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Demand Progress Pans Piracy Bill

Demand Progress, whose progressive online campaigns have included opposing the AT&T–T-Mobile merger, the Protect IP Act and TSA screening machines, is equally unhappy with the House STOP Online Piracy Act, which was introduced Wednesday.

The bill, like the Senate Protect IP bill, would give law enforcement and the content industy more power to pursue and shut down foreign web sites they believe are pirating TV shows and movies, among other things.

Demand Progress, which has launched an online campaign against the the bill, calls it a "blacklist bill" that would "crush the Internet."

The group argues that by targeting those said to induce infringement, it would undermine YouTube and Twitter while making it a felony to stream everything from cover band performances to karaoke videos.

"This is an omnibus grab-bag of corporate goodies that will hurt consumers, stifle innovation, foment censorship, and change the Internet as we know it for the worse," said Demand Progress executive director David Segal in a statement.  "It's so over-the-top that we're not sure if we should be laughing or crying." The group says over 50,000 members have asked legislators not to co-sponsor the bill.

Bill backers, which include studios,  cable operators and broadcasters and numerous unions, say it will provide reasonable tools to save jobs and protect online content from those who illegally distribute it.