After election, no sequel for three SOPA-sponsoring congressmen

Film industry loses some key political allies following yesterday's vote.

In January 2012, more than 2,000 people gathered in New York to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act. Sarah Tew

Should the Hollywood film studios ever try to revive antipiracy legislation similar to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), they will be without the help of three former allies in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Representatives Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), Howard Berman (D-Calif.), and Joe Baca (D-Calif.) all lost their seats following Tuesday's election, as noted today by blog Ars Technica.

All 3 were among the 31 sponsors of SOPA and were also among the 23 that didn't pull support for the proposed legislation after opponents organized massive Internet protests . SOPA supporters said the bill was designed to make it easier for the government to shut down sites accused of trafficking in pirated materials.

Opponents said the legislation was a threat to free speech. The bill died, but soon after the White House published a report that called for new "legislative" tools to help protect copyrights .

Though there's nothing to indicate that the SOPA support cost the aforementioned Congressmen their seats, their defeats may mean Hollywood is left slightly weaker on Capitol Hill.

The loss of Mack and Berman must be particularly painful. Mack, the widow of singer Sonny Bono, was an important supporter of legislation that extended copyright terms by 20 years. As for Berman, he was a Congressman from the Los Angeles suburb of the San Fernando Valley for nearly 30 years, and during that time he supported so many bills favorable to the Hollywood film studios that he became known as the "representative from Hollywood."

Berman once called SOPA a "perfect document."

However, though Berman may be gone, the man who defeated him, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), is also closely linked to the film studios.

 

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