The Stop Online Piracy Act was wounded by a tweet on Thursday. “Need to find a better solution” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter in response to a question about her position on the bill that would empower the federal government to block overseas sites that traffic in pirated content. Pelosi’s opposition to SOPA is significant — she’s the House’s most powerful Democrat, after all. But it isn’t surprising: Most of her district is in San Francisco, and the tech companies that dominate the city overwhelmingly oppose the bill. Companies including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, Twitter, and eBay say that it could open the way for the government to attack sites that don’t violate other people’s copyrights, possibly quashing free speech. That view crosses party lines: Republican Darrell Issa, who represents the San Diego area, responded to Pelosi’s tweet: “If even we agree…” Hollywood studios, represented by the MPAA, are leading the charge in favor of SOPA. They say that piracy of movies and other forms of entertainment endangers thousands of jobs. They add that the bill would only affect Web sites that are violating U.S. copyright laws, but can’t be prosecuted because they’re based in other countries.
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