1.21.2012

SOPA Defeat Reax

As you know by now SOPA/PIPA was recently defeated.  From the BBC
The US Congress has halted debate on two contested anti-online piracy bills.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delayed a vote on the Protect IP Act (Pipa) scheduled for Tuesday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith then said his panel would not consider the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) until a compromise was reached.  The decisions follow protests by online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, and thousands of other websites, which went "dark" in protest for 24 hours earlier this week.  "In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP Act," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat,said in a statement on Friday. 
Paul Hartsock points out that: 
The bills are backed mainly by large content providers -- movie studios, record labels and other big-time media producers. They're designed to be a way to keep digital piracy in check. For example, under SOPA, if a rights holder has a copyright bone to pick with a foreign website, the rights holder can take steps to shut that site off from several vital channels -- search engines, ad networks, even Internet service providers. That stuff's like food and water to the survival of most sites, so in other words, under SOPA, a rights holder could basically starve the offending site out of existence.
But SOPA's and PIPA's opponents aren't just a bunch of piracy fanatics who can't bear the thought of having to pay a few bucks to see "Iron Man 2" instead of torrenting. A lot of them are actually against piracy. What worries critics about SOPA is what they see as a lack of oversight. They say it makes it way too easy to simply snuff out a supposedly offending site just by writing a strongly worded letter. There's also concern that SOPA would overburden legitimate sites with a huge new set of legal obligations and leave a door open for Internet blacklists that threaten the freedom of expression.
Those opponents have been getting their message through with info campaigns and lawmaker briefings, but Wednesday was the day of the big online protest, and it seems to have had some real results. U.S. lawmakers' websites were reportedly inundated with messages from constituents, Google delivered a 4-million-name petition against SOPA, and several erstwhile SOPA-loving legislators jumped the fence on the issue. The weekend before, President Obama revealed that he doesn't care for SOPA either.
Despite SOPA's defeat, Eric Gardner argues that Hollywood can still get its way with the cooperation of federal/international law enforcement agencies and sympathetic judges.


C. Stephen Weaver still supports SOPA and thinks that the public was sold a pack of lies.


And if you want, you can read the actual proposed legislation here.

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