Feeds

Congress puts PIPA and SOPA on back burner

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.