stop online piracy act

Photo courtesy of Rep. Smith's website

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been pulled by its sponsor, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith.

Smith issued a statement today in response to the news that SOPA’s companion bill in the Senate, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, had been pulled from by majority leader Sen. Harry Reid. Smith writes:

“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that 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 House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.”

Smith’s announcement will likely due little to stem the vitriol directed his way in a stream of memes that started in the wake of the SOPA blackout.

Saying that "recent events" have raised questions, but that "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that there won't be a vote in his chamber next Tuesday on the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

That's the Senate's version of controversial legislation that supporters say would cut down on Internet piracy — but that opponents say would amount to censorship.

Image courtesy

With the sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) hailing from Texas, and Austin being a high-tech hub, there’s been plenty of local reaction to the internet blackout in protest of SOPA and the accompanying Protect Intellectual Property Act. We have reactions from several Texas lawmakers on the bills:

  • Sen. John Cornyn writes on his Facebook page that “Texans have soundly rejected the ‘pass now, learn later’ approach that we saw with Obamacare, and the potential impact of this legislation is too far-reaching to ram it through Congress in such an abrupt way. Stealing content is theft, plain and simple, but concerns about the internet and free speech necessitate a more thoughtful, deliberative process.” This isn’t the first time Cornyn’s been pressed on the issue, as SOPA-opposed constituents met with his office earlier this week.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

A wave of coordinated protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the companion PROTECT Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are “blacking out” popular sites across the Internet.

Wikipedia is the highest-profile site to completely darken their site in protest. Google has “censored” their logo, and created a page urging Congress to “End Piracy, Not Liberty.”

The SOPA strike is being felt in Austin, too, with local sites darkening in solidarity, and Twitter users voicing discontent with Representative Lamar Smith, the Central Texas legislator who introduced SOPA.

Image courtesy

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has provoked a firestorm of controversy online.

Ostensibly drafted to crack down on piracy of films, music, and other items illicitly traded online, SOPA proponents like the Motion Picture Association of America argue the law will protect intellectual property. But opponents of the bill fear the legislation will effectively cripple the Internet by targeting the hosts of user-generated websites like YouTube instead of the offending uploaders; hoist huge legal uncertainties and liabilities onto websites and start-ups; and create potential security threats in the way it redirects traffic from so-called “rogue” websites.

The proposed SOPA legislation, introduced by Texas Rep.Lamar Smith, is a big deal in tech-savvy Austin. Today, members of Austin’s tech community are making the case to Sen. John Cornyn’s office that SOPA is a bad bill.