Friday, January 20, 2012

A More Complete Semi-Victory...?

Now that the political dust has settled a bit, it appears that the victory over SOPA/PIPA might have been just a bit more complete than a simple delay.

According to Cnet, House Rep. Lamar Smith—aka the most vocal proponent of the proposedSOPA legislation—just announced that the House will put the bill on hold. The move follows tuesdays SOPA blackout protest and the Senate's decision to postpone their vote on the corresponding PIPA bill.

Rep. Smith issued an official statement, saying that he has "heard from the critics" and that it's "clear that we need to revisit the approach" with regard to SOPA.

In response to tuesday's online blackout in protest of the proposed SOPA and PIPA bills floating around congress, Senate leader Harry Reid has opted to postpone the vote on the bill, believing there's a way to first find compromise between all parties.

Here's a bit more info on the Senate side that's a little more enlightening:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will postpone a cloture vote on a controversial bill to crack down on foreign websites that use pirated content. His move comes after a public campaign by websites concerned the bill would expose them to lawsuits turned once bipartisan support for the measure to strong opposition in both parties.

"In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act," Reid said in a statement. …

The vote was put off despite Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy's continued efforts to cut a deal on an amendment that addressed critics' concerns. Reid did not say when the bill may come up again.

Hot Air comments:

That's about as clear a retreat as one will see.  It's an admission that PIPA and its companion House bill SOPA have become so toxic that they can't be amended into acceptability. In order to proceed on a bill to act in protection of copyright and intellectual property, Congress will have to start from scratch, with a process that doesn't give the federal government plenary powers to seize internet traffic without the proper run of due process.

Reid could try to keep PIPA off the agenda for a few weeks and try again later, with some amendments, but as it gets close to the election, the worse the stink will be.

Again, this issue is more than likely to come up again at some point.  The good news is that there is plenty of active opposition to fight it when necessary.

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