Today, Marvel Comics came under fire by fans when the publisher’s support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA) came to light. While the list of companies that support SOPA has been publicly available since December 22, Marvel’s support of the bill was noticed only recently and the fan reaction was less than positive.
While the criticism from fans on Twitter has been mostly negative, the reactions are nothing out of the ordinary for such a situation, ranging from shock and disappointment to anger and outrage with many users tweeting they will cease to purchase Marvel books effective immediately. Others have solicited comment from some of the bigger names in the comic and entertainment world, such as writers Kieron Gillen and Peter David, actor Wil Wheaton and Marvel Social Media Coordinator Janet O’Shea, who all have yet to respond.
The list also shows Time Warner, DC Comics’ parent company, in support of the bill, along with other publishers Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penguin and Random House.
A Google search also revealed that there was a user-generated topic about Marvel’s support of the bill on its Marvel.com forums, but the thread has since been deleted.
CBR News reached out to Marvel about the situation, but offered no comment when asked.
SOPA, a bill that would allow the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders against websites accused of copyright infringement, was introduced to the House of Representatives in October 2011 and is currently under debate by the House Judiciary Committee. Opponents of the bill believe, if passed, it will infringe on First Amendment rights, limit the potential of free speech and in its current form be ineffective against piracy of copyrighted media. Still others believe it will cripple user-content generation websites such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo. Hearings were held on November 16 and December 15 and debates will continue after Congress returns from its winter recess.
What amuses me is that most comic books fans came to know many titles thanks to the very same websites SOPA is against.