Two bills purported to battle online piracy of intellectual property are on hold after a vigorous campaign against them. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) (S.968) had appeared to be on a fast track for full Congressional consideration. Indeed, PIPA was set to receive a preliminary vote in the Senate this week. However, a large coalition led by tech giants such as Google and Wikipedia banded together to derail the bill, particularly noting concerns with new government powers and worries about censorship. Their efforts were highlighted by a one-day protest where Wikipedia and many other sites blacked-out to raise citizen awareness of their fears.
PIPA is now on hold, as is SOPA, which was in the middle of a grueling committee mark-up. It is unclear when they will be revisited, but leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees have noted their desire to work with those concerned and their continued commitment to battling online piracy.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations