Congressman Paul Ryan comes out against SOPA

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After intense pressure from the Reddit community, Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan officially came out against the controversial bill, leading some users of the social news site to declare “victory.”

Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan has officially come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), his office announced in a statement earlier today. Is this another victory for Reddit users who helped spearhead the anti-SOPA campaign online?

Ryan was the subject of intense criticism from Reddit users because of his ambivalence on SOPA, a much reviled piece of legislation on the social site. They even created a website and subreddit devoted to attacking him.

Rob Zerban, Ryan’s relatively unknown opponent in 2012, quickly capitalized on the move with a live interview on Reddit, where he denounced SOPA. He garnered $15,000 in donations and a lot of positive press.

Ryan’s office released the following press release earlier today:

The internet is one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history. It should stay that way. While H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act, attempts to address a legitimate problem, I believe it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse. I do not support H.R. 3261 in its current form and will oppose the legislation should it come before the full House.

The Hollywood-backed SOPA would ostensibly help prevent online piracy, but opponents say the broad powers it gives the federal government to shut down alleged offenders would cripple the technical underpinnings of the Internet.

Reddit users have largely led the anti-SOPA charge, along with big name technology companies, such as EBay, Google, and Yahoo.

Last month a redditor-led boycott encouraged web hosting company GoDaddy to reverse its pro-SOPA stance.

Who knows what forced Ryan’s decision. But today’s anti-SOPA statement may just represent Reddit’s biggest achievement yet.

And at r/operationpullryan, users declared “victory.”

Photo by Wikimedia

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