SOPA Bill Put on Hold and Dying Out

SOPA Bill Put on Hold and Dying Out

After many websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Google, The Cheezburger network, and our website, black out on Wednesday to protest the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), many people had learned about the effect of SOPA/PIPA and contacted their representatives and senators in massive ammounts. This has caused 18 senators have pulled their support of the bill and over 100 new senators have opposed their support. Now, the bill is put on hold.

Based form an article from CNet, Lamar Smith, a House Republican and creator of the bill has posted, in an online statement…

Statement from Chairman Smith on Senate Delay of Vote on PROTECT IP Act

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today issued the following statement in response to the Senate decision to postpone consideration of legislation to help combat online piracy.

Chairman Smith: “I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.

“The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.

“The online theft of American intellectual property is no different from the theft of products from a store. It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.

“The Committee will continue work with both copyright owners and Internet companies to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property. We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem. The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.”

The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.

Also, people in the gaming industry is opposing the SOPA bill. The Entertainment Software Association, the people who bring us the E3 gaming convention, no longer supports the SOPA bill, which also has a major role in the bill. It has said in a statement…

“From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites,” the group said in a statement. “Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry’s creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals. Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests. As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution.”

Although the bill is most likely dead, it did not help one website. The website, Megaupload, was taken down by federal prosecutes and it employee were charged for violating piracy laws and currently in jail without bail. This has caused Anonymous to attack websites that helped bring Megaupload down including the Department of Justice.

Overall, although the SOPA/PIPA deal is not dead yet, the blackout has made the bill really weak to hold  any ground.