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SOPA Opponents and Wall Street's Common Enemy (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: GSJPMGOOG

Companies like Google (GOOG) and eBay (EBAY) say that the Act compromises the openness of the Web and more closely resembles the Internet policies in regimes like Iran, Malaysia and China and are petitioning Congress to oppose the October bills, which have since seen amendments and waning support.

Sites like Wikipedia, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger and Reddit see the bill as such a threat to users and even their viability. Some of the sites and other media outlets like Wired are undergoing a 24 hour blackout and petition campaign to underscore SOPA's threat to Web openness. While petitions appear to be making an impact on the progress of the bills, its sponsors still indicate interest in proceeding.

Speaking as MPAA Chairman, Dodd criticized the blackouts on Tuesday. "It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today," wrote Dodd in a statement. He added, "a so-called "blackout" is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals."

The Dodd intersection between Wall Street and SOPA opponents is filled with irony.

The Dodd Frank Act is seen as a protection for consumers from greedy Wall Street practices. In contrast, as the MPAA head, many SOPA and PIPA opponents argue that Dodd is serving the interests of media conglomerates over the Web freedom.

SOPA opponents and Wall Street traders and bankers are now united in their opposition to Dodd, which may give the likes of Google pause as they currently run protests and blackouts to protest the Act. While the Dodd Frank Act saw a watering down of many provisions, opposition to the Act by key bankers and drop in subsequent bank fees and risk taking should be a relief to depositors and customers.

People on all sides of the SOPA debate should at least consider that Dodd is making a similar effort with his advocacy against Web piracy of movies and T.V. shows. While the Golden Globes may have portrayed Hollywood glamour as usual, there's no amount of lipstick that can paint over its declining numbers. Cinema attendance fell over 4% in 2011 to a 16-year low, Bloomberg reports, meanwhile, streaming service, DVD and Blue-ray disc movie sales fell over 2% in 2011.

Piracy is a real issue that warrants a solution, even if SOPA and PIPA in their current states have big unintended consequences.

Google said so much even as it joined SOPA blackout's and petitions. "Because we think there's a good way forward that doesn't cause collateral damage to the web, we're joining Wikipedia, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Mozilla and other Internet companies in speaking out against SOPA and PIPA," wrote Google in a blog post.

To be seen is what happens next with the bills, which are due for Congressional vote's starting on Jan. 24.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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