Huge Supporter Of Stronger Copyright Law, Grover Norquist, Backing Away From SOPA

from the support-keeps-dwindling dept

The supposed widespread support for SOPA keeps fading away, it seems. The latest supporter to jump ship is a big one on the political front. Grover Norquist, who runs Americans for Tax Reform, is a major force in US conservative/Republican politics -- and a massive supporter of stricter copyright laws. Where Norquist goes on certain issues, certain Republicans follow. In fact, Norquist and ATR even have their own "stronger copyright law" group called "The Property Rights Alliance." And, a few weeks ago, Norquist sent Lamar Smith a letter supporting SOPA entirely. But... now his group has changed its mind, and notes that they no longer "unequivocally support it," and are hoping that Smith "will allow the concerns many have with the remaining parts of the bill to be addressed." The group also acknowledges its concern about the need to protect "innovation and free speech online."

I'm curious to see how the pro-SOPA folks who declare that everyone who has raised these concerns is just a "piracy apologist" will respond to this one. Norquist/ATR are about as far from "piracy apologists" as you can get. It's safe to say that I think his positions on intellectual property are ridiculous in most cases. But, when even someone like that is recognizing how many problems there are with SOPA, it's time for SOPA supporters to admit that the concerns of the bill are very real. And those complaining about the bill aren't "piracy apologists," but people with legitimate concerns about innovation, security and free speech online.

As Declan McCullagh's article about this notes, it appears that many "pro-copyright" groups rushed to support these bills without bothering to understand what was really in them. Now that they're learning, they realize just how problematic they are...
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Filed Under: grover norquist, pipa, protect ip, sopa, supporters
Companies: americans for tax reform, property rights alliance

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  1. icon
    MAJikMARCer (profile), 6 Jan 2012 @ 2:00pm

    This reads more like a strategic move than a reduction of support. Perhaps they are seeing the reduction of support and rather than have the bill completely smashed they are suggesting making some compromises to get it through. The 'something is better than nothing' mentality.

    My thinking is that the bill is poisoned at this point, even if good and reasonable changes are made to the bill to ease our fears, those who support it (even if 'fixed') will be labeled as supporting the original intent of the bill, even if they don't.

    The bill is becoming more than it's language, it's about what it represents.

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