SOPA Shelved - But What About Protect IP
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 16 January 2012

Congress has put off action on SOPA. Although there is no explanation, I think we can attribute this to  pressure from online petitioners and strike action threatened by Reddit and other prominent websites.


This news item follows on from our earlier coverage: Web Blackout As SOPA Protest.

Update:

Wikipedia joins blackout. A community vote is still being taken about what will happen but at the moment the plan is to redirect to an "education" site.

 

The decision to shelve the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was announced on Saturday morning by congressman Darrell Issa, one of the bill's opponents, who said that he had been been told by House majority leader Eric Cantor that there would be no vote on it "unless there is consensus on the bill."

 

stopsopa

 

This came at shortly after the White House issued a response to two related petitions; "Stop the E-PARASITE Act" and "VETO the SOPA bill and any future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information".

While the Obama administration did not issue a veto, the statement "Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet" indicated that it would not support legislation that "undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet" and specifically stated:

"Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security."

SOPA's sponsor, Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, had already diluted the proposed legislation by agreeing to drop the provision in the bill that would have required Internet service providers to block infringing websites.

While SOPA is now shelved the E-PARASITE act, Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act,also known as Protect IP (PIPA), is still due to go before the Senate on 24 January and so there is still cause for concern. 

If you don't know about Protect IP this video explains it from the point of view of its opponents.

              

Overall this feels more like a tactical withdrawal than a victory. Sensing that popular and even presidential support would cause the bill to fail or be vetoed then what else would supporters of the bill do but shelve it and use the time to regroup.

So there is still reason for Wednesday's web blackout to go ahead to make sure that the popular and industry feeling against the bill is made 100% clear - we need a victory and not just a temporary cessation of conflict.

 

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