Smith and Reid give in, setting aside SOPA and PROTECT IP

On January 20, 2012, in General, by Neil Stevens

According to Darrell Issa, SOPA is officially postponed by House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith. Issa broke the news on Twitter, which only underscores how important it is that we protect the Internet from capricious censorship, as was the risk under a SOPA-like regime.

On the Senate side, Harry Reid has canceled the vote on PROTECT IP, killing momentum for the proposal in both houses of Congress.

Smith’s and Reid’s decisions come on the heels of disgraced former Senator and current MPAA head Chris Dodd calling for cross-industry discussions on property protection. It may have been the death blow for PROTECT IP and SOPA’s biggest industry supporter to start talking compromise, when in the past the Dodd MPAA had taken a hard line against any deviation from the bills.

In other SOPA news, Marsha Blackburn also announced a change of heart on SOPA. I agree with Blackburn’s new position: scrap SOPA and start with something new. Issa’s and Ron Wyden’s OPEN Act is also worthy of consideration.

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