SOPA stalls in the face of White House opposition

Congress SOPA

The Stop Online Piracy Act hit a wall over the weekend after The White House came out against the bill. The Hill reports on comments from house oversight chairman Darrell Issa, who was assured by majority leader Eric Cantor that more work was needed "to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote."

Shortly before that statement, SOPA sponsor chairman Lamar Smith offered to make significant concessions to the section of the bill that would require ISPs to block offending sites, but it wasn't enough. SOPA's Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act, is still on the table, however.

The White House commented on SOPA in response to two protest petitions on the White House Blog , saying that "while we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet."

Later in the statement: "We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. 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."

There has been huge opposition to the bill from all corners of the Internet. Reddit, Google and Twitter have been joined by a large number of games companies, publishers and concerned gamers worried about SOPA , including MLG, Epic, Trion, Riot Games, 38 Studios, Nival, Mojang, Frozenbyte, Nvidia and more.

With the Protect IP Act still being considered in the senate, the battle to hold back draconian anti-piracy legislation is far from over, and SOPA is likely to come back in some amended form in the future. PIPA is itself a rewritten version of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act which failed to pass a couple of years ago. Still, good news for now.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.