On Wednesday more than 7 million people in the U.S. signed Google’s petition urging Congress to stop #SOPA and #PIPA, the two bills that would censor the web. The petition and other actions worked: On January 18th SOPA only had 31 opponents in congress as of today there’s 122 opponents.
But the unions and guilds representing Hollywood crews that support the bills and donate millions to political causes are just beginning their fight.
“We know the pressure that you are getting to renege on your commitment,” the guilds wrote in a letter to Democratic senators from New York, Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, co-sponsors of the Protect Intellectual Property Act, which will be taken up by the Senate next week. “We are the voice of thousands of individuals who thank you for your standing steadfast against this barrage and in support of the jobs of our members.”
The letter, signed by unions representing more than 400,000 actors, directors, performers and crafts people, defended the bill, which has been blasted by major tech companies as an impediment to free speech that could force some legitimate companies to shut down. But the unions accused Google and other critics of distorting facts about what the bill would actually do.
“The Protect IP Act does nothing more than make it possible for the U.S. government to handle illegal foreign websites in the same manner it can already do – and has been doing – with illegal sites. It has no impact at all on the legal U.S. sites that people are being told will disappear…. We are greatly offended that our advocacy of this bill has turned into an implication that we promote censorship. Our commitment to the First Amendment is decades old and long established – it is a matter of public record from long before the word “Internet” was part of our vocabulary.”
The letter was signed by the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the American Federation of Musicians.
Currently there are more democrats than republicans that still support SOPA and PIPA, according to ProPublica.
Among Democrats that support SOPA are Nevada Senator Harry Reid and CA. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. CA. Congresswoman Karen Bass and Rep. Joe Baca still among the SOPA co-sponsor as well.