January 21, 2012
In perhaps what was the biggest surprise of his show tonight, Bill Maher defended the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, even as the bill has been temporarily shelved, arguing that “there is a moral dimension” to online piracy and dismissed concerns that the bill would harm internet freedom as a “red herring.” He jokingly called online piracy “caucasian looting” and insisted that even if pirates are ‘just because you’re sitting at your computer in your pajama bottoms doesn’t mean you’re not stealing.”
Maher admitted that he has not read the proposed legislation, which could penalize websites that merely link to infringing material, but he explained that his more hawkish views in the piracy debate came from his reaction to online users downloading illegal copies of Maher’s comedy-documentary Religulous. Maher claimed so many people downloading the film ate into its profits.
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