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Stunned By SOPA Backlash, Senate Leader Cancels PIPA Vote
Congress and the Hollywood/media lobby was taken aback by this week’s massive anti-SOPA protest. In light of that, and reconsideration by several of the bill’s sponsors and high profile supporters in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has canceled a vote on SOPA-companion measure PROTECT I.P. Act or “PIPA.”
Here’s the text of Reid’s statement, released about an hour ago:
“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.
“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.
“I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill. I encourage him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet. We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”
Sponsors of PIPA and SOPA and their media and content-industry supporters see the bills as an effort to stop foreign-based websites from facilitating massive intellectual property piracy and theft of American movies and other content. Those in the internet industry see instead a “government takeover of the web” or an ignorant effort to impose rules and penalties that would “break the web.”
There will now be an effort to modify and reintroduce some version of this legislation that addresses piracy but tries to avoid the outcry that SOPA and PIPA caused. However, even without SOPA and PIPA, it appears that the US is going to pursue a stepped up law-enforcement campaign against sites that enable IP theft. A most recent case-in-point is yesterday’s “seizure” of Megaupload, together with its domains and assets. The site was accused of profiting from and facilitating piracy.
We may thus see a “de facto” implementation of key provisions of SOPA and PIPA by the FBI, even if they’re not formally enacted by Congress.
- SOPA Stats: 7 Million Petitions, 3.9 Million Tweets & Google Crawling Dropped 60%
- Why The Web Is Going Dark Over SOPA & PIPA
- Big List Of SOPA Links
- What All Marketers Need To Know About SOPA – The Stop Online Piracy Act
- The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Stalls In Congress
- #BlackoutSOPA: A Look At The Social Media Movement That Helped Stall The SOPA Legislation
- How To Blackout Your Site (For SOPA/PIPA) Without Hurting SEO
- Google Blackens Its Logo To Protest SOPA/PIPA, While Bing & Yahoo Carry On As Usual