Score one for Team World. Following global protests on Wednesday against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its partner Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), and then the epic set of hackings from An0nymous on several government websites plus the MPAA on Thursday, bill creator Lamar Smith (R-Tex) has pulled the plug on SOPA!
Yielding to strong opposition from the high tech community, Senate and House leaders said Friday they will put off further action on legislation to combat online piracy.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was postponing a test vote set for Tuesday “in light of recent events.” Those events included a petition drive by Google that attracted more than 7 million participants and a one-day blackout by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, quickly followed suit, saying consideration of a similar House bill would be postponed “until there is wider agreement on a solution.”
The Senate’s Protect Intellectual Property Act and the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act have strong support from the entertainment industry and other businesses that lose billions of dollars annually to intellectual property theft and online sales of counterfeit products. But they also have strong opposition from Internet-related companies that argue the bill would lead to over-regulation and censorship of the Internet.
Reid has also seen at least a half-dozen senators who sponsored the bill announce they now oppose it.
Rejoice! SOPA is dead and PIPA is off the table. Just a hunch, I think the government had to cave in after An0nymous hacked several of their websites like it was nothing. That more than anything probably forced them to kill these two wretched bills once and for all.
I know I don’t talk politics on this site, but maybe one way to get people to stop heading towards pirated content is to…well…you know, not charge a King’s Ransom for a music album or a movie. But I don’t expect either the music or movie industry to actually do that. It is virtually impossible to erase all pirated content off the internet and I’m sure our politicians will try and create another bill that would still lead to over-regulation and censorship of the web. It’s not that I am pro-piracy, but I can totally understand why people, especially in an economic recession, want cheaper alternatives to what they want to consume… regardless of its legality. I’m also anti-stupidity, and SOPA fits the bill (no pun intended).
This issue isn’t going to go away just because the bills have been killed off, but it’s good to know that there’s a little bit of push-back against these types of proposals.
The ribbon that says “Stop Censorship” is still going to hang around these here parts until Jan. 24th as I stated on Wednesday, though. It would be foolish to just drop this issue.