environment that is ripe for innovation and promotes new technologies."
I'm curious which "jobs" he's talking about exactly because piracy can't be hurting the jobs market more than greedy lying S.O.B CEOS out-sourcing a lot of legitimate jobs overseas. But that's a topic for another day.
Missouri state Senator Roy Blunt also chimed in with his two cents on the matter, briefly stating that...
"The right to free speech is one of the most basic foundations that makes our nation great, and I strongly oppose sanctioning Americans' right to free speech in any medium - including over the internet,"
Both Senators were joined by 11 other members of the senate who also strongly oppose the bill. Strangely enough out of the 13 politicians who came forward in opposing the bill 11 of them happen to be Republican while only 2 were Democrats. I would have expected the liberals to show more intestinal fortitude when comes to protecting free speech, but I guess not.
According to GI, more than 4.5 million people signed the petition against the SOPA and PIPA bills after Google staged their blackout yesterday. Hence, the 13 Senators join millions of average people like you and me, as well as others such as Halo's Bungie, Runic Studios, the League for Gamers headed up by Red 5 Studios, Epic Games and many more in the fight to retain free speech on the internet. Sony, Nintendo and EA also silently dropped out of supporting the bill a short while ago.
Another hearing for both PIPA and SOPA will take place next week.