Republican candidates for US President all oppose SOPA

As protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act continue, the four remaining candidates for the Republican nomination for the President of the US have all formally declared their opposition to the proposed bill in the US Congress. News.com reports that in a TV debate among the four candidates on Thursday, none of them expressed any support for SOPA.

Former US House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich said in the debate on CNN that:

... you have virtually everybody who is technologically advanced, including Google and YouTube and Facebook and all the folks who say this is going to totally mess up the Internet. And the bill in its current form is written really badly and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney agreed with Gingrich, saying, "I think he got it just about right. The truth of the matter is that the law, as written, is far too intrusive, far too expensive, far too threatening, the freedom of speech and movement of information across the Internet."

Current US House of Representatives member Ron Paul also agreed, adding, "This bill is not going to pass. But watch out for the next one."

Former US Senator Rick Santorum also opposes SOPA but was the only one of the four candidates who felt that more needed to be done to protect the IP rights of the people and corporations from piracy. He said,

The Internet is not a free zone where anybody can do anything they want to do and trample the rights of other people, and particularly when we're talking about -- in this case, we're talking about entities offshore that are doing so, that are pirating things.

Ironically the four Republican US Presidential candidates agree with the current Obama administration which posted its own opposition to SOPA and to the similar Protect IP Act last weekend on the White House web site.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft admits to video playback issue with Xbox 360

Next Story

Rumor: Next Xbox processor in production?

26 Comments

View more comments

matrix64 said,
Turning as the wind blows.

Exactly. Most of them would be hardly bothered by it, if not for the uproar in the tech world.
The only reason this bill came through was because of large media corporations.

flexkeyboard said,
True, where were their vocal before the black out yesterday?

Ron Paul is probably an exception to this. He did raise his voice about it. He is a "liberalism freak"!

matrix64 said,
Turning as the wind blows.

Republicans are mostly sellouts anyways. Theyll lie and say whatever they have to in order to win, they only care about control and winning.

Beyond Godlike said,

Republicans are mostly sellouts anyways. Theyll lie and say whatever they have to in order to win, they only care about control and winning.


I think that is the definition of a politician, not just a republican

When a large, vocal group of people are passionate about a particular issue, and everyone else doesn't give a crap either way, what is a politician to do?

thealexweb said,
They should have gone further and said they disaprove of PIPA too.

I think Ron Paul did, but they're essentially one in the same anyway, no?

If I may play the devil's advocate here:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't a substantial number of Democrat members of both houses of Congress in favour of SOPA/PIPA - only to turn against it in the face of the protests?

Calling out the Republican candidates alone as turncoats reeks of hypocrisy.

Mephistopheles said,
If I may play the devil's advocate here:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't a substantial number of Democrat members of both houses of Congress in favour of SOPA/PIPA - only to turn against it in the face of the protests?

Calling out the Republican candidates alone as turncoats reeks of hypocrisy.


Yupp!

GS:ios

slade37 said,
I don't know if the site has been updated recently, but here is how the members of Congress stand on SOPA - http://projects.propublica.org//sopa/ The support seems about equal between parties. The site also shows how much money they received from the related industries.

Nice, gives a nice list for people to vote against in November.

The GOP wasn't so against it but now since SOPA/PIPA took on a life of its own much larger than they thought why not join the movement. Also with REID behind it its another "thing" they can point to at the DEMS.

I hate politics...

mrmomoman said,
The GOP wasn't so against it but now since SOPA/PIPA took on a life of its own much larger than they thought why not join the movement. Also with REID behind it its another "thing" they can point to at the DEMS.

IMHO partisan politics come into it because Hollywood traditionally favors the Democratic party -- I doubt Dodd has much influence among the House/Senate Republicans. That said, when the pres. came out against SOPA/PIPA as proposed, that made it more a local election issue for House & Senate candidates to argue about -- nationally I think Paul's right & this round is dead. There are a few Reps & Senators who understand or at least have some knowledge of the on-line world, but most will just say from this point on whatever makes the people they want to vote for them happy.

mikiem said,

IMHO partisan politics come into it because Hollywood traditionally favors the Democratic party -- I doubt Dodd has much influence among the House/Senate Republicans. That said, when the pres. came out against SOPA/PIPA as proposed, that made it more a local election issue for House & Senate candidates to argue about -- nationally I think Paul's right & this round is dead. There are a few Reps & Senators who understand or at least have some knowledge of the on-line world, but most will just say from this point on whatever makes the people they want to vote for them happy.


Which I'm not entirely sure I'm unhappy about. I mean, they are in that position precisely to give a voice to the people and represent them. If they are doing "whatever makes the people want to vote for them" isn't that about correct?

zikalify said,
Ron Paul opposes all stupid things, the others do not.
Ron Paul's intellect make other politicians looks stupid, but the fact of the matter is, they are stupid to even know that they are that stupid.

FWIW the core issue, protection of Intellectual Property, isn't about to go away anytime soon -- it started with the 1st printing presses, & as the life's blood of patent lawyers etc. will continue into the foreseeable future. There's tons of money to be made, while deciding right & wrong, picking the winners & losers is rarely a simple matter. Look at Apple vs. Samsung. Or look at the pharmaceutical industry, where yes, companies deserve to make back the money they spent in R & D, but what if that means masses of people dying because they can't afford whatever medicines? Consider that there's always people trying to take unfair advantage, & it gets more complicated yet, resisting any black & white, one size fits all answers. And that's what makes SOPA &/or PIPA so very unworkable.

When/If you take the usual adversarial approach IP becomes a tangled mess, because frankly every person's definition of right & wrong, fair & unfair depends on what they stand to gain or lose personally, combined with what they think of the accuser. Armed robbery is wrong when you're the victim, but Robin Hood is generally portrayed as a hero. Given that politicians no doubt see a totally fickle public, at least when it concerns IP, you'd expect them to stay as far away as possible, & indeed when forced to take a stand for the most part it's been more about SOPA/PIPA & less about IP itself... they say protecting IP is important, lest they lose any potential biz contributions, but generally stop there, citing problems with SOPA/PIPA that prevent their support.

And that's why the protests on the 18th were so important -- as matrix64 said: "... as the wind blows." A politician's job [they'd call it art] is *convincing* the people that they're serving them, doing their bidding. By the 19th that convincing got a bit harder for those supporting the proposed legislation. OTOH megaupload reprisal attacks could make it easier. You & I see two separate causes/events, but not everyone else will.

Wait, so, is Rupert Murdoch going to tweet about this, too? He seemed pretty outraged by Obama's vague could-maybe-be-interpreted-as-opposition opinion on Internet regulation.

Of course they do, its election year, go with what the public wants, make empty promises then forget about them when elected and go with the politicians favor after.

Commenting is disabled on this article.