When all of this anti-SOPA smoke clears, it appears as if the only government official who will be left standing on the side of the stop piracy acts will be Lamar "SOPA Will Never Die" Smith. While there's plenty of flippancy on this writer's part, truth be told, more government officials are backing off, or at least trying to delay any upcoming votes on the Protect-IP Act, otherwise known as PIPA.
The latest Senator to abandon the Good Ship PIPA is Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida. In doing so, Rubio acknowledged the outspoken opposition to the oft-discussed piracy acts, which means at least on politician is actually listening to the experts. From Rubio's statement:
"We've heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet." Rubio announced, withdrawing his support for the bill, "Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences."
Rubio goes on to say that Senator Harry Reid should stop trying to push the PIPA bill through to the Senate floor. In order to inform his supporters about his plans to drop his support for PIPA, Senator Rubio posted his announcement at his Facebook page. Oh, the power of social media, which we've reprinted, in full:
In recent weeks, we’ve heard from many Floridians about the anti-Internet piracy bills making their way through Congress. On the Senate side, I have been a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act because I believe it’s important to protect American ingenuity, ideas and jobs from being stolen through Internet piracy, much of it occurring overseas through rogue websites in China. As a senator from Florida, a state with a large presence of artists, creators and businesses connected to the creation of intellectual property, 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.
Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy. Since then, we've heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.
Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet.
Over at The Washington Examiner, there is a convenient list of PIPA's co-sponsors, which was acquired from a Library of Congress query. This list is as follows:
Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] - 5/25/2011
Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] - 6/27/2011
Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] - 7/25/2011
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 10/19/2011
Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] - 5/12/2011
Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] - 5/23/2011
Sen Boozman, John [AR] - 6/15/2011
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 12/12/2011
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 10/20/2011
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 7/13/2011
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 9/7/2011
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] - 11/2/2011
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] - 6/23/2011
Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] - 5/12/2011
Sen Corker, Bob [TN] - 6/9/2011
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 6/30/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] - 9/7/2011
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 5/12/2011
Sen Franken, Al [MN] - 5/12/2011
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] - 5/26/2011
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] - 5/12/2011
Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] - 5/12/2011
Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] - 7/5/2011
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] - 5/12/2011
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] - 11/2/2011
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 10/3/2011
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] - 5/12/2011
Sen Kohl, Herb [WI] - 5/12/2011
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] - 10/17/2011
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] - 7/7/2011
Sen McCain, John [AZ] - 7/26/2011
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 10/31/2011
Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] - 9/23/2011
Sen Risch, James E. [ID] - 11/7/2011
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] - 5/12/2011
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] - 6/30/2011
Sen Udall, Tom [NM] - 7/7/2011
Sen Vitter, David [LA] - 11/7/2011
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 5/12/2011
It's important to the know the face, or at least the name of your opposition.