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SOPA Postponed "Indefinitely"

| 20 Jan 2012 16:29
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SOPA lead sponsor Representative Lamar Smith says markup in the bill will be postponed "indefinitely" until wider consensus on how to combat piracy can be reached.

It wasn't exactly a "Day of Rage," although there was no shortage of pissed-off stupid at @herpderpedia, but the "No Wiki Wednesday" [or whatever you'd like to call it] was nevertheless noticed by the Powers That Be. Republican Representative Lamar Smith, the House Judiciary Chairman and lead sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act, announced today that he's putting the brakes on the bill.

"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. 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," Smith said in a statement, once again hitting his odious "foreign thieves" note.

He said Congress will continue to work with "copyright owners and internet companies" to come up with ways to combat online piracy and also invited input from anyone "who has an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem."

"The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore," he continued. "American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports. The theft of America's intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack."

Several politicians had already withdrawn their support for SOPA and its Senate sister PIPA prior to Smith's statement, including SOPA co-sponsors Ben Quayle and Lee Terry, and PIPA co-sponsors Mark Rubio and Roy Blunt. And although it's not quite as sweet and satisfying as an outright acknowledgment that the whole idea was a bad one from the get-go, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Source: Silicon Republic

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