Blog of Rights

SOPA and PIPA Votes Delayed Indefinitely

By Michael Macleod-Ball, Chief of Staff, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:52am

Following an action-filled week on Capitol Hill, votes on two anti-piracy bills in the House and Senate have been delayed indefinitely until there is wider agreement in Congress about the legislation.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) just announced that “all consideration” of the bill would be halted “until there is wider agreement on a solution.”

An hour earlier, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced a vote on SOPA’s sister bill in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), would be postponed as well, stating that “there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved.”

In an attempt to crack down on piracy online, these bills could potentially result in the takedown of large amounts of non-infringing, First-Amendment-protected content from the Internet, without even giving notice to the owners and producers of that lawful content. To show opposition to the overbroad legislation, earlier this week thousands of websites went dark to protest the proposed legislation.

We’re pleased to hear that opposing parties in Congress want to take more time to come up with a solution that addresses the concerns voiced all across the country, and seen all across the Internet this week.

We believe that Congress can find a solution to end piracy, without harming free speech online. Contact your  Member of Congress today to let them know that you want them to protect the open Internet.

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