It seems that Tuesday’s Internet blackout in protest of both the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) had a significant impact. Harry Reid, Senate leader, has opted to postpone the vote on PIPA, looking to find a compromise between all involved parties before proceeding with the legislation.
Reid issued an official statement about the postponement of the PIPA vote. In that statement he again discusses the impact of piracy on jobs and the American economy. He does acknowledge that the issues raised about the bill could be worked out. The statement posted on Senate.gov read,
“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.”
House Judiciary Committee Chariman Lamar Smith also issued a statement in response to Reid’s announcement about PIPA. In that statement Smith announced that he would also be putting SOPA on hold in an effort to address the same problems raised about PIPA.
“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.”
It’s wonderful to see these politicians coming to their senses and agreeing that the provisions in these bills are ridiculous and need to be reevaluated and rewritten.
As expect, the RIAA is not happy about the effect of the online blackouts on both SOPA and PIPA. The organization issued a statement in response to these two bills being re-evaluated by Congress.
“There is a near universal consensus that cracking down on foreign rogue websites is an important priority for the U.S. government. The Senate had an opportunity to have a national conversation about an important and urgent issue: protecting American workers and consumers from foreign criminals. It is a shame that the Senate will not have that debate next week.
This issue is too important, too vital to our economy, to let misleading demagoguery have a veto over meaningful reforms. Everyone, every intermediary in the Internet ecosystem, has a role to play and a responsibility to help. We have been told repeatedly that the tech community agrees that something needs to be done. We take them at their word, and continue to hope that we can sit down with responsible leaders from that community to devise a solution that will address counterfeiting and theft and, yes, bring the rule of law to the Internet.”
It’s no surprise that the RIAA is upset, but postponing these bills and figuring out how to address all of the problems included in them is the right thing to do. I’m personally glad to see that the efforts of large sites like Google, Wikipedia, Reddit and all of the small sites and individuals paid off.