Congressman drops support for SOPA

A sustained campaign coordinated by redditors has evidently convinced Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), the House Budget Chair, to drop his support for the Stop Online Piracy Act:

"The internet is one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history. It should stay that way. While H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act, attempts to address a legitimate problem, I believe it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse. I do not support H.R. 3261 in its current form and will oppose the legislation should it come before the full House."

Reddit successfully pressures Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to back off support of SOPA. (self.politics)


  1. That’s not dropping support, that’s providing an excuse to support a mildly revised version of the bill with some of the most odious provisions removed (but others intact). Don’t be fooled.

    1. Well, what was he supposed to say? “I do not support this bill nor any of the potential future revisions to it without knowing anything about the latter.” ?

      1. Well, what was he supposed to say?

        He’s Paul Ryan. He’s supposed to say “I apologize for pretending to be an intellectual when I’m really just a partisan android. I will now retire to a monastery, and you will never hear from me again.”

    2. Reminds me of the idea of shifting the politics in one direction or other by making so much of a fuss about something, that the current administration has to move politically in that direction to remain in power. And once that happens, the opposition moves even further and continue to make a fuss. Or in other words, the political version of boiling a frog.

  2. Ryan is a great man. When it comes to saving the nation from the impending doom of  a 20 trillion dollar debt, he is really our only hope.

  3. Yes, it is a wild attempt to guarantee income to an industry that refuses to react to changes in the marketplace in a meaningful way by punishing innocent bystanders at random.

    If you accept that an industry not being able to make a profit when they insist on trying to sell product that is crippled in ways that make people consume it in ways they don’t like, or forces them to buy other product that they don’t want, or get it delivered in ways that are inconvenient,  or simply are charging more than people are willing to pay, as a “problem” then yes, it’s attempting to solve a problem.  Not in anything like a good way, but it’s an attempt to solve a problem.

  4. These assholes never to something because it is morally right or at least beacuse they understand it. They do it because they are human windsocks and they wind just shifted. Wait until somebody buys him an opinion that is diametrically opposed to this statement of his, shouldn’t be long.

    1. The windsock metaphor is nice; I’m going to borrow that one.

      And of course you’re right; I’m sure we’ll see many politicians back down from SOPA (if they’re smart).  It’s an election year in the US (from what I gather) so it makes sense that they make popular decisions, rather than ones based on their industry specific, professional knowledge, for which they have none anyway.

      I try to tell people this in the UK during election time; I’d rather see unpopular, but sensible decisions (on things like climate science and drug prohibition), but the problem is if only one party does actual politics rather than Pop Idol PR they’ll simply lose, it requires some kind of forced participation. So we end up with weak policy that means nothing but costs people lots of money, because at least it didn’t annoy old people who like to write lots of letters and always vote.

  5. Too bad it wasn’t Lamar Smith who dropped his support. If all these internet bigwigs oppose SOPA, can’t they just outbid Lamar Smith’s support?  Couldn’t Google just say “Make SOPA go away and we will give you a quarter-mil”? 

    Couldn’t all those companies that oppose SOPA simply block IP addresses from Kerville and areas near Smith’s Austin and San Antonio offices for thirty minutes with a redirect to a anti SOPA message, or at least give them and anti SOPA pop-up?

      1. Isn’t the main purpose of securing a chairmanship to increase the size and frequency of ‘donations’ from the companies whose actions your committee regulates?

  6. I love how these bastards start spouting the exact opposite of the shit they were pushing a minute ago while retaining that informed and thoughtful tonality in their statements.

  7. I think I know what they’re doing…. they’re going to make a big deal out of not passing SOPA so they can instead pass PIPA under the radar. Our government at work…

  8. I think somebody just realized he’s a Representative and he’s up for re-election this year.  Remember he’s one of those teapartyiers.  He’s got a party line separate from the standard R’s to toe.

  9. In case people are wondering “Why is Redditt getting any credit for this at all?” – Redditors made a campaign they called “Operation Pull Ryan” or “Operation Paul Ryan” (sources disagree) targeting someone who was *neutral* (not one of the 32 sponsors of the bill, and no stated public stance, pro or anti).

    He put forth a public position, against it, which may or may not have been influenced by that.

    To quote the first post in the Redditt thread:
    “There is zero evidence that Paul Ryan ever supported SOPA. There is zero evidence that Reddit had anything at all to do with Ryan’s not-change of position.” (emphasis in original)

    Fact-checking, people! It’s NOT HARD.

    Edit: has a much better researched version of this report. Basically, he’s a conservative Republican: of course he’s against legislation to give the Federal Government more power.

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