Via Facebook just now…
I won’t be supporting the Protect IP Act (PIPA or SOPA as it’s called in the House of Representatives) because, though I’ve been pushing hard on both internet freedom and national security concerns, they still haven’t been fully addressed. It’s a real mistake to press forward with a flawed bill now. It will only endanger ever properly dealing with the very real problem of internet piracy.
Vitter’s name was on the Senate bill (PIPA) as a co-sponsor, as was Mary Landrieu’s; the theory behind it being that it’s something Hollywood wanted and since Hollywood is spending lots of money making movies in Louisiana, having Louisiana’s congressional delegation helping to push these two bills (Steve Scalise is a co-sponsor of SOPA in the House) is more or less going to bat for your constituents.
Except nobody figured on this kind of protest and this much political blowback.
So Vitter’s out, along with other Senators like Roy Blunt, Marco Rubio, John Cornyn, Orrin Hatch and John Boozman – all of whom had put their names on PIPA. The word is that the bill is finished and won’t go anywhere.
Which is good. If somebody is violating copyright laws, we have courts for that. And if that somebody is overseas violating copyrights, then presumably there are courts where those guys are; or if not, then maybe the State Department needs to do its job or Congress can play hardball with trade policy to make sure it’s worth those other countries’ while to get their people to play fair.
The lead sponsor of SOPA? Debbie Wasserman Schultz. And the main guy lobbying SOPA and PIPA? Chris Dodd, former Senatorial crook who is now head of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Why Republicans would throw in with the Old Media on legislation this stupid is something deserving of an explanation. At least in Vitter’s case he was smart enough to get out of the car before it went off a cliff. No such communique from Scalise as yet.
UPDATE: And now we’ve such a communique. Our buddy Walter Abbott has it…
From Communications Director Stephen Bell:
Congressman Scalise is committed to stopping online piracy, and will be removing his name from SOPA while he works to ensure that the freedom of the internet is preserved.