Legacy media bankrolling campaigns of SOPA cosponsors
Traditional big media firms have contributed more than $5 million to the sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act, with California Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Adam Schiff as the top recipients.
The bill, known as SOPA, would strengthen and extend the penalties for online copyright violations, and could force websites hosting pirated content to come down or prevent search engines from sending users their way. Legacy media companies stand to benefit if there's less unlawful movement of their content on the web, like pirated movies and songs for download.
Some of the nation's top tech companies — Facebook, Google and Microsoft, among others — have spoken out against the bill while media companies have pushed to defend it. SOPA's companion legislation in the Senate, the PROTECT IP Act, is on hold.
Earlier this month we noted that Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the bill's sponsor in the House, has received nearly $400,000 from the TV, music and movies industry during his career, including some recent timely donations from broadcasting and television groups that are lobbying for the bill.
Among the 25 SOPA cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, here's a breakdown of which legislators have brought in donations from big media in TV, music and movies during their careers in Congress.
- Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., $1,727,156. His southern district border is Hollywood Blvd. and he was the beneficiary at a fundraiser earlier this month hosted by two lobbyists at a firm that represents the National Broadcasting Association.
- Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., $516,400
- Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., $488,731
- Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., $488,636
- Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., $392,995 (sponsor)
- Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-VA, $316,686
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., $261,700
- Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., $248,168
- Rep. John Barrow, D-GA, $210,900
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., $204,199
- Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., $133,023
- Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., $130,100
- Rep. John Carter, R-Tex., $75,850
- Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., $64,648
- Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA, $54,000
- Rep. William Owens, D-N.Y., $42,850
- Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., $30,000
- Rep. Thomas Marino, R-Penn., $21,300
The nearly 40 cosponsors of the Protect IP Act, SOPA's partner legislation in the Senate, have received more than $13.5 million from the TV, music and movies industry since entering Congress. Here's a rundown:
- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., $1,996,470
- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., $1,465,160
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., $1,295,718
- Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., $899,366 (sponsor)
- Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., $890,668
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., $747,491
- Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., $503,291
- Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., $493,069
- Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, $492,407
- Sen. Robert Menéndez, D-N.J., $445,575
- Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., $430,500
- Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., $368,733
- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., $365,589
- Sen. Robert Casey, D-Penn., $343,225
- Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., $312,320
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., $297,771
- Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, $291,621
- Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, $284,225
- Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., $254,162
- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., $237,084
- Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., $230,569
- Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., $218,539
- Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., – $217,847
- Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., – $171,790
- Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., $158,066
- Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., $94,450
(An earlier version of this post incorrectly characterized Comcast's position on the proposed internet piracy regulations. Comcast supports the SOPA legislation.)
Many groups have lobbied for the PROTECT IP Act, including several that employ lobbyists who have worked for the members of Congress who have signed on to the legislation. Among them:
- Comcast Corporation, which spent nearly $4 milion during the third quarter of this year lobbying for the PROTECT IP Act and other bills. Comcast lobbyist Joseph Trahern is a former aide to cosponsor Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and lobbyist Phil Tahtakran is a former legislative director to SOPA cosponsor Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
- National Cable and Telecommunications Association spent $90,000 on lobbying for this bill and others. NCTA hired lobby firm Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock. Firm lobbyist Aleix Jarvis, who worked on the NCTA account, is a former legislative director for cosponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
- Cox Enterprises Inc. spent $790,000 lobbying for this bill and others.
- Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. spent $600,000 lobbying for this bill and others during the third quarter.
Amazon spent $450,000 on lobbying during the third quarter, some of which was pushing against this bill. Google Inc. also spent some of its $80,000 in third quarter lobbying on fighting this measure, as did Intel, which spent nearly $1 million lobbying in Q3.
SOPA was introduced at the end of October, so lobbying on that bill will show up on fourth quarter lobbying disclosure forms.