Internet wins a victory as SOPA is shelved

It’s okay folks, the Internet can finally relax as today the highly controversial SOPA bill was set aside.

The Stop Online Piracy Act has had the Internet in a rage for the past few months. Several companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook all highly opposed the bill which fundamentally gave the government power to shut down sites that were in breach of copyright – the bigger issue was that the bill also gave power for them to take down websites even if they linked to a website that had copyrighted material on it.

There were big efforts by the people to boycott companies that supported the bill. Popular social website Reddit fronted the boycotts and led a large initiative to reduce the amount of domain names that GoDaddy was selling. The attack worked and after GoDaddy attempted to brush it off but they eventually fell and pulled their support of the SOPA bill. GoDaddy was just one of the targets.

Whilst the Internet was a rage, the White House failed to give a proper position on SOPA, until now. Yesterday the Obama administration responded to a petition that was posted on the ‘We The People’ section of the White House website. “While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” The statement read. “Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small”

Darrell Issa, house oversight chairman said that Majority Leader Eric Cantor vowed that the house would not vote on the bill until there is a general consensus on the bill. “While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House,” That said, the politicians should have realized by the outrage of the American people and the world that the idea of SOPA was a bad one from the start.

Google and Reddit have already threatened blackouts in opposition of the bill, a move that would have cost both companies a huge sum of money, however, it's money both companies were willing to risk in order to make sure SOPA didn't pass. It’s still possible that SOPA could come back at some point; after all it was only shelved.

Good riddance.

Image credit: perezhilton

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51 Comments

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We are 50% there at this point in time. P.IP.A is, as mentioned earlier, still active and scheduled for voting on the 24th January.
Even the name is misleading, as I first assumed it was about protecting IP address segments or similar... not Intellectual Property!
I can see peoples private or public online clouds of blogs and backups becoming totally transparent to government agencies and giving the latter unprecedented control over those domains housing them! Not to mention uni-lateral blocking and censorship!...... so..

DOWN WITH P.I.P.A !!!!
and keep signing the petitions that stand against it!

So, does this mean all the planned blackouts this week are not going to happen? I hope so, too many innocent people would be affected by all the lame blackouts. Find another way to protest please.

I'm disturbed that this post was even published. The US Senate is pushing forward with very similar legislation; the shelving of the House bill was a ruse, as always when it comes to politicians needing to be in control of their worlds. This is misdirection, nothing more.

All due respect to the young learned author, but perhaps a 25-year stint following US politics would serve him well. Mr. Oh-blah-blah can issue all the teleprompted condemnations he wants from his throne in the White House against SOPA, but his friend Harry Reid is ramming PIPA through the Senate.

They will get this done, because it is in their best interest to control the people and their access to the free flow of uncensored information. *That* is what this legislation is about. If you doubt it, look at the Patriot Act, DMCA, the 2012 NDAA, and dozens of other little laws specifically designed to shut down what threatens their ideology.

The emperor will always need new clothes.

Can you reword that in a more 'normal' fashion? It sounds important, but it's kinda difficult to get through the hyperbole and conspiratorial stuff. (And I'm being serious).

Kirkburn said,
Can you reword that in a more 'normal' fashion? It sounds important, but it's kinda difficult to get through the hyperbole and conspiratorial stuff. (And I'm being serious).

Oh goody. More calls for normalcy and common sense and removal of personality and convictions.
Sorry, I refuse to be pigeon-holed into other people's sense of normalcy. If it sounds important, maybe a little more research is in order. (friendly poke)
And where did you read anything about a conspiracy? If I had wanted to say that, I would have. I promise. There are usually very few between-the-lines implications with what I write.
(And I'm not being snarky, I'm being me and trying to offer my personal perspective from my vantage point. I can't do that if I stand where the "normal" people are.)

x)

I'm not asking you to change your opinions, only present them in a way that makes more immediate sense.

References to Mr. Oh-blah-blah, teleprompters, emperor's new clothes (how is that relevant?), and thrones aren't helpful.

Just point out PIPA and why it's a continued issue.

Kirkburn said,
Can you reword that in a more 'normal' fashion? It sounds important, but it's kinda difficult to get through the hyperbole and conspiratorial stuff. (And I'm being serious).

I'm disturbed that this post was even published. The US Senate is pushing forward with very similar legislation; the shelving of the House bill was a ruse, as always when it comes to politicians needing to be in control of their worlds. This is misdirection, nothing more.
Shelving the SOPA bill is just a distraction. PIPA is still on track.

All due respect to the young learned author, but perhaps a 25-year stint following US politics would serve him well. Mr. Oh-blah-blah can issue all the teleprompted condemnations he wants from his throne in the White House against SOPA, but his friend Harry Reid is ramming PIPA through the Senate.
Once again, SOPA may have been publicly shelved to make people happy and look like the administration is doing 'the people's bidding' but PIPA is still being driven through.

