"How do the companies go about influencing Congress?
In part, by spending heaps of cash lobbying the US Congress for legislation to enact laws that would punish repeat copyright offenders and bar US-based internet service providers, payment processors and advertisers from doing business with alleged infringers.
Television, film and recording industry companies and trade associations spent $92m (£60m) on lobbying expenses in 2011, including on the online piracy and copyright protection issues, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosure forms by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The companies and associations employed 596 lobbyists last year."
"Who are the lobbyists, and what do they do?
In what is frequently derided as Washington's revolving door, many lobbyists and industry advocates in Washington are former members of Congress or held roles as congressional staff.
Some of those worked on the very congressional committees they now hope to influence.
For instance, one of the chief lobbyists for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), senior executive vice-president Mitch Glazier, is former chief counsel for intellectual property on the House Judiciary Committee.
That committee is currently debating the Sopa legislation. Its chairman is Sopa's chief sponsor, Republican Lamar Smith of Texas."