updated 07:00 pm EST, Thu December 1, 2011
Opponents unlikely to be assuaged
The Motion Picture Association of America is reportedly preparing to make changes to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which continues to face criticism from a wide range of companies involved in the tech industry. Despite the promise to soften the legislation--described as overreaching by many opponents--the backers have remained mum regarding specific details of the changes.
"We will come forward with language that will address some of the legitimate concerns," said Micael O'Leary, MPAA senior vice president for global policy and external affairs, in a telephone briefing, according to quotes in a New York Times report.
O'Leary and representatives from other supporters, such as the Directors Guild of America and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, did not provide any clues pointing to the modifications, however they took time to criticize SOPA opponents for making arguments agains the legislation without suggesting any alternative proposals. The comments suggest the MPAA and other groups participating in drafting the terms have yet to collaborate directly with critics to overcome the concerns.
"From where I sit, it's hard to see [arguments from opponents] as anything but a pretext for running out the clock and preserving the status quo," O'Leary added.
The bill has been met with fierce opposition from companies directly related to Internet services, including Google and Yahoo. Interestingly enough, the Business Software Alliance, which includes anti-piracy advocates Microsoft and Apple, has also publicly criticized the terms.
Despite O'Leary's suggestion that SOPA and the Protect IP Act represent the only serious proposals to help battle online piracy, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, a vocal critic of both bills, recently told Keith Olbermann that a bipartisan group of senators and representatives is already working on an alternative bill that aims to achieve similar results without interfering with legitimate businesses.
"I think this is an example of a very powerful industry -- the content sector -- essentially trying to use a government as a club over the innovation sector, particularly folks who focus on the Internet," Wyden said in the interview. [via Techdirt]