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SOPA and PIPA placed on hold

Both PIPA and SOPA have been postponed, following large-scale protests of the legislation on Wednesday.

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The US Senate's Protect IP Act (PIPA) and House's Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) have been put on hold following a large-scale Internet protest on Wednesday. Several Web sites including Wikipedia had a voluntary black-out, alerting users to contact their representatives regarding the controversial legislation.

"In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP Act," said a statement from Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).

The BBC reports that in response, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued a statement of his own: "I have heard their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products."

While Smith argues that it is important to protect copyright-holders, he notes that the committee will postpone consideration until they can find "wider agreement" on the correct way to deal with piracy.

A few of the bill's co-sponsors also withdrew support on Wednesday, joining other companies like Nintendo, EA, and Sony who had dropped support upon pressure from vocal opponents. The Electronic Software Association, the industry's trade association, is still listed among the bill's supporters.

Meanwhile, Computer World reports that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has reacted sharply to the audacious decision of Congress to listen to their constituents. "I understand and respect Majority Leader Reid's decision to seek consent to vitiate cloture on the motion to proceed to the Protect IP Act," said a statement from Leahy. "But the day will come when the Senators who forced this move will look back and realize they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem."

The legislation has been controversial for its ability to censor the Internet, giving companies the power to cut off revenues or blacklist the URL of a site that infringes on copyright. Critics say that stopping piracy is important, but the proposed legislation overreaches.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 20, 2012 12:45 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, SOPA and PIPA placed on hold.

    Both PIPA and SOPA have been postponed, following large-scale protests of the legislation on Wednesday.

    • reply
      January 20, 2012 12:49 PM

      Everyone should continue to follow this story. One never knows if they'll try and slip this bill into something like a budget proposal or something else later. Stay vigilant, all!

      • reply
        January 20, 2012 1:33 PM

        they really will too, did the same thing with a bill effectively banning online poker by throwing it into a port securities bill.

    • reply
      January 20, 2012 12:55 PM

      It will never pass, and even if it does it won't stop piracy. In the computer world there is ALWAYS a way to do something, its only a matter of time.

    • reply
      January 20, 2012 1:00 PM

      [deleted]

      • reply
        January 22, 2012 9:09 PM

        Speaking of China, isn't it funny that the most regulated internet in the world has such huge problems with piracy?

        Glad these bills got halted, let's hope they don't come back. In any form. The government has proven that if you tell them they can have a finger, they'll eventually hack off your whole arm.

    • reply
      January 22, 2012 5:33 PM

      Looks like our protests, petitions, etc have actually mattered. I hope SOPA and PIP get shot down and disappear forever.

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