MPAA Chairman: SOPA “Dead” and “Gone” */?> MPAA Chairman: SOPA “Dead” and “Gone”

Posted by · April 12, 2012 11:25 am

SOPA is dead, but CISPA remains.Despite troublesome talk of the dreaded anti-piracy bill’s revival last week, senator-turned-lobbyist Chris Dodd is finally pronouncing the death of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA.

“It’s gone,” he told Bloomberg’s Judy Woodruff in an interview scheduled to air this weekend. “In my view, it’s dead.”

After encountering historic popular resistance at the peak of the debate, SOPA—along with its Senate companion bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA)—was shelved by legislators back in January despite vehement protest by Dodd, who now chairs the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

“I would caution people don’t make the assumption that because the quote ‘Hollywood community’ has been historically supportive of Democrats, which they have, don’t make the false assumptions this year that because we did it in years past, we will do it this year,” he warned in an interview shortly after SOPA and PIPA were removed from legislative calendars. “The issues before us—this is the only issue that goes right to the heart of this industry.”

After letting the stalemated bills rest for nearly three months, the Dodd returned to the issue in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. When asked if there were still SOPA negotiations taking place and whether there would be a revival of the bill in Congress, the MPAA Chairman matter-of-factly said that he was “confident that’s the case.”

“But I’m not going to go into more detail because, obviously, if I do, it becomes counterproductive,” he added.

Despite such clear confidence, Dodd’s assumptions appear to have been way off-track. But this does not come as much of a surprise. In light of the upcoming election season—even if SOPA wasn’t “dead” and “gone”—one could reasonably expect both bills to remain dormant at least until after November.

That said, the now-official death of this controversial piece of legislation does not mean that similar (or worse) legislation is not on the congressional agenda. In fact, just last week, it came to the wider public’s attention that a far more sinister bill has been in the works since November. Dubbed the “Son of SOPA” by some of its critics, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, threatens suspected copyright infringers with something far greater than having his or her website shutdown without due process.

By amending the National Security Act of 1947 to include “provisions concerning cyber threat intelligence and information sharing,” civil liberties experts say that CISPA’s sweeping language may classify alleged infringers as national security threats.

And although the bill’s viability remains in question—at least until election season is over—the support of CISPA by big names such as AT&T, Microsoft, Facebook, and Intel assures us that this latest attempt to skirt due process—this time with the help of the clandestine intelligence apparatus—is not going to disappear without a fight.

For more info on SOPA, CISPA and other anti-piracy legislation . . .