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PROTEST 2 Senators Flip on Online Piracy Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP Photo ; J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

8 Lawmakers Back Down on Piracy Bills

Eight U.S. lawmakers have withdrawn thier support for a bill to prevent online piracy—a coup for a group of Internet sites, including Wikipedia, that went dark for 24 hours on Wednesday to protest the bills. Two powerful senators were among those who backed down. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio—considered one of the favorites for the Republican vice-presidential nomination—said he would no longer support PIPA, the bill he had cosponsored. He was followed by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, head of the Republican Party’s senatorial-campaign operation, who urged Congress to take more time to review the bills. Their comments came only several days after the White House also distanced itself from the bills, which aim to stop online piracy but that many fear will hinder freedom of expression on the Internet.

January 18, 2012 7:03 PM