PIPA support crashes as more senators object

Jeff Hargarten

Senators previously supportive of the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), including some who co-sponsored the controversial anti-piracy legislation, have announced their opposition to the bill following widespread online protests Wednesday, Ars Technica reported.

Most of the new opposition came from the Republican side of the aisle, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), one of PIPA’s sponsors.

Major websites including Wikipedia and Reddit shutdown for most of Wednesday, replacing their pages with petitions against PIPA and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the latter of which was shelved following vocal protests from web users and Barack Obama’s administration. Google, Wired and other websites simple posted statements against the bills while resuming normal operations.

The contact pages of U.S. senators were crashing in the midst of the blackouts as people swarmed government websites to write letters to their congressmen, Gizmodo reported.

Critics of SOPA and PIPA are concerned the bills would damage the internet in favor of stricter copyright enforcement, which supporters among major Hollywood companies have pushed for in the name of eliminating the piracy of music, movies and other protected content online.

The following senators now reportedly oppose PIPA. Co-sponsors are listed in bold:

Roy Blunt (R-MO)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Marco Rubio (R-FL)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

Scott Brown (R-MA)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Jim DeMint (R-SC)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)