PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who was an initial co-sponsor of PIPA, reversed his position.
“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,” Rubio wrote on a Facebook post.
The protest seemed to change the minds of lawmakers, including those that had strongly backed the bills in the past.
“We can find a solution that will protect lawful content. But this bill is flawed & that’s why I’m withdrawing my support. #SOPA #PIPA,” Republican Sen. Roy Blunt wrote on his official Twitter page.
You know it’s bad when Fox News thinks that SOPA and PIPA are bad. Source: Fox News
Google said 4.5 million people signed its online petition to Congress, voicing displeasure at the legislation; Twitter said more than two million posts on the subject flowed through the site by early afternoon, nearly four times as many as usual.
Engine Advocacy, a service that helps people call their local members of Congress, said on Twitter that it was averaging roughly 2,000 calls per second, while Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees Wikipedia, said four million people used its blacked-out site to look up contact information for their local representative.
The tide has turned! Supporters for the bills are dwindling as the day of website blackouts leads to thousands of calls and complaints to Congress.
Legislation that just weeks ago had overwhelming bipartisan support and had provoked little scrutiny generated a grass-roots coalition on the left and the right. Wikipedia made its English-language content unavailable, replaced with a warning: “Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet.” Visitors to Reddit found the site offline in protest. Google’s home page was scarred by a black swatch that covered the search engine’s label.
Phone calls and e-mail messages poured in to Congressional offices against the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect I.P. Act in the Senate. One by one, prominent backers of the bills dropped off.
First, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising Republican star, took to Facebook, one of the vehicles for promoting opposition, to renounce a bill he had co-sponsored. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who leads the G.O.P.’s Senate campaign efforts, used Facebook to urge his colleagues to slow the bill down. Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina and a Tea Party favorite, announced his opposition on Twitter, which was already boiling over with anti-#SOPA and #PIPA fever.