from the and-he-invented-the-internet!-(joke) dept
Well, check this out. Al Gore has come out strongly against SOPA and PIPA, angrily denouncing the bill and its supporters. It's a quick 2-minute video taken at a CareerBuilder event, and it's in response to an audience question. The actual question isn't heard in the video, but he's clearly talking about SOPA/PIPA and appears to be well-informed on the issue:
A quick transcript (the very beginning is cut off, so it comes in mid-sentence):
"... are now able to be shared digitally. There is a growing concern on the part of the companies and individuals who create that content, that they're not getting compensated in a fair way, and so they want to impose a new set of requirements on those companies who provide access to the internet, like the browsers, the search engines, etc. And some of these new requirements, according to the experts on the internet, would very probably have the effect of really shutting down the vibrancy of the internet. As in all things, some compromise must be possible. The content creators and owners have a point and a legitimate complaint... But, in our country, in our world today, there is hardly anything more important -- whether you want to solve global warming, as I do, whether you want to reinvigorate democracy as many of us do, whatever problem you want to fix -- there is hardly anything more important to getting the right things done than to save and protect the vibrancy and freedom of the internet. The internet is bringing life back to democracy. We saw it in Egypt. We're seeing it in Russia now. We've seen it in so many places.... If you look at the reform movements around the world, and in the US, more than likely they're based on internet forms of organization. And anything that would threaten the vibrancy and freedom of the internet, I'm against!"
There's very loud applause at the end. If you watch it, you see he gets more and more animated and worked up towards the end. He's also clearly familiar with the details, since he knows the real impact of the bill. Rather than just focusing on "foreign" sites, as supporters of these bills would like everyone to, he points out that the way in which this is done is to put new requirements on tons of domestic internet companies. He may not have invented the internet (and yes, I know that was taken out of context, but it's a meme at this point, so live with it), but he certainly understands its importance... and he's clearly not a fan of SOPA/PIPA.