SOPA and PIPA votes in Congress delayed

Just two days after the Wednesday blackouts of thousands of web sites to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), the US Senate and the US House of Representatives have announced they will delay the votes of both bills.

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who previously was trying to push for a vote on PIPA on Tuesday, January 24 and who received $3.5 million in campaign donations from pro-PIPA groups, posted a statement today on his official web site saying:

In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.

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.

I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill.  I encourage him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans' intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet.  We made good progress through the discussions we've held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.

On the US House of Representatives, or SOPA, side, a post on the House Judiciary Committee's web site by its chairman, Congressman Lamar Smith, states:

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. 

The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs.  Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack. 

The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store.  It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.

The Committee will continue work with copyright owners, Internet companies, financial institutions to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property.  We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem.  The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.”

The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.

This move is a huge victory for those who organized the blackout protests on Wednesday, which were first started by Reddit and later were picked up by others including Wikipedia.

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19 Comments

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Just love it how they claim piracy cost them money. They need to wake up. It costs them $0. How can you count money that you would have never gotten anyways? Pirates would not buy the stuff period.

Indeed, this is NOT a victory, they are simply delaying because they realize that the campaign against them is building momentum, and supporters are starting to pull away. They will wait a good few months, lay out millions more dollars in back-handers to bring them back on board, and the campaign losses steam.

That's the second article on here now claiming victory because of the bills being delayed. Unless it is killed, it WILL come back.

This may have been stopped for now, but it's just a matter of time. Something is going to be released that is going to change the Internet as we know it. There is no way around it

These bills both need the axe. At least for now....

What these technologically impaired officials don't understand is that most likely about 80-90% of the people who steal anything online (from games, to movies, to music, to software) would most likely not buy the product in the event it couldn't be stolen. Hell, most people only pirate because of how easily accessible it is. I personally know at least 30 people off the top of my head that just live in my area that would steal a book, movie or video game, but would otherwise just never read, watch or play it if they couldn't easily download it.... It's kind of the same thing when going to a store.... you look at a game or a movie and realize you can't afford it, so instead of stealing it, you just don't buy... (of course sometimes people still steal from the stores, but far less than online)

So we might be able to stop or at least slow down piracy, but that isn't going to get all these people their jobs back and magically make the industry their money back.... if that's what the senate actually believes.

As an alternative.... they should look at paying actors a bit less (they definitely don't deserve what they make.... I'm sorry, but nobody deserves millions just to do a few months worth of work reading lines and acting out something that someone else wrote for you...)

Personally, I prefer to use "piracy" as a form of a trial or demo of a game I'm thinking about getting... (of course OnLive has made a great step in the right direct as far as making games accessible) then after spending a few hours with it, only then would I consider buying it.... with how expensive video games are these days, I would never want to blow $50-$60 on a game just to find out that it was pure trash...

I agree with you. I mean, I have 130 games to my name alone in Steam but right now, I've fallen on some hard times. I've got work lined up, but waiting on it to come and having just been conned recently, I'm in the red. So of course right now, I'm not going to be paying money for ($60) games, movies, or music. Sure, everyone here can criticize my actions all they want, but you know what I did do? I recommended the absolute hell out of games, which have led to friends picking up the games over the holidays, and even further sales by people like my brother who encouraged his friends to pick up the same game so that they can play together!

This is something the industry fails to look at: the potential sales made by people recommending the products who wouldn't normally have been able to experience them without piracy. I'm not claiming piracy is 100% good, as it has both pros and cons for it, and to take such extremes with SOPA/PIPA without looking at the big picture is senseless.

I came from pirating -everything- when I was a young teen without any sort of income (family has been relatively low income for most of my late life, even stepping into poverty with the economy crash). I lost my job and have been unemployed since.

Things turned around last year when I finally got state assistance and since then I've been able to purchase things I otherwise couldn't in the past.

Right now, Steam tells me I have 415 games (not accurate since it includes DLC, most of which I only get in packs) whereas the client tells me I have 251 games. I had zero prior to obtaining assistance (Dec 2010, does that say a lot?).

With the PC game industry now pushing to $60 'AAA' titles (thanks Activison!), I can in no way afford to purchase those games anymore until months/years after their release.

I rarely pirate games and movies nowadays thanks to services like Steam/GOG/etc. and Netflix/Hulu/etc.. They are right. If something is convenient to buy and obtain repeatedly in the future, people won't pirate it. There are some people who pirate regardless of their income, whether because they believe they're entitled to it (scum) or because the product/service is not available in their area (unfortunate). These are the people who hurt companies more than those who flat out cannot afford it (myself and other low income families), because they would not or could not purchase it otherwise. (This is why products/services also need to be pushed into more areas.)

I hated pirating, I really did. I wanted to support the companies so badly but couldn't because of my finances. Now I can, but those 'AAA' titles are still out of my reach for months/years. I've re-purchased games I've played in the past, even games I've owned retail copies of, just because of the convenience of digital distribution services. If I have to pirate something, I feel disgusting and generally avoid it (unless the company has really done something to make me feel shafted or disrespected, which is actually becoming quite common with the horrendous PC ports of those 'AAA' games. Funny that indie games do ports better. /sigh)

PS: Gaikai is a better verson of OnLive IMO; doesn't even require a client and functions just as well. Lacks a few features of something like OnLive however, but it's all about playing the games, right?

I love it when they use" jobs" excuses trying to sell it to feeble minded people
"oh lost of job a bad thing" pass it now!!

l33under said,
I love it when they use" jobs" excuses trying to sell it to feeble minded people
"oh lost of job a bad thing" pass it now!!

Agreed. Do