SOPA blackout protests yield results

Thursday, 19 January 2012 21:48 GMT By Brenna Hillier

This week’s Internet blackout protests against the Stop Online Piracy (SOPA) and Protect IP (PIPA) acts preceded a number of capitulations from key US politicians.

Eurogamer reports PIPA co-sponsors, Florida senator Marco Rubio and Missouri senator Roy Blunt, have both reversed position, along with Utah senator Orrin Hatch, the Democrats’ Ben Cardin and the Republican party.

On the SOPA side, Republican house members Ben Quayle of Arizona, Dennis Ross of Florida and Lee Terry of Nebraska withdrew support.

Ars Technica reports Lamar Smith, the Texan Republican who has been a primary driving force of SOPA, has remained firm in the face of dwindling support.

“I realize some people are nervous because of misinformation about this bill, but I am confident that ultimately the facts will overcome fears,” he wrote.

“Contrary to critics’ claims, SOPA does not censor the Internet. It only targets activity that is already illegal, and only targets foreign websites that steal and sell America’s technology, inventions and products.”

Smith has indicated he is willing to address concerns over the acts intricacies, but is clearly fairly confident the central premises are in the right.

A number of developers and games media outlets went dark to protest the controversial legislation, despite the ESA’s support of both proposed acts.