Republicans Bail On SOPA/PIPA After Yesterday's Internet "Blackout"

Dashiell Bennett
Republicans Bail On SOPA/PIPA After Yesterday's Internet

Yesterday's internet-wide protest may not have killed Congress's anti-piracy efforts completely, but a lot of legislators (including some co-sponsors) suddenly can't run away from the bills fast enough. According to Ars Technica's count, 18 Senators, mostly Republican, have withdrawn their support for the Protect IP Act in the last 24 hours, including seven former co-sponsors. Roy Blunt of Missouri (pictured), is another one of the co-sponsors who turned on the bill, following Marco Rubio's lead. Most are now calling PIPA "flawed" or "not ready for prime time," but since they didn't seem to feel that way on Tuesday, it's pretty clear that Wednesday's public protests have had at least some of their desired effect.

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Oddly enough, the defectors are skewing heavily Republican, though perhaps it shouldn't be that surprising since the architects of the bill are mostly media corporations that tend to be more left leaning. (As is Christopher Dodd, the current head of the Motion Picture Association of American, who used to be a Democratic Senator.) The truth is that the legislation is one of the few movements to not be divided evenly along party lines, but anti-SOPA opposition did get key endorsements from the Heritage Foundation and

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The bills have not been completely taken off the table yet, but support is definitely waning and we may soon see a bipartisan effort to put them down for good. At the very least, they're both going to need some script doctoring before they find their way to the House and Senate floors.