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SOPA and PIPA Bills Lose Support After Day Of Protest; Senate Vote Postponed

Submitted by on January 20, 2012 – 4:15 pmNo Comment

Several lawmakers publicly dropped support of controversial anti-piracy legislation and an important Senate vote was postponed after a “Day of Protest” blacked out many popular websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist. Online petitions garnered millions of signatures, and politicians offices were flooded with emails and phone calls.

Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mark Rubio (R-Fla.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), all co-sponsors of the bill, announced that they would no longer vote for the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), the Senate version of the bill.

“It is simply not ready for prime time and both sides must continue working together to find a better path forward,” said Hatch in a statement.

The protests also targeted the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) before the House of Representatives, where Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said “it’s pretty clear to many of us that there’s a lack of consensus at this point”.

Just today, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced he would postpone the vote on PIPA scheduled for next Thursday.

But online celebration was short lived: on Thursday, federal authorities shut down the popular filesharing website Megaupload for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement resulting in over $500 million in lost revenues.

Opponents argue that the anti-piracy acts don’t actually punish those actually guilty of copyright infringement, penalizing search engines and file sharing sites instead; and that the laws in their present forms would give draconian control over these sites to the government.

[Source: The Washington Post]

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