The public bought the lies. The vote on anti-piracy legislation has been postponed. Below is a letter from Bart Herbison, Executive Director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, to the membership. It sums up what happened.
Over the past two weeks legislation to combat online piracy has suffered serious setbacks. First, some key provisions of both the Protect IP ACT (U.S. Senate) and the Stop Online PIracy Act or SOPA (U.S. House of Representatives) were removed. Then, Congress was deluged with millions of communications after popular websites went dark this week in protest of both anti-piracy bills and support for both acts dwindled dramatically. Finally, today the legislation was postponed. As we await the next steps in Congress I want to make some very important points.
1. WE WERE RIGHT. Concerns expressed by Google and others over the legislation were never accurate to begin with. Most of their previously expressed concerns were addressed when key provisions were removed. Nonetheless, while copyright holders won the debate, we lost in the court of uninformed public opinion. Over the past few weeks this moved from a debate on the issues to a political debate.... and that is when support began to erode. The tech community did a great job of instilling fear and confusion over both bills.
2. THANKS. I want to thank every songwriter, music industry person and others who worked to pass these bills. NSAI visited with more than 200 Members of Congress about these bills, just last year! Our efforts were unrivaled in terms of putting songwriters in front of lawmakers throughout this process.
3. NEXT. Anti-piracy legislation will be revamped and then considered. Both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees remain dedicated to addressing the problem of Internet piracy. We will continue fighting until a solution is found.
Please watch communications from NSAI over the next few days and weeks as we strategically plan the next steps in this battle.
I am proud of every one of you who helped. This is one of the most important issues that this generation of creators will ever face.