Today, many internet sites — from Wikipedia to Google — have chosen to go dark or change their display format, in protest of S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (or the PROTECT IP Act).
Supporters argue the bill will provide much-needed protections for American intellectual property and curb “rogue websites operated and registered overseas.” Opponents warn that the measure as written would “censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business” and want to see significant changes to the draft before Congress considers it. Both sides have mobilized to lobby Washington on the bill.
Though many of the supporters and opponents of the bill are well known, a ThinkProgress examination of the companies and organizations lobbying on the bill yields some unexpected results.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the bill last May. In the two quarters that followed, at least 39 entities reported lobbying in favor of the bill. These included obvious business interests such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Comcast Corp., Disney, the Motion Picture Association of America, News Corp., Nintendo, and Sony Pictures, as well as a few less expected backers including Tiffany & Co., the American Apparel & Footware Association, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
At least 19 companies and organizations lobbied against the bill and/or the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the House version of the bill. These included Internet companies including eBay, Facebook, Go Daddy, Google, and Yahoo!, but also American Express and Visa.
While federal lobbying disclosure rules do not require filers to report how much they spend on each specific issue, the supporters total lobbying over the time they lobbied on this (including all other issues) amounted to at least $64 million, while opponents’ total lobbying on all issues totaled at least $12.8 million. (Note: we cannot determine from disclosure forms how much of the lobbying spending was devoted solely to PIPA.)
So whichever side wins, it won’t have come cheap. See our analysis of both the pro- and anti-PIPA lobbying activities below:
SupporterTotal Reported Spending on ALL Lobbying (over 2011 periods in which it lobbied on S. 968)ALLIANCE OF AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS$3,711,300AMERICAN APPAREL & FOOTWEAR ASSOCIATION$341,735American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers$160,000BEACHBODY LLC (FORMERLY PRODUCT PARTNERS LLC)$40,000BROADCAST MUSIC INC$700,000CBS$150,000CENTER FOR INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM$10,000CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE U S A$19,050,000COMCAST CORPORATION$8,920,000COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE$90,000Directors Guild of America$120,000DISNEY WORLDWIDE SERVICES INC$1,330,000Entertainment Software Association$40,000ENTERTAINMENT SOFTWARE ASSOCIATION (ESA)$110,000INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF THEATRICAL STAGE EMPLOYEES$60,000INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK ASSOCIATION$60,000MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA$890,000MOTOR & EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION$78,287NATIONAL ACADEMY OF RECORDING ARTS & SCIENCES$256,103National Association of Broadcasters$6,620,000NATIONAL CABLE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION$8,510,000NATIONAL ELECTRICAL MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION$580,000NATIONAL MUSIC PUBLISHERS’ ASSOCIATION$50,000NEWS AMERICA INC$3,070,000NINTENDO OF AMERICA INC$10,000OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION$170,000PEARSON EDUCATION (FKA Pearson, Inc)$480,000Professional Photographers of America / Alliance of Visual Artists$30,000RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA$2,380,133REED ELSEVIER INC$760,000SOFTWARE & INFORMATION INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION$460,000SONGWRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA$20,000SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT (FORMERLY SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT)$950,000SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT$280,000SPECIALTY EQUIPMENT MARKET ASSOCIATION$100,000Tiffany & Co.$70,000TIME WARNER INC$1,646,000UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP$1,570,000VIACOM INTERNATIONAL SERVICES INC$660,000 OpponentTotal Reported Spending on ALL Lobbying (over 2011 periods in which it lobbied on S. 968)Ad Network Educational Consortium$150,000AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF LAW LIBRARIES$15,000AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION$328,218American Express Company$950,000AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION$49,911Business Software Alliance$140,000Computer & Communications Industry Association$10,000CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION$1,530,000eBay Inc.$110,000Escape Media Group, Inc.$120,000Facebook, Inc.$680,000Go Daddy.com$287,000GOOGLE INC$4,440,000Library Copyright Alliance$10,000NetCoalition$90,000VALUECLICK INC$30,000VISA INC$3,130,000YAHOO! Inc.$720,000