Technology

One Internet Association Forms, Another Winds Down

A month after the Internet Association forms, a forebear announces it will end operations.

Last month’s launch of the Internet Association drew a bunch of attention. But as it turns out, the web industry already had a lobbying group that spoke for its interests in Washington, DC.

And that organization is ending operations.

Three law firms representing NetCoalition, a group that launched more than a decade ago during the Y2K boom era, recently filed termination papers announcing it would be ending lobbying work with the group. That work included fighting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).

At the end of the day, ultimately NetCoalition will wind down and the Internet Association will take its place on the issues NetCoalition worked on.

Markham Erickson, the executive director of the association, recently confirmed the news to The Hill.

“At the end of the day, ultimately NetCoalition will wind down and the Internet Association will take its place on the issues NetCoalition worked on,” said Erickson, who will work with the new group as its outside counsel.

NetCoalition, which included many of the current members of the Internet Association — including PayPal, eBay, Google, and Amazon — has some pending litigation in court but will close its doors after the cases are seen through.

So why move from one group to another? To put it simply, resources. NetCoalition — which once counted early online cornerstones as Lycos and DoubleClick as members — often used outside lobbying and public relations firms when promoting issues, and Erickson led the group while simultaneously running a law practice.

The Internet Association, which has four full-time employees, also includes a number of members well known to internet users but relatively new to lobbying, including Facebook and LinkedIn. The new association gives them a chance to start fresh.

Is starting fresh sometimes the best way for an industry group to get its footing? Let us know what you think in the comments.

(Royalty-Free/Corbis)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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