Reid’s $3.5 million SOPA incentive

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Sen, Harry Reid, who is expected to bring Protect IP to the Senate floor on January 24, might have a $3.5 million financial incentive to see to the passage of at least one anti-piracy bill. Protect IP is a controversial piece of anti-piracy legislation decried by opponents as Internet censorship.

According to, Senator Majority Leader Reid received well over $3.5 million in campaign donations from organizations that support the House version of Protect IP: The “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA).

Well-known supporters of the current round of anti-piracy legislation include the Motion Picture Association and the Recording Industry Association of America, but the list is 161 names long, and includes the AFL-CIO, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and various music, movie and literary publishers.

While the conflict has been framed in terms of the continuing battle between Hollywood and Silicon Valley, tensions spread further than that. Trademark and patent holders populate the list, ranging from those in the high-tech space to Tiffany & Co.

Other supporters include New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gilebrand, who received over $2.6 million and $2 million, respectively. New York is home to a swelling technology industry. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California also received over $1.4 million dollars in campaign donations.

Sen. Michael Bennet, who received over a $1 million dollars from organizations who support SOPA, also received over $1.35 million dollars from organizations who oppose SOPA anti-piracy legislation.

Bennet dropped his support for the pending anti-piracy legislation on Wednesday. When asked for comment by The Daily Caller about his support, and then withdrawal of support, for legislation that worked against the interest of some donors, Bennet’s office did not respond by the time of publication.

Reid said during his Sunday appearance on “Meet the Press” that he would be bringing the Protect IP legislation to the Senate floor, and that it would create jobs.

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