The latest celebrity voice in opposition to Rep. Lamar Smith’s legislation to allow the Justice Department to block foreign websites that facilitate copyright infringement emerged Friday.
The Texas Republican congressman’s bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has drawn heavy political fire since it was first introduced in October.
Opposition to SOPA has come chiefly from the technology community. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the US Chamber of Commerce and the 31 members of Congress cosponsoring the legislation have all endorsed the idea.
Stanley Kirk Burrell — better known as MC Hammer or on Twitter as @MCHammer — recently updated his Twitter profile with a picture of himself and a banner that reads “STOP SOPA.”
MC Hammer has tweeted out his opposition to SOPA, in one instance, in response to a direct question posed to him by Twitter account user @BOYCOTTSOPA.
@BOYCOTTSOPA tweeted to “@MCHammer Wouldn’t it be nice if the tech & content industries could work together from scratch to find a solution? #stopSOPA.”
MC Hammer responded, “yes.”
MC Hammer who boasts 2.4 million followers on Twitter has become a prominent and influential voice in social media circles. He is currently working on the development of WireDoo, an Internet search engine, hoping to compete with the likes of Google.
California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa followed up an hour after MC Hammer’s tweet to @BOYCOTTSOPA. The congressman wanted to spread the news about the latest celebrity speaking out against Smith’s bill.
“Can’t touch this:
@MCHammer joins the #stopSOPA crowd w/ a Twitter avatar switch. #open #SOPA.“
Issa has been on a mission to stop the legislation. He recently called attention to the fact that SOPA would be enforced by the Obama Justice Department, currently led by embattled Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder has in the past voiced support for increased censorship over the Internet.
The White House, in a blog post on Saturday, responded to petitions from We The People, one of many groups opposed to the legislation.
“Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.”
Issa’s office declined to comment to the The Daily Caller for this report. MC Hammer and Smith have yet to respond to requests for comment.