As most of the English-speaking world is aware, yesterday the U.S. went to vote. Along with the presidential elections, there were also 33 senate, and all 425 House seats up for grabs. So how did those who supported the likes of SOPA/PIPA fare?
The Democrat party is, more often, the party of Hollywood, and so it’s no surprise to see them enacting holly-wood favorable legislation. President Obama is also a big music fan, and has drawn many big names in that industry as supporters too. As such, what can we expect from the 113th Congress?
First, let’s take a quick look at SOPA. Introduced by Representative Lamar Smith (R-Tx21) in 2011.
SOPA may come around again, as the 64yo keeps his seat with 60.6% of the vote. Nor is it the only internet law proposed by him in this last Congress. He also authored the heavily criticized “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act” requiring ISPs to retain more information on subscribers, for any use by government.
Of the initial SOPA 12 co-sponsors most kept their seats, with three exceptions, all in California. Elton Gallegly did not stand for re-election. Meanwhile two names regular readers are sure to recognize are on the chopping block as well.
First Mary Bono-Mack (R-Ca36), Sonny Bono’s widow who inherited his seat. She pushed strongly for the Sonny Bono Copyright term extinction in 98, adding another 20 years to its length. In a close election, she appears to have lost, provisionally, getting 48.6% to her Democratic challengers 51.4%.
However, the big news is the Howard Berman is out. Often referred to as ‘The Gentleman from Hollywood’, he was pitted against fellow democrat and SOPA sponsor Brad Sherman in California’s 30th district. Sherman won with 60.5% to Berman’s 39.5%. Berman was also a major driving force behind ACTA and the earlier P2P Piracy Protection Act of 2002 (with Rep. Smith), and other similar legislation.
Of the additional 19 sponsors the bill picked up, another 3 are not coming back in January. Rep. Joe Baca lost the 35th district of California to another democrat, while Tim Holden [D-Pa17) and Benjamin Quayle (R-Az3) lost in their primaries; both also withdrew their sponsorship in Mid-January.
On the PIPA side, there’s less change, mainly because Senate terms are 6 years, with only 33% being elected each time. Out of Bill sponsor Patrick Lehy (D-Vt) and the 32 co-sponsors, 21(including Leahy), were not up for election.
Of the remaining 14, three did not run for election – Bingaman (D-Nm), Kohl (D-Wi), Lieberman (I-Ct) – while the other 9 retained their seats. However, it was not east for some, including Sherrod Brown (D-Oh) with only 50.3% and Bob Casey, Jr (D-Pa) with 53.6%. Many more stunts like this could see them lose their seats in another 6 years.
So, will there be another SOPA/PIPA? Possibly. The Hollywood reporter suggests that it will be one of the first items on Hollywood’s agenda, and was foiled mainly due to Silicon Valley. Completely ignoring the fact that co-sponsors of both bills withdrew over public sentiment.
If the US Congress does decide to undertake another monumentally stupid act though, you’ll hear about it here, on TorrentFreak.