After going from the floor, to the shelf, and back to the table, SOPA has been delayed again. This means that for the first time in months, neither PIPA nor SOPA are on an active course to being passed. This is literally the best reaction to the SOPA blackouts than anyone could reasonably expect. Shortly after PIPA was delayed, Representative Lamar Smith -- in an oddly familiar announcement -- said that SOPA will be off the table until a concensus can be reached and that
nerd expert opinions will be seriously considered.
It should come as no surprise that SOPA has come back off its proverbial "shelf" but feel free to be surprised that it came back so fast. A mere 4 days after announcing he was dropping the DNS blocking provisions of the bill and putting it on the shelf until a "consensus" was reached, Representative Lamar Smith has brought SOPA back out to play, and just in time for the January 18th SOPA blackouts.Read More
It's been a good weekend for everyone who opposes SOPA and Internet censorship in general. In a statement on Friday, SOPA author and copyright infringer extrodinaire Representative Lamar Smith decided to drop the egregious DNS blocking provisions from the bill. On top of that, the White House responded to a pair of anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA petitions and came out against DNS blocking as well. With all that and SOPA "on the shelf" until the nerds can come in and a "consensus" is reached, we're practically in the clear, right? Not quite. PIPA is still up for a vote in the Senate on January 24th.Read More
“After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision. We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers."Read More
SOPA's intent isn't what makes it bad. Trying to protect copyrighted content is a good thing, it's just that when that pursuit goes so far as to slaughter Fair Use and threaten to forever change the Internet -- in a bad, bad way -- it's not worth the fallout. What better way to illustrate SOPA's overzealous approach than to start showing how practically everyone would be in violation, people like Lamar Smith, for example, SOPA's author. We told you about the anti-SOPA petition that could have taken down Whitehouse.gov under SOPA, and congressman Lamar's website is a similar situation.Read More
With the ubiquity of legitimate and fairly inexpensive sources for fast, high-quality streaming, the issue of online piracy seems to have taken a back seat in the public eye. Not so on Capitol Hill, where a new piece of legislation introduced to the House of Representatives could give law enforcement sweeping new powers to make so-called "rogue" websites involved in Internet piracy virtually vanish. The bill, boldly called the Stop Online Piracy Act, would grant new powers to the Department of Justice. Under the new law, the DOJ could use a court order served to Domain Name System (DNS) providers, search engines, and even advertising companies to sever an offending website from public access. Once served, these parties would be obliged to drop accused websites from search engine results, invalidate the site's URL, and presumably cut them off from advertising money; a kind of "death penalty" for websites.Read More