The day the web won against SOPA/PIPA

In the wake of the coordinated withdrawal of service by prominent internet companies including Wikipedia, U.S. lawmakers are backing away from two controversial proposed anti-piracy bills. Now, some say the black-out is a game-changer which demonstrates just how powerful and uncontainable the internet has become.

Today's guest host was Mike Finnerty in Montreal.

Part One of The Current


It's Friday, January 20th.

Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau will enter the boxing ring to fight for charity.

Currently, the match will end when one politician succeeds in knocking some sense into the other.

This is The Current.

The day the web won against SOPA/PIPA

Republican Congressman Lamar Smith has some pretty powerful people standing with him in his fight to save the Stop Online Piracy Act - SOPA. And in the past, that probably would have been enough. But this morning, U.S. lawmakers are backing away from the bill and corresponding legislation in the Senate. Many of those lawmakers used to support the bills until thousands of websites around the world went dark earlier this week, part of a coordinated protest led by Wikipedia.

The websites fear that the legislation - aimed at cracking down on illegally distributed copyrighted material - could end up missing its target, and quash sharing and innovation on the Internet.

And they're fighting a remarkable battle. In the past, when internet upstarts like Wikipedia went up against established media giants like Time-Warner and Disney -- companies that backed these proposed bills -- the web guys got crushed. But this time, the Internet world might just win the day which represents a game-changing moment in the eyes of many.

Rob Beschizza is one of those web guys. He's the Managing Editor of Boing Boing, a popular tech blog that participated in the blackout. He was in Pittsburgh. And Steve Tepp is the chief intellectual property counsel of the Global Intellectual Property Center which is an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has actively lobbied Congress in favour of this legislation. Steve Tepp was in Washington, D.C.

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