Three decades ago home taping was "killing music". Technology has advanced, but the entertainment industry is still in the Dark Ages: Under the guise of protecting "innovation" these Luddites are urging Congress to undermine the greatest engine of invention humanity has ever known: the Internet.
Demand Progress has been fighting the Internet Blacklist Bill -- formally the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA -- since it was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) last year. More than 400,000 Demand Progress members have urged their lawmakers to oppose it -- you can join them here. And as we anticipate the introduction of the House version of the bill later this month, we're excited to welcome some strange new bedfellows to the fight.
THE LEDE: The opposition to Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) Protect IP or PIPA Act got a lot broader this weekend when the Tea Party Patriots came out against the legislation on Facebook. The conservative umbrella group has almost 850,000 supporters on Facebook and linked to an editorial from Demand Progress executive director David Segal and Don't Censor the Net executive director Patrick Ruffini on Saturday, arguing the coalition of political opposition from the right and left shows the bill is bad for consumers.
PIPA would give the government broad new powers to block users' access to sites that are accused of copyright infringement. Or, in other words, it'll make it much easier for the government to censor the Internet, Dems have taken the lead on the Senate side, but opposition by the Tea Party could be a huge factor in the House, where we expect the effort to be spearheaded by Republicans Bob Goodlatte (VA) and Lamar Smith (TX).
The Hollywood establishment might rake in a few extra bucks on its next series of pro-forma teenie-bopper sequels, but PIPA is likely to quash real economy-driving, life-improving innovation. That's why 50 major venture capitalists, urged Congress to kill the bill earlier this year. It's why more than 150 top entrepreneurs just sent Congress a letter urging opposition to the legislation.
And it's why over 400,000 Demand Progress members have asked their lawmakers to oppose PIPA. If you're not one of them yet, you can email your rep and senators by clicking here.