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Bills to Stop Web Piracy Are Inviting A Long Fight

Publication Date: 
January 15, 2012
The New York Times
Jenna Wortham and Somini Sengupta; Nick Bilton contributed

Visiting Professor Jonathan Zittrain spoke with Jenna Wortham and Somini Sengupta of the New York Times on the growing movement of major technology firms in opposition to PIPA and SOPA.

When the Obama administration announced on Saturday its opposition to major elements of two Congressional bills intended to curtail copyright violations on the Internet, the technology industry, which has been loudly fighting the proposed legislation, could declare victory.

But few people in Silicon Valley or Hollywood consider the battle over.

The Motion Picture Association of America, which represents Hollywood studios and is a principal proponent of the antipiracy legislation, suggested that it would continue to push the administration to approve a modified version of the bills, known as the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. “Look forward to @whitehouse playing a constructive role in moving forward on #sopa & #pipa,” the association posted on its Twitter feed Saturday night.


The rallying of the Internet and heavyweights in the technology world was significant because it is one of the few times that the industry has united around a focal point, said Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School who studies how the Internet affects society.