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Key senators predict imminent return for SOPA, PIPA

Mon 23 Jan 2012 10:51am GMT / 5:51am EST / 2:51am PST
Politics

Sen. Reid wants resolution in the coming weeks, Sen. Leahy by the end of the year

The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart the Protect IP Act (PIPA) have been postponed indefinitely, but political figures backing the legislation insist that revised versions will emerge in the near future.

PIPA was originally scheduled to pass before the Senate tomorrow, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nevada) delayed the vote following widespread protests, crumbling political support, and public dissent from major websites like Google and Wikipedia.

However, Reid later issued a statement in which he claimed there was "no reason" why the perceived issues with the bill could not be resolved, suggesting that a new bill could be drafted in "the coming weeks."

"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," the statement read.

"I encourage [Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy] to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans' intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet."

In a statement on his official website, Senator Patrick Leahy warned of the dangers of indecision when it comes to PIPA, claiming that, "more time will pass with jobs lost and economies hurt by foreign criminals who are stealing American intellectual property, and selling it back to American consumers."

Leahy, who co-authored the legislation, is pushing for work on the PIPA to continue unabated, so that a new bill might cross the President's desk "this year."

"I understand and respect Majority Leader Reid's decision to seek consent to vitiate closure on the motion to proceed to [PIPA]," he added. "But the day will come when the Senators who forced this move will look back and realise they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem."

Representative Lamar Smith (San Antonio) delayed SOPA in response to Reid's postponement of PIPA. Smith was the principal author of SOPA, but, in a telephone interview with Reuters, he stressed the need for, "wider agreement on a solution."

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) also reversed its stance on SOPA, despite its early support for the bill. A report on Kotaku claimed that the body had invested as much as $190,000 lobbying for PIPA and SOPA last year, while Joystiq compiled a list of ESA members that indicated the majority being in favour of SOPA.

"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," a statement released by the ESA read.

"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."

The League For Gamers, a non-profit entity started by Red5 CEO Mark Kern to oppose potentially damaging legislation like SOPA and PIPA, issued a statement that "applauded" the ESA's new stance. However, it also lamented that the reversal had arrived only after the bills were postponed by Congress.

"The fact that the ESA was a huge financial backer of this legislation, means the LFG must remain an ever vigilant proponent for gamers and like-minded developers against future misguided legislation."

"SOPA and PIPA will surely resurface under new names, with perhaps different wording, but with every bit as destructive force as the original versions. We will be there. We will never forget. We will always be watching."

6 Comments

Preet Basson
Studying Mathematics with Statistics

92 13 0.1
The war for our freedom against corrupt and greed CEOs and politicians rages on.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Wes Peters
Software Engineer

6 0 0.0
Any future regulation absolutely must return to due process and presumption of innocence, both hallmarks of the US Constitution. This idea in modern laws of completely ignoring these two key concepts has just got to go.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Paul Shirley
Programmers

178 150 0.8
Until they stop falsely claiming opposition to SOPA/PIPA == support for piracy, there can be no meaningful debate and hence no progress. These idiots won't give this up until they start losing at election time.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

David Spender
Lead Programmer

129 54 0.4
Sal Khan, internet professor extraordinaire, has a great video on why these bills are so swiss cheesy. I can't imagine them fixing everything that is wrong.

[link url=http://www.khanacademy.org/video/sopa-and-pipa
]http://www.khanacademy.org/video/sopa-an...[/link]

After watching this, I'm amazed Reid can call them 'perceived issues'.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
It is an election year, and these politicians are getting desperate all because they know it will never be popular and they would most likely be voted out and they get millions of dollars in retirement superannuation.

Makes me sick that such people use their powers in this way to pass laws that would stuff up our freedoms of the internet all because they didn't get to have the same freedoms themselves when they were younger.

They were told what to believe and they lived by what they told, and when we finally found the freedom of the internet they wanted to have control.

Vote these people out of office and they will be replaced by more power controlling politicians until the generation of the internet finally becomes old enough to sit in the senate.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,020 1,467 1.4
Wes hits the nail on the head for me. While I understand the desire to fight piracy, nothing should limit essential human rights, and due process is absolutely key.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

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