Some 7,000 websites went dark Wednesday to protest the the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a law that would give the government more power to censor the Internet in service to corporations. The protests appear to have had an impact, and have caused several co-sponsors of to come out opposed to the bill.
In fact, it looks like the Senate version, called PIPA, is effectively dead at this point, with 13 Senators announcing their opposition today alone. Among the 13 were five of the bill’s co-sponsors.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), one of the primary corporate backers of SOPA, lashed the public protests against it, with former Sen. Chris Dodd (D – CT), the current MPAA Chairman, insisting protests by private websites fearing censorship amounted to an “abuse of power.”
Rep. Lamar Smith (R – TX), the original sponsor of the House version, insists the bill will continue to be pressed forward, saying that those critical of the bill were helping to “enable fraudsters.”