UPDATE: To avoid any further confusion, we have removed all names that appear exclusively on the Global Intellectual Property Center letter, which was sent to Congress a month before a draft of SOPA was submitted to the House of Representatives, and includes no mention of any specific legislation. Our list now only includes the names of companies that are on the official House Judiciary Committee list of SOPA supporters.
With the next House Judiciary Committee markup hearing delayed until “early next year,” opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) are looking for more ways to fight back against these contentious pieces of legislation, while they still have a chance.
The anti-SOPA crowd includes everyone from Internet giants like Google, Facebook, eBay, Wikipedia, Mozilla and Yahoo! to The New York Times, the Stanford Law Review and even the very people who created the Internet in the first place. Experts say SOPA and PIPA would not only stifle free speech by allowing widespread censorship (in the name of copyright protection), but could castrate innovation, destroy the open Internet, and disrupt the very foundation upon which the Internet was built, the domain name system. (See a comprehensive list of SOPA opponents here.)
From the pro-SOPA side, we’ve heard much from organizations like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the US Chamber of Commerce — not to mention politicians, like Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chief sponsor of SOPA, and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. But far too little light has shone on the hundreds of organizations that continue to support SOPA, despite the staggering dangers it holds for the Internet as we know it.
Below is a list of
439 corporations, unions, law firms and other groups that have explicitly expressed their support of SOPA , or similar anti-piracy legislation. This list is derived from two sources: the official list (pdf) of SOPA supporters from the Judiciary Committee’s website, and a letter (pdf) addressed to Congress from the Global Intellectual Property Center, which is an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce.
Some have begun organizing a mass boycott of these organizations, and a list (Google Doc) of contact information for each is currently in the works. We’re not advocating any specific action, but we do think it is important for people to understand who is for and against SOPA and PIPA; if passed, either of these bills will fundamentally change the online world, whether you think that’s a good idea or not.
Update: We have learned that Petzl America has explicitly stated that while it supports greater protections of intellectual property, and signed the Global Intellectual Property Center letter to Congress (along with 401 other companies on this list), it “does not support SOPA or the Protect IP Act,” or any other legislation that will “harm the freedom of the Internet.” We have taken their name off the list.
Update 2: All of the law firms that originally appeared on the Judiciary Committee’s list of SOPA supporters have been removed. We have removed them from the list below. They include:
Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP
Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C.
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Irell & Manella LLP
Jenner & Block LLP
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
Kendall Brill & Klieger LLP
Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP
Lathrop & Gage LLP
Loeb & Loeb LLP
Mitchell Silberberge & Knupp LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
Phillips Nizer LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
White & Case LLP
It has not yet been officially explained why these firms have been pulled off the list. At least one firm, however, Davis Write Tremaine LLP, has said that it does not support SOPA, but two of its lawyers privately support the bill.
Update 4: The Redwing Shoe Company has emailed, informing us that it “does not support SOPA as it is currently drafted.” Redwing is one of the 402 companies that signed the GIPC letter mentioned above, which does not specifically name any legislation. We have removed their name from the list below.
Update 5: Gibson Guitars has also clarified that it does not support SOPA: “Hey guys – Gibson does NOT support this legislation. Gibson’s CEO has demanded that Gibson be removed from the list of company’s supporting SOPA. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!”
Nintendo and Sony Electronics have both been removed from the Judiciary Committee’s official list of SOPA supporters. Correction: It is currently unclear whether Nintendo, Sony Electronics and EA support or oppose SOPA.
Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Sony Music Nashville all remain on the list. GoDaddy, after failing to convince users of its anti-SOPA stance the first time around, has also come out explicitly against SOPA. GoDaddy has been removed from the list.
Update 7: Leatherman Tool Group has emailed us to clarify that they do not support, and have never supported, SOPA. “We did not sign ANYTHING to support or endorse SOPA,” writes Leatherman’s PR department. “Leatherman has never been contacted or consulted about/during the creation of SOPA. Leatherman’s name has been erroneously added to a ‘list’ of SOPA supporters.” Leatherman’s name was added to this list below due to its signage of the GIPC letter. Its name does not appear on the official list of SOPA supporters from the House of Representatives. We have removed Leatherman from the list below.
Update 8: Taylor Guitars — which signed the GIPC letter but does not appear on the official House list — has emailed us to clarify that it does not support SOPA. Taylor Guitars has been removed from our list below. Here is the company’s full statement on SOPA:
In August 2011, Taylor Guitars, its trade organization, NAMM, and other music industry manufacturers offered a signature of support on a U.S. Chamber of Commerce letter sent to Congressional members to encourage the introduction of anti-piracy and counterfeiting legislation. As the letter was not bill-specific, we felt the spirit of its intent was in accordance with our efforts to confront ongoing piracy and copyright infringement issues that we, like many others in the industry, continue to battle. However, our desire to stop piracy and counterfeiting has been misrepresented as support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261). Clearly stated, we do not support SOPA and its intent to restrict the Internet. The values of freedom, creativity and innovation are at the core of our business, and SOPA is not in accordance with those values.
List update: To avoid any further confusion, we’ve updated the format of this list to make these companies’ SOPA stances more clear. All companies whose names appear in bold are on the Judiciary Committee’s official list of SOPA supporters; non-bolded companies appear only on the GIPC letter, which does not name any specific legislation.
|60 Plus Association
Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP)
American Bankers Association (ABA)
American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Americans for Tax Reform
Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States
Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies
Association of Talent Agents (ATA)
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
Bulding and Construction Trades Department
Capitol Records Nashville
Christian Music Trade Association
Church Music Publishers’ Association
Coalition Against Online Video Piracy (CAOVP)
Concerned Women for America (CWA)
Congressional Fire Services Institute
Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB)
Council of State Governments
Country Music Association
Country Music Television
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group
Directors Guild of America (DGA)
Disney Publishing Worldwide, Inc.
EMI Christian Music Group
EMI Music Publishing
Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
Estée Lauder Companies
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
Gospel Music Association
Graphic Artists Guild
Hachett Book Group
Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA)
International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE)
International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
International Trademark Association (INTA)
International Union of Police Associations
[Image via Elnur/Shutterstock]
The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.