An interesting story on The Hill points out that U.S. President Barack Obama faces a tough choice if the Stop Online Piracy or Protect IP Acts are passed by lawmakers because he has a vested interest in both Silicon Valley and the entertainment industry – two segments of the business community that heavily contributed to his 2008 campaign and continue to support him in 2012.
If the bills pass and he signs them into law, he will alienate Silicon Valley, and if he vetoes the bills, he will make Hollywood, the music industry and television networks very, very upset.
The president hasn't taken an official position on either bill, and with the news media virtually blacking out any coverage (unless you want to count C-SPAN and a 15 minute report on Bloomberg as coverage), it's not surprising that he hasn't.. but Vice President Joe Biden certainly has a position:
"Look, piracy is outright theft," Biden told Variety last year. "People are out there blatantly stealing from Americans — stealing their ideas and robbing us of America’s creative energies. There’s no reason why we should treat intellectual property any different than tangible property."
Check out The Hill's story for a breakdown of just how much Silicon Valley and the entertainment industry helped the president in 2008, and you'll see how he faces a tough decision should these bills pass – and in an election year to boot. The best thing that can happen for the Internet and President Obama is that both of these bills fail to pass in either chamber.