Protect Intellectual Property Act

January 27, 2012 by staff 

Protect Intellectual Property Act, The controversial anti-piracy bills that attracted tens of millions of dollars of lobbying for and against the proposed laws ironically were killed by free publicity.

“Old” media companies spent huge sums of money in support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Those opposed — Internet and “new media” companies — lobbied hard and spent gobs too, though far less than their more organized rivals.

But Silicon Valley had a trick up its sleeve that trumped the millions of dollars more in lobbying muscle and the more established Washington presence of the old media guard: They reached out directly to their users for free.

Google, Wikipedia and others altered their homepages and websites in opposition of the bills last week, making the issue a topic of popular discussion across the country.

“The Internet really flexed their muscles during this fight, and their infrastructure helped them advocate their positions that others don’t have at their disposal,” said Michael Beckel, money-in-politicsanlyst at the Center for Responsive Politics.

It helped that the two bills were an issue that the public cared about. The opposition movement was trending on Twitter, and thousands of protesters joined in New York and San Francisco on Jan. 20 in opposition of the bills.

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