A heated Twitter exchange took place in November 2011 between the writers of the tech blog Tech Dirt — who had outlined the complaints against SOPA and its Senate companion bill, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), in a “definitive” post — and Rosen. (VIDEO: Ann Romney fires back at Rosen over comments)
SOPA and PIPA were recent legislative attempts — endorsed by many U.S. businesses and the entertainment industry — to respond to the problem of online intellectual property theft that has plagued the United States economy. The bills, supporters said, were needed in order to give the Department of Justice the legal authority to address the problem of foreign “rogue sites” — foreign websites that facilitate online copyright infringement and intellectual property theft.
Rosen criticized the complaints, saying that opposition to the bills was an attempt to justify stealing: “@jayrosen_nyu @mmasnick @levjoy The Definitive Post?? Think analog,” Rosen tweeted. “If a store doesn’t sell u what u want, u are justified stealing it?”
TechDirt, not to be outdone by Rosen after their Twitter exchange, responded in a follow-up post:
It’s really quite ridiculous to lay out in such great detail all of the problems of the bill, only to have someone — and someone who is partially responsible for the mess the record labels are in today — brush off the entire thing by falsely stating that we’re “justifying stealing.”
Rosen’s infamy in the music community began when she headed the record industry lobby group Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) during the organization’s pursuit of file-sharing services Napster and Grockster. Rosen left the RIAA prior to the lobby group’s lawsuits against individual music file-sharers.