Jan. 18, 2012 - On a recent episode of "Meet the
Press," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threw his support behind
advancing legislation to curb online piracy. Both chambers of Congress
have drafted legislation to address online piracy from foreign websites,
but both bills have faced strong public outcry that has put their
chances of passage in doubt without significant changes.
The Senate is considering the Protect IP Act (
S 968), known as PIPA, while the House is considering the Stop Online Piracy Act (
HR 3261), known as SOPA. The Senate is expected to
vote on PIPA on Jan. 24,
and Reid has indicated there could be significant changes that would
make the bill a "winner for everyone, not just for the content people."
MapLight has conducted an analysis of campaign contributions from key
industry groups to members of the U.S. Senate (July 1, 2005 - June 30,
2011) and found that:
Entertainment interest groups that
support these bills gave
7.2 times as much ($14,423,991) to members of the U.S. Senate as Internet interest groups that
oppose these bills ($2,011,332).
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has received
4.8 times as much from entertainment interest groups that
support these bills ($571,500) as from Internet interest groups that
oppose these bills ($118,050).
Opponents of these two bills, such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, eBay,
and Twitter, fear the measures as currently drafted will grant the U.S.
government power to curb free speech online and, with it, snare
otherwise innocuous third-party sites. The bills' supporters, such as
Disney, Time Warner, Comcast, CBS, and the Recording Industry
Association of America, hope to be able to use the expanded authority to
shut down websites trafficking in pirated content. Drafting language
that appeases both sides has been difficult and may result in Congress's
choosing one side over the other.
METHODOLOGY: Includes reported contributions to congressional
campaigns of senators in office during the 112th U.S. Congress, from
Cable & satellite TV production & distribution, Motion Picture
production & distribution, Entertainment Industry/Broadcast &
Motion Pictures, Commercial TV & radio stations, Recorded Music
& music production, TV production & distribution, and Online
computer services interest groups selected by MapLight, July 1, 2005 -
June 30, 2011. Contributions data source:
A link to this data release can be found
MapLight is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics.