Washington: Hardly outgunned, online and high-tech companies triggered a rush of Internet clicks to force Congress to shelve legislation that would curb online piracy. They outmanoeuvred the entertainment industry and other old guard business interests, leaving them sour and puzzled.
Before Senate and House leaders set apart the legislation Friday, the movie and music lobbies and other Washington fixtures, comprising the US Chamber of Commerce, had put in play their frequently dependable tactics to rally support for the bills.
There were email campaigns, television and print ads in important states, a Times Square billboard, and uncounted phone calls and visits to congressional offices in Washington and around the country.
That integrated concerning 20 trips to the Capitol by leaders of the National Songwriters Association International, often escorted by songwriters who performed their hits for lawmakers and their staffs.
According to the reports, at least 75,000 websites provisionally went dark that day, including the English-language online encyclopedia Wikipedia, joined by 25,000 blogs.
Thousands of other sites posted messages protesting the bills and influence people to contact lawmakers. Protest leaders say that resulted in 3 million emails.
According to NetCoalition, which represents leading Internet and high tech companies, Google, its logo concealed beneath a stark black rectangle, seeks 7 million signatures on an appeal opposing the bills. Craigslist counted 30,000 phone calls to lawmakers and there were 3.9 million tweets on Twitter about the bills.