They will get this done, because it is in their best interest to control the people and their access to the free flow of uncensored information. *That* is what this legislation is about. If you doubt it, look at the Patriot Act, DMCA, the 2012 NDAA, and dozens of other little laws specifically designed to shut down what threatens their ideology.
The government needs to keep a leash on you and restrict how much 'free info' you can get your hands on via the net. It's been done before; just look at the Patriot Act, DMCA, the 2012 NDAA and other laws to keep people in check.

.Vamp said,
The government needs to keep a leash on you and restrict how much 'free info' you can get your hands on via the net. It's been done before; just look at the Patriot Act, DMCA, the 2012 NDAA and other laws to keep people in check.

I fail to see how they've had much effect on the flow of information on the internet. Quire reasonably, copyright holders do have rights, and some very specific information (bomb-making stuff, for example), should not be available.

I certainly don't agree with SOPA or PIPA, but you can't reasonably take a stance of 'no laws is best'. (We have laws that apply to information outside the internet, and there should be reasonable laws for that which is online.)

They did this so people wouldn't notice PIPA and it can go through without anyone even paying attention to it.

RichardK said,
The PIRATES (read, those that promote/practice piracy, theft, etc.) are the only ones that have "won".

And those who quite like freedom of expression on the internet. But yeah, it's mainly those nasty evil pirates who've been saved from the righteous judgement of the glorious US copyright holders.

RichardK said,
The PIRATES (read, those that promote/practice piracy, theft, etc.) are the only ones that have "won".

Well it's the pirates and the greedy corporations that bring us into a downward spiral, making us regular consumers suffer.

Just the other day I tried playing a rented movie from iTunes on my Apple Mac Pro connected to my Apple Cinema Display and it said it can't because it doesn't support some kind of copy protection garbage. That makes me want to pirate as an alternative, which makes the greedy corporations want more control.

Hey, the all-hated Obama pulled this off

Well, congrats and everything, it's a victory of a battle. The war will never cease, though.

kavazovangel said,
More precisely, the Internet in US won. Not the global one.

I believe that, whether they had a right to or not, they were gonaa control sites that weren't even made in the U.S. under SOPA.

MASTER260 said,

I believe that, whether they had a right to or not, they were gonaa control sites that weren't even made in the U.S. under SOPA.

If the site was operated on or made use of any service under US jusrisdiction, certainly. But otherwise no.

While I certainly agree that SOPA needed to die in a fire, I will say that I disagree with the notion people had that it was going to "kill the internet" globally so to speak. While it would of had a significant short-term impact, in the long term it'd of just pushed the market out of the US and to Europe and Asia.

An ugly mess for sure, but at the end of the day only a death knell for the US web-market in my opinion.

MASTER260 said,

I believe that, whether they had a right to or not, they were gonaa control sites that weren't even made in the U.S. under SOPA.

Though these laws created in the U.S. tend to filter through to other countries after a while; And are given their own name etc.

WinA said,
Piracy FTW

Ignorant comments like this is exactly why this isn't over. As long as there are people that think infringing on other peoples rights is fine, there will always be fuel for this fire. Now they will just try to get it in under the radar without full disclosure. Next time it will be a one sided argument without our voices heard as everyone, including Google, Facebook, and many other big names have already said they won't participate in helping the politicians make the bills anymore. When it is only big name corporations that don't care about free speech from Hollywood talking with the politicians, we won't have a voice anymore. This bill has already demonstrated that the people we all hope would fight for us refuse to work the system the same way Hollywood does. So go ahead and say Piracy FTW. You are the reason Hollywood has plenty of fuel and justification to sway the politicians to screw us over.

Ha, Google doing a blackout, that was never going to happen, same for Facebook. Few tech elite sites, probably.

Anyway, good news but probably not the end of it. They will just find another way so stay on your toes.

oceanmotion said,
Ha, Google doing a blackout, that was never going to happen, same for Facebook. Few tech elite sites, probably.

Anyway, good news but probably not the end of it. They will just find another way so stay on your toes.

my thoughts exactly. Google cares too much about money to shut down over a bill. The only ones that seem to be shutting down are sites that have alternative options so who cares.

It's okay folks, the Internet can finally relax...

The Internet never rests. Continue the fight! Make your voice heard! Post more pictures of cats!

I'm glad to see that they finally realised how damaging it would be though, even if the original intentions of SOPA were good.

Intrinsica said,

The Internet never rests. Continue the fight! Make your voice heard! Post more pictures of cats!

I'm glad to see that they finally realised how damaging it would be though, even if the original intentions of SOPA were good.

Screw pictures of cats...we want more videos of cats.

Seriously though, this is a good day. Unfortunately for the entertainment industry, piracy will always be around and nothing they can do will ever prevent it. However, they need to quit treating everyone as if they are a criminal.

Setnom said,
Congratulations!

CTRL+H "sopa" "pipa"

It's not over until SOPA *and* PIPA are shelved. They're giving everyone a false sense of security with SOPA being shelved while PIPA continues.

JAB Creations said,
Great! So we still have an uncensored internet! Now can we please work on removing Obama and the bill that WAS passed that allows the government to use the military to kill civilians and throw us in jail without charge or trial? You'd think that would be slightly more important...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW-e7z7S6VI

This is a tech site, we're going to be more focused on things like SOPA than say, education reform or wars.