You are hereHuffington Post: Chamber of Commerce Sends Internal Email Reassessing SOPA, Protect IP

Huffington Post: Chamber of Commerce Sends Internal Email Reassessing SOPA, Protect IP

-By Zach Carter

January 21, 2012- WASHINGTON -- The top intellectual property lawyer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce appears to have sent out an email to underlings on Friday, notifying the world's most powerful corporate lobbyists that their organization is reassessing controversial anti-piracy legislation in the face of bipartisan congressional setbacks.

On Friday, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said they would suspend votes on the bills indefinitely. The Stop Online Piracy Act, and its counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP Act, had longstanding support from Hollywood and other content industry stalwarts, which were seeking new tools to crack down on internet copyright violations. The bills were vehemently opposed by Internet experts, free speech advocates and tech companies like Google and Yahoo, who warned that the legislation threatened the functionality of the Internet and contained widespread First Amendment abuses.

The Chamber aggressively backed Hollywood and major record labels by lobbying hard on behalf of SOPA and Protect IP, alienating many of its members, which included top tech companies. Yahoo quit the Chamber outright over the lobbying group's position, refusing to take part in the organization any further, and Google was very close to leaving as well.

The Chamber did not respond to requests to comment on the email, which appears to have been sent by Chief Intellectual Property Counsel Steven Tepp. The email vows to press forward but fails to lay out any specific strategy for doing so.



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