Tech Titans Combat SOPA, Protect IP Act with Communications 1.0

A who's who of information technology entrepreneurs has taken to a very traditional medium to defend their interests -- a full page ad in the New York Times.

A who's who of information technology entrepreneurs has taken to a very traditional medium to defend their interests -- a full page ad in the New York Times.

Titled "An open letter to Washington," the ad on page A19 of Wednesday's Times urges members of Congress and the Administration to re-think the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act, both aimed at putting a greater onus on Web companies for ensuring users don't post content there that violates intellectual property rights.

Among the letter's high profile signers are Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, Yahoo co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark.

The tech luminaries may be, at least in part, speaking to history. There are few locations more storied in the annals of free expression than the Times' ad pages. More likely, though, they're covering all possible bases to protect their companies, most of which base their business models on rapidly updated citizen-uploaded content that isn't checked in advance for copyright violations.

SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act are generally supported by creators of copyrighted content such as film and music producers.

Also on Wednesday, the Sunlight Foundation transparency group published a breakdown of lobbyists for and against the bill who are former staffers on the House Judiciary Committee where it is being debated.