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Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:22

US Congress drastically slows down SOPA, free world rejoices

Written by Jon Worrel

y globe

Legislation is weakened, but definitely not dead

News came in this afternoon that the United States Congress, under executive order of President Obama, are officially preparing to shelve controversial anti-piracy legislation that would inhibit online innovation and open the doors to a risk of online censorship.

According to Forbes online magazine, the Stop Online Piracy Act "is very much alive, though it has been drastically slowed down. Minority leader Eric Cantor has assured SOPA-opponent, California Congressman Darrell Issa, that the bill won't move forward without consensus. Whatever that means, it surely does not mean that SOPA is dead."

Proponents of the bill, including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Viacom, provided the majority of support for both SOPA and PIPA and were also supported by a slew of both Democrats and Republicans in several states. Supporters of the bills argue that, as the legislation falls apart, the entertainment industry staints to lose millions of dollars in revenue without the protection of government-mandated legislation.

While the bill may be on its knees after the public outcry that largely dominated the Internet over the past few days, many large technology giants and social media sites do not think that the Stop Online Piracy Act is dead. Beyond public interest groups, Silicon companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit have all fervently opposed the legislation. Many high-level executives at these companies and sites have concurred that President Obama's statement simply brought the bill to a temporary halt. Lamar Smith, the bill’s architect, does not believe that SOPA is dead either.

According to California Congressman Issa, "the voice of the Internet community has been heard. Much more education for members of Congress about the workings of the Internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal."

Jon Worrel

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