This is some good news:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called off a vote on controversial anti-piracy legislation Friday — the surest sign yet that a wave of online protests have killed SOPA and PIPA for now and maybe forever.
Reid canceled the procedural vote on PIPA scheduled for Tuesday. Meanwhile, in the House, Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), announced plans Friday to put off any consideration of SOPA indefinitely.
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” Smith said in a statement Friday. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”
Silicon Valley interests and cyber activists rejoiced at the victory.
“Hallelujah!” tweeted Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association.
“Dems, Sen. Reid has just saved u from a lot of embarrassment/loss of support,” tweeted Gigi Sohn, co-founder of Public Knowledge, which had helped organize protests.
Meanwhile, Chris Dodd continues to be a whore for monied interests everywhere, and is going back to the drawing board:
Dodd blames the bills’ reduced support on a slow timeline that allowed opposition to mobilize, but also on a strategy that ended up making the anti-piracy effort seem specifically about helping Hollywood. His own efforts were also limited by a law that prevents him from lobbying Congress directly within two years of leaving office.
Dodd mentioned rethinking the film industry’s distant relationship with Silicon Valley, and said he would welcome a meeting between Internet companies and content providers in order to rework the bills. Unfortunately, there was no mention of his inflammatory comments before the blackout, including calling the Internet protests an “abuse of power” and accusing critics of punishing officials trying to fight “foreign criminals.” Dodd may take a different tack in his next round of lobbying, but cutting out the alarmist rhetoric probably won’t be part of it.
Got it? Dodd thinks the bill failed because they didn’t ram it through fast enough without people knowing what was in it and what it did. That’s his vision of democracy. Additionally, he is now launching threats at the President:
Hollywood’s top lobbyist and former Sen. Chris Dodd is threatening to cut off campaign funds to President Obama’s re-election effort because of anger over the White House appearing to side with tech companies in a bitter fight over anti-piracy legislation.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Dodd fired off a warning to Obama — his former Senate Democratic colleague in this election year — “don’t take us for granted.”
“Candidly, those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake,” Dodd told Fox News. “Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”
The money party always plays hardball- that is why they have been winning the last thirty years. It’s also a very solid reminder how bad some Democrats are, especially when you consider how many Democrats are co-sponsors of these bills. This is how far the rot goes:
Believe it or not, South Florida Democratic Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutch — supporters of the Stop Online Piracy Act — happened to get a lot of money from interest groups supporting the legislation.
According to the nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization MapLight, Wasserman Schultz and Deutch took in nearly $1 million combined in contributions from interest groups supporting SOPA, compared to only around $125,000 in contributions from interest groups not in favor of it.
That’s the chair of the DNC supporting this wretched bill because of who lines her pockets. Also particularly awesome is the fact that all the lobbying only impacted one side of the Hill:
Following the protests Wednesday that saw dozens of websites go dark in opposition to federal anti-piracy legislation, the four remaining Republican presidential candidate said the U.S. House’s bill would be a disaster for freedom on the Internet.
During a debate in South Carolina Thursday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Congressman Ron Paul all said they did not support the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
CNN moderator John King noted in his question to the candidates that CNN’s parent company Time Warner “says we need a law like this because some of its products — movies, programs and the like — are being ripped off online.”
I know of no high profile Senators or Congressmen on the Democratic side who changed their positions on this. As we love to say, Democrats hate their base, Republicans fear theirs. I’ll let Emptywheel sum it all up:
Props to President Obama for being on the right side of this issue, once again (as with Gitmo and so many other issues), going it alone while the Democrats continue to shoot themselves in the foot while it is in their mouths.