Movie association says Internet blackout ‘fails to enlist big sites’

The Motion Picture Association of America, a leading supporter of the House’s controversial online piracy legislation, tweeted on Wednesday that the coordinated online protest against the legislation failed “to enlist big sites.”

“Internet blackout against U.S. law fails to enlist big sites,” the tweet said.


The tweet linked to a Reuters article reporting that although thousands of websites have gone dark to protest the legislation, some “big tech names including Facebook and Twitter declined to participate despite their opposition.”

Thousands of websites shut down on Wednesday to protest two Internet piracy bills — the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate's Protect IP Act (PIPA) — including Wikipedia, the world’s sixth most popular site.

The MPAA tweet sought to draw a distinction between some of the smaller websites that are participating in the blackout, such as reddit, Mozilla and Raw Story, and the bigger sites that chose to forgo the blackout but protested in other ways.

Google, the world’s most visited website, has a black box covering its logo and said the bills would "censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American businesses."

Facebook also declined to shut down for the day, but posted a note saying the bills were “not the right solution” because of the “collateral damage they would cause to the Internet."

On Tuesday the MPAA released a letter blasting the protests as an "abuse of power" aimed at turning Web users into “corporate pawns.”

“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,” MPAA Chairman and former Sen. Chris Dodd said in a statement. “It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ‘blackout’ to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”

On Wednesday a number of high-profile congressmen, including Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe imminent crises facing Joe Biden Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs daylight savings bill Study: Early unemployment cutoff would cost 16M people 0B MORE (R-Fla.), a PIPA co-sponsor, dropped their support for SOPA.