18 Senators Withdraw PIPA Support After Widespread Online Protest

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Amidst the widespread online protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act Wednesday, at least 18 senators have backed down from supporting PIPA, according to a report by Ars Technica.

Of the 18 senators that withdrew their support, seven are former co-sponsors of PIPA. Many cited concerns of the negative impact that the bill could have on the Internet, and felt that the bill was too flawed to be rushed through to a vote.

On Wednesday WordPress, Tucows, Mozilla, Google, and more blacked out their websites in support of the anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA movement and encouraged visitors to contact their representatives to make their opposition known.

According to a report by Mashable, more than 2.4 million SOPA and PIPA-related tweets were sent between 12 am and 4 pm Wednesday.

Prior to Wednesday, PIPA had 16 Republican co-sponsors and 23 Democratic ones. About 35 senators have not committed to a position. The full list of senators that withdrew PIPA opposition can be found on Ars Technica’s website.

While 18 senators have backed down so far, it is unclear how many will withdraw their support for PIPA before next week when Sen. Harry Reid plans to call a cloture vote on Jan. 24 to end the hold on PIPA. It takes 60 votes to win a cloture vote, and once that happens, it will be brought to the floor, according to a WHIR interview with Save Hosting co-founder Christian Dawson earlier this week.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said in a statement on Tuesday that markup of SOPA will resume in February.

“I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property,” Smith said in a statement.

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