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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Media Companies Outspend Tech Giants in Fight Over SOPA

Posted By and on Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Can content pirates be stopped?
  • Can content pirates be stopped?

The tech industry has been paying quite a bit of attention to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill wending its way through the U.S. Congress that would allow media companies to pursue legal remedies against online search engines and social networks that link to sites with pirated content.

Just about every major tech company in the Valley has come out in opposition to the bill. But it turns out that the likes of Google and Facebook -- while most definitely not short on cash -- have less skin in the game on SOPA than legacy media companies such as Disney, Sony, and Comcast.

That's the finding of an analysis of campaign contributions to members of Congress by MapLight.org, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics.

MapLight found that companies and trade associations representing producers of movies, music, and TV donated $1.4 million to the campaigns of sitting members of the House Judiciary Committee, which is now debating the bill, between Jan. 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011. By contrast, tech companies donated $340,000.

Congressional debate on the bill has been lively, to say the least, in part because support and opposition for SOPA is not split along party lines. Committee discussion of the bill is expected to resume tomorrow.

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Peter Jamison

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