SOPA Gets Shelved, PIPA Gets Pushed
SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is getting the boot thanks to all the protest against it. It’s not clear what exactly worked, the blackout on Wednesday, the countless petitions, or hundreds of letters flooding congressmen/women’s e-mail folders and desks. What is clear is that we, as constituents, can make a difference if we take action. Sen. Lamar Smith of Texas, the mind behind the bill, had pretty much deflected any protest since SOPA’s inception and was a key supporter until earlier this month when things started heating up.
The reasoning behind the bill isn’t a case of the last generation harping on the new generation; the intent was good here at least. The U.S is reported to lose $58 billion a year according to the RIAA (Recording Industry Assoc. of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Assoc. of America). That number is probably crazy inflated, though, just to gain support for SOPA, but I guess I wouldn’t know as I don’t work in movies or music. I just think that piracy can be fought by other means rather than make our limit our first amendment right.
Under pressure, Smith first took out the DNS part of the bill that would give the government the ability to block any foreign website with copyrighted content earlier this week. DNS was just about the worst thing in there when you read around the act’s vague material. The White House even weighed in saying that the President wouldn’t sign something that limited free speech, no matter what the intent was. So even it were to somehow pass in the House of Representatives and the PIPA in the Senate (Senate equivalent to SOPA), the President most likely wouldn’t sign it into law. PIPA was also postponed today thanks to concern from Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid. Without the support of SOPA in the house, it’s hard to believe that a bill like this would even go to a House vote. While the proposed bills didn’t single out video game websites in particular for using copyrighted content to showcase games, the repercussions of the bill could of sent a ripple effect through the internet, like pretty much ruining a foreign developers chance to promote their game(s) on the internet for example.
But now we can rest as this bill is shelved indefinitely, or until its rewritten to not limit free speech, which soundss indefinitely is about right. Good job internet!