WASHINGTON - Today, progressive Internet advocacy group Demand Progress declared victory over the Internet Blacklist Bills (aka PIPA & SOPA). After a year-long battle with civil liberties, human rights, and Internet freedom advocacy organizations and their members, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cancelled a planned January 24th procedural vote on the bill. During the conflict, Demand Progress grew its membership list from zero to over one million members, and generated more than 3 million contacts to Congress.
Demand Progress encouraged Internet users to visit its new site, VoteForTheNet.com, where voters can pledge to oppose censorship supporters, and can donate to the four senators who've long promised to filibuster PIPA and SOPA. The site is a joint partnership with the right-leaning organization, DontCensorTheNet -- More than 70,000 Americans have signed the pledge in the last 72 hours.
Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal stated, "Today Internet users around the world have reason to celebrate. The battle over PIPA and SOPA will go down in history as a turning point in the battle to keep the Internet free from undue corporate and government control. But mark my words -- this is just the beginning. We can never allow dangerous legislation like PIPA and SOPA to move forward in any form: After the year of back-room deals that led to the drafting and near-passage of these bills, nothing less than complete transparency throughout any legislative process -- with the input of Internet users -- will be acceptable."
Fight for the Future, which ran the largest organizing sites for the recent SOPA protests (sopastrike.comandamericancensorship.org), applauds the announcement that the Senate and House have postponed action on the proposed web censorship bills.
“We sent the MPAA back to the drawing board,” said Fight for the Future Co-founder Holmes Wilson, “But any law that lets the copyright lobby block our websites, censor our search results, or cut off our Paypal accounts--without even going through a judge--will be soundly defeated.”
“This was the largest online protest in history,” said Fight for the Future Co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng, “The MPAA was trying to quietly force this bill through Congress, but when internet users started paying attention, real democracy happened. This is a watershed moment in the fight against lobbyists’ influence on politics.”
“The MPAA could have proposed a law to address copyright infringement,” said Holmes Wilson, “Instead, they proposed giving rightsholders veto power over online innovation and free expression. At that point, it was just a matter of getting the public involved.”