THE BUZZ: The SOPA and PIPA bills, at least in their current forms, are dead after being pulled from the floor of Congress.
EGM’S TAKE: House Judicary Committee Chariman and the chief sponsor of the SOPA bill Lamar Smith (Republican-Texas) said Friday that he is pulling the bill “until there is wider agreement on the solution”.
This of course came quickly after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada) said he was postponing a test vote for the bill that was set for Tuesday due to recent events. These recent events that Reid alluded to when he announced the postponement were the blackout of Wikipedia for one day and an online petition started by Google that garnered well over seven million signatures (you see what happens when you threaten our porn!).
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was all for Reid’s decision of postponement saying that it would “prevent a counterproductive rush towards flawed legislation”.
Not willing to accept defeat with some humility, Smith alluded that the bill may reappear in another form at another time as he released the following statement after pulling SOPA:
“We need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products. The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60% 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.
The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store. It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.
The Committee will continue work with copyright owners, Internet companies, financial institutions to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property. We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem. The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.”
Harry Reid, much in the same vein as Smith, said he was optimistic about a compromise being reached after the concerns with the bill raised by the public were resolved. Markham Erickson, executive director of NetCoalition, the group that represents Google, Yahoo!, and Amazon.com commended Congress for coming to their senses.
This just goes to show you that when people in this country band together, change can truly be affected. It is just a shame that often things have to be pushed to the very brink before that happens. Although pirated media is a problem, the drastic measures proposed in SOPA were clearly not the answer.
The flaws of SOPA were put into perspective recently as a prime example being thrown around Facebook and other social media sites was that if you were to pirate music by Michael Jackson, SOPA as it stood, could condemn you to five years in prison. The man who was convicted of the manslaughter of Michael Jackson only received four years in prison.
And the crew here couldn’t be more thrilled about Congress’ decision, and to show off our joy, here is a picture of the crew after hearing about the death of SOPA.
(The EGM crew is in no way related to in likeness or personality to the Happy Tree Friends. We also hold no rights to this image and are merely using it in satire and to prove a point and therefore it is public domain. Try to get us now SOPA.)
What do you folks think? Did Congress make the right move? Did you partake in any of the protests this past Wednesday? Is this the last of SOPA or will Lamar Smith come back to haunt us like a cheesy comic book villain? Let us know with comments below!