After an Internet blackout protest over two controversial pieces of legislation, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), garnered the participation of over 100 thousand websites, including Reddit and Wikipedia, Congress has officially put an indefinite hold on SOPA/PIPA.
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” chief author of SOPA, House of Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in a official Congressional statement. “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.”
During the blackout, participating websites posted links or information about SOPA/PIPA on their home pages and urged visitors to contact their respective local representative. According to a tweet from Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), the surge in visitors attempting to support the anti-SOPA/PIPA movement forced the Senate website to temporarily shut down.
In response to the blackout, many Senators and House of Representatives withdrew their support for SOPA/PIPA. This list included House of Represetatives Ben Quayle (R-Arizona), Dennis Ross (R-Florida) and Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) and Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri).
In the House, Smith announced the indefinite postponement of SOPA while in the Senate, chief author of PIPA, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) called for changes to PIPA before the voting process.
“I understand and respect Majority Leader Reid’s decision,” PIPA/SOPA supporter Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) said. “But the day will come when the Senators who forced this move will look back and realize they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem.”
For Wyden’s Tweet, see here.
For Smith’s Statement, see here.
For Reid’s Statement, see here
For Leahy’s Statement, see here.