Skip to comments.House, Senate Postpone Piracy Bills (SOPA/PIPA) Under Pressure
Posted on 01/20/2012 8:19:27 AM PST by abb
Capping a dramatic week of protests and legislative maneuvering, leaders in the Senate and the House announced on Friday that they are backing off efforts to pass a pair of controversial bills to crack down on foreign websites that use pirated content.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced that he will postpone a cloture vote on the Senates Protect IP Act, originally scheduled for Tuesday. And in the House, Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said he will postpone consideration of the House version until more agreement can be found.
Congress backed off the legislation after an unprecedented online protest on Wednesday by an estimated 115,000 websites and 13 million Internet users that catapulted the debate onto the national stage. At least eight former cosponsors of the Protect IP Act have defected, and support is waning for the Houses Stop Online Piracy Act, which aims to give U.S. officials more tools for combating international piracy and copyright infringement.
In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesdays vote on the Protect IP Act, Reid said in a statement.
Wikipedia, Craigslist, and other high-profile websites went so far as to black out their entire sites in protest against the legislation. Critics say the measures would limit free speech and harm the open nature of the Internet.
Now that dramatic show of force by Internet companies large and small seems to have paid off.
SOPA has yet to clear the House Judiciary Committee, despite ardent work by Smith. And the Senate bill, which had been on a relatively fast track after the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved it in May, looks equally doomed.
Just as the Web protests were roundly dismissed and disparaged by the bills supporters, Reids decision to back off sparked sharp reaction from Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who sponsored the Protect IP Act.
I understand and respect Majority Leader Reids decision to seek consent to vitiate cloture on the motion to proceed to the Protect IP Act, Leahy said in a statement. 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.
Smith, meanwhile, said that it is "clear that we need to revisit the approach on combating piracy.
The decision marks a failure for many in the traditionally strong entertainment lobby, which had pushed hard for the legislation.
Continue to contact your senators and let them know that we do NOT want SOPA/PIPA.
Kept quiet until being rammed through during Obama’s lame-duck months?
As if we don’t have worse problems that we have to waste time with this.
As with ALL Federal laws in recent memory, this is not about “piracy” or any other possible good for society - this is simply an enormous power grab by tyrants bent on keeping We the People under their scrutiny and control, and that’s a “bad” for society.
“Majority Leader Reids decision to seek consent to vitiate cloture on the motion to proceed...”
Senate Kabuki translation:
Reid’s gotten us big bucks from Hollywood for writing this.
Now hell get us big bucks from the internet giants to amend it- and even more big bucks from Hollywood not to amend it too much.
Their masters have spoken, this will get done.
Another poster said it, I can’t who remember or I’d credit him/her, to paraphrase:
Congress doesn’t understand tech, but they do understand legalise. They’ll modify it and ram it through.
This is more important than it first appears. These bills hand over command and control of the internet to Holder and his people.
If they can stop communication between people at a whim they have shut down one more way they can be challenged. There is a manifest need for people to be able to organize and exchange ideas electronically. Why are the dictators of the world so afraid of the internet?
Keep up the fire ... the opposition is beginning to crumble ...
This is a very big deal. It has nothing to do with piracy and everything to do with controlling communication.
Passing this as it stands is a significant step to despotism. Or rather, it will bring the despotism into the open without the smoke and mirrors. They don't like what you are saying on your site? No problem, they shut it down. Once that starts, we are in a heap of trouble.
Communication is essential to dissent. And Obama's people (and many Republicans) have not been subtle in their disgust with the internet's capability of communicating (uncontrolled) information and dissent.
They don't give a damn about piracy except as a tool for extorting funds.
The operative word here is “postpone”. The villians-in-office were taken off guard by Internet Alert members of the public who were wise to this bipartisan bit of treachery.
They are HOPING the issue will coool off, the light of scrutiny on them and their insidious matings with special interest groups, and this repugnant legislation will fade. THEN they will try to strike again.
Its OUR responsibilty to continue to monitor these demons on this issue and make sure our Internet peers are aware of their machinations.
My guess is their NEXT step will be to attempt to HIDE this in some monstrous irrelevant Omnibus Bill, like Funding for Children, Wildlife, Apple Pie and the American Way.
Puzzling reaction on your part, given your tagline....
They will find a way to cram it in a emergency appropriations bill.
We need to tighten their screws for sure!
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SOPA and PIPA opponents successfully delay Congressional action
MegaUpload Takedown Proves SOPA and PIPA Are Unnecessary
In the end, once Jimmy Wales (one of the co-founders of Wikipedia) announced that Wikipedia was going to “go dark” on January 18, 2012 as a protest against SOPA and PIPA, that got the attention of every MSM outlet and the story became front page news. When this happened, the public pressure was on, and it didn’t take long for Congress to quickly back down from supporting SOPA and PIPA—especially since 2012 is a major election year!