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SOPA lobby games: Why Netflix PAC agenda is NOT convincing

Online frenzy: Debate rages over Netflix’s SOPA credentials

After an RT article caused, as Netflix calls it, “a bit of a firestorm,” the streaming video service requested a clarification from our side. We are happy to offer it and explain exactly why we still have a lot of unanswered questions.

Following RT’s write-up this week on FLIXPAC, a political action committee just launched by California-based Netflix, the company has asked us to clarify that by no means do they intend to use their new DC ties to lobby for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

“PACs are commonplace for companies that lead a big, growing market and Netflix is no exception,”the company’s director of corporate communications, Joris Evers, tells RT in an email. “Our PAC is a way for our employees to support candidates that understand our business and technology.It was not set up for the purpose of supporting SOPA or PIPA.Instead, Netflix has engaged on other issues including network neutrality, bandwidth caps, usage based billing and reforming the Video Privacy Protection Act.”

We appreciate Netflix’s reaction and think that this statement makes a lot of sense, actually — we even believe that every word they wrote to us is true, particularly since both SOPA and PIPA have been killed by Congress and have essentially no chance of being reintroduced in their previous forms. What raises concern on our part, however, is that FLIXPAC has been created alongside an array of proposed congressional bills that, while differing in name, emulate many of SOPA and PIPA’s negative provisions. Will Netflix and FLIXPAC support those bills?

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