Feeds

Congress puts PIPA and SOPA on back burner

Put down the champagne, protesters, it's not over yet

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Political leaders have cancelled plans to vote on the SOPA and PIPA legislation currently before Congress, saying more time is needed to examine the issue.

Nevada senator Harry Reid, who is shepherding PIPA through the Senate, announced that he would postpone a vote on the bill that was scheduled for next week “in light of recent events.” Nevertheless, he praised the proposed legislation and said he looked forward to eventually getting it to a vote.

“We must take action to stop these illegal practices,” he said in a statement. "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.”

Shortly afterwards, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said that the SOPA legislation currently in the House of Representatives would be put on hold, but warned that the government would have to pass some kind of legislation to deal with foreign thieves.

The MPAA signaled its determination to carry on the fight in a brief statement on the matter.

“As a consequence of failing to act, there will continue to be a safe haven for foreign thieves; American jobs will continue to be lost; and consumers will continue to be exposed to fraudulent and dangerous products peddled by foreign criminals,” MPAA CEO and former US senator Chris Dodd wrote.

The move is a partial victory for protestors who have been active online and off. However, the legislation is currently only on hold, so there are plenty of opportunities for the media industry to take another shot at it once all the fuss has died down. There has been too much money spent on campaign contributions to give up now, and the industry will be patient, hold some telegenic hearings, and try again later – there's a marvelously distracting presidential election that could prove very useful.

But the move also brings attention to the bipartisan Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN Act),which would block funds going to foreign piracy websites but not attempt to block them by disrupting the DNS infrastructure. Instead of the Justice Department adjudicating sanctions, the task would instead be assigned to intellectual property experts at the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

"Supporters of the Internet deserve credit for pressing advocates of SOPA and PIPA to back away from an effort to ram through controversial legislation," said OPEN Act co-sponsor and trenchant SOPA critic, Congressman Darrell Issa.

"Over the last two months, the intense popular effort to stop SOPA and PIPA has defeated an effort that once looked unstoppable but lacked a fundamental understanding of how Internet technologies work," Issa said. "Postponing the Senate vote on PIPA removes the imminent threat to the Internet, but it's not over yet.”

Given the stunning ignorance shown by the legislature and the Department of Justice on internet matters, having some experts on board might be welcome. But the OPEN Act is far from perfect - there’s nothing on fair use, for example. Nevertheless, it is supported by companies such as Google and Facebook, so has a shot at passing.

But the media industry isn’t going to give up, and with an election year in the cycle, politicians will be hungry for campaign funds. Given the nature of the US political system, this may come down to who has the deepest pockets. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.