INFLUENCE GAME: Online companies win piracy fight

High-tech companies don


WASHINGTON (AP) -- High-tech companies don't spend as much established business interests to lobby in Washington. But they forced congressional leaders to withdraw online piracy legislation by triggering an avalanche of clicks on the Internet.

Their campaign to kill the bills started with a few emails and online chats. By last week, it had snowballed. Wikipedia and thousands of other websites shut down for a day, other sites like Google urged users to email or phone Congress.

Protest coordinators say by the end, 7 million people signed a petition on Google alone and 3 million emails were sent to lawmakers.

This let them overcome a more traditional lobbying campaign by the entertainment industry to approve the bills that included TV and print ads and numerous visits to lawmakers.

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