Senate slams brakes on PIPA, SOPA shelved for the time being
Hey-ho, the witch is dead. OK, in truth, SOPA and PIPA will only remain six feet under until they inevitably reach mud-crusted hands out of their graves with newfound rhetoric and support, but the results of recent Internet-wide protesting are encouraging, to say the least. We haven't won just yet, but the tide of battle is most certainly turning.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has officially postponed voting on PIPA due - in large part - to all the impassioned outcry from fine folks like yourselves. He's asked for revisions that maintain "openness and innovation on the Internet,” which is sort of, you know, the complete opposite of what PIPA was trying to do before.
Obviously, though, this isn't over. In a statement, Reid cited "billions of dollars" piracy costs the American economy each year and concluded that there's "no reason the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved." He hopes to reach a compromise "in the coming weeks," though the bill's recent expulsion from the Cool Kids' Club (via cannon, into the sun) might put a damper on his plans.
Meanwhile, BBC reports that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith has begrudgingly backed down from his hard-line stance on SOPA. His panel will no longer push the bill until a compromise is reached.
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” said Smith. “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.”
And finally, with all that nasty "having to choose a side" business out of the way, the ESA's decided to pipe up against PIPA and SOPA. "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 gaming industry advocacy group said in a statement. "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."
This is, of course, the same ESA that spent $190,000 lobbying in favor of PIPA last year.
Regardless, give yourselves a pat on the back. The Internet banded together, fought for its rights, and scored a black-eye-worthy blow against the biggest threat against its still-young existence. SOPA and PIPA aren't down for the count just yet, but the hornets' nest has been stirred. Except that the Internet hivemind has more in common with the Buggers from Ender's Game - who, for the uninitiated, sort of nearly wiped out all life on earth. That is to say, look out, the government. You have no idea what you're dealing with.