Investigating the SOPA List of Supporters turns up some pretty worrying details…

Who exactly is supporting SOPA in the US? Yes, there’s the film industry and all its affiliated organisations. There’s also the record labels and plenty of artists’ unions, as well as rights holders for major sporting events. But if you take a look at the official ‘List of Supporters’ document for the bill from the US House of Representatives, you’ll notice that there’s also a few other organizations on there which don’t fall into any of the aforementioned categories. At least that’s what I found when I decided to follow up my previous post on SOPA by looking into the bills’ supporters in a little more depth.

Who, for example, are the Concerned Women of America – and why do they support SOPA so much? What about the mysterious Centre for Individual Freedom? Americans for Tax Reform? Let Freedom Ring?

Well, in case you hadn’t guessed from the names of these organisations, they’re all US right-wing pressure groups and their presence on the SOPA list of supporters worries me. It worries me because I’m deeply suspicious of why they would invest such extensive lobbying energy supporting SOPA if all they cared about was internet piracy. Movie studios and record labels have obviously vested financial interests in the internet piracy debate and thus it is obvious why they might spend time and (lots of) money supporting anything which might even possibly curb piracy, at least in the US.

Why on earth do these right-wing pressure groups care so much about SOPA? This is the question that worries me in relation to the anti-democratic threat of SOPA (covered in my previous post). In short, I don’t have any answers as to why these groups have chosen to get involved with SOPA, but I will provide a list of those signatories that I consider most alarming, and why:

Anyway, I’ll leave it there – I could have gone into more detail with almost all of the organisations above, but there’s little need since a quick glance over at their websites will quickly reveal to you their ideological positions. I’ll finish on a simple question – why do these right-wing groups, who between them combine traditional American religious conservatism (anti-abortion, anti-gay etc) with extreme economic neo-liberalism (you know, the exact reason why we’ve had yet another economic crisis – leaving millions of people without homes, jobs, or savings), want to support SOPA so much? Is it because they have suddenly become crusaders for copyright and intellectual property, and decided to expend time and energy fighting to protect it? Or could there be other ways in which SOPA might be desirable for them?

About Dejan Levi |

Dejan Levi has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from The University of Liverpool. Dejan is a community-minded professional with a passion for blogging and social media. He has been writing for Eton Digital since 2007.

One comment on Investigating the SOPA List of Supporters turns up some pretty worrying details…

  • UPDATE:

    It seems that the growing number of anti-SOPA voices is having at least some effect on the bill.

    The DNS blocking aspect of the bill has apparently been dropped (though I’m not sure how the bill survives without it – presumably some other method of enforcement is required), and, the White House stance seems to be aware of the current problems:

    http://mashable.com/2012/01/16/white-house-sopa-petition/