SOPA and PIPA. The two ugly step-sisters of our dear friend Internet Freedom. They have caused a ruckus in Capitol Hill, and throughout the country over recent months, and earlier today, were put into timeout.
The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act were both gloriously postponed early Friday. Senate majority leader and bill proponent Harry Reid called off a scheduled vote for these two bills, after weeks of staunch opposition from online enterprises and concerned citizens.
While people are happy, and rightfully so that this bill has been halted, there is no question that some of the issues outlined in the bills are immediate problems.
Internet piracy is a rampant, and measures need to be taken to curb it. The Hollywood executives that propelled these bills into the spotlight simply wanted to stop the malicious downloading of copyrighted material, and with good reason. Offshore Internet companies have been milking music, movie, and book content for all they’re worth, illegally acquiring online material with no end in sight.
I was reading this new post on Tom’s Hardware, a site I frequently go to for tech news, which I subsequently post here, and found this article. I’m going to quote it verbatim, because I really could not convey the information better myself.
“SOPA’s biggest supporter claims the legislation will not censor the internet. Really.”
“On Wednesday, Reuters reported that some members of Congress had switched sides to oppose the anti-piracy legislation. The news arrived while “protests blanketed the Internet” as websites visually displayed their stance against SOPA and PIPA whether it was a simple link to anti-SOPA material, or a complete website blackout. Even one game developer launched a non-profit organization to protest against the ESA which in turn supports the legislation instead of the wishes of the enlisted “artists” and “content providers” it supposedly protects.
All the while, several sponsors of the legislation, including Senators Roy Blunt, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and John Boozman and Marco Rubio, announced their withdrawal of support for the legislation. Reports indicated that their sudden turn was due to pressure stemming from critics of the bill. But some of them openly blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for rushing the Senate version of the bill (PIPA, or the Protect IP Act). Blunt said the legislation is “deeply flawed,” while both Rubio and Boozman cited “unintended consequences” that could stem from the proposed law. Still, all those that formerly opposed the legislation said they still supported taking action against online piracy.