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+ - How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA

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Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Strengthening intellectual property enforcement has been a bipartisan issue for the past 25 years, but Stewart Baker writes in the Hollywood Reporter that when the fight went from the committees to the floor and Wikipedia went down, the Democratic and Republican parties reacted very differently to SOPA. "Despite widespread opposition to SOPA from bloggers on the left, Democrats in Congress (and the administration) were reluctant to oppose the bill outright," writes Baker. "The MPAA was not shy about reminding them that Hollywood has been a reliable source of funding for Democratic candidates, and that it would not tolerate defections." That very public message from the MPAA also reached another audience — Tea Party conservatives. Most of them had never given a second thought to intellectual property enforcement, but many had drawn support from conservative bloggers and they began to ask why they should risk the ire of their internet supporters to rescue an industry that was happily advertising how much it hated them. Pretty soon, far more Republicans than Democrats had bailed on SOPA, the Republican presidential candidates had all come out for what they called "Internet freedom," and now for Republicans, opposition to new intellectual property enforcement is starting to look like a political winner. "It pleases conservative bloggers, appeals to young swing voters, stokes the culture wars and drives a wedge between two Democratic constituencies, Hollywood and Silicon Valley," concludes Baker adding that unfortunately for Hollywood, as its customers migrate to the Internet, it is losing not just their money but their hearts and minds as well. "SOPA has pushed a generation of Republicans into choosing sides between Hollywood and the Internet. They might never look back.""
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How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA

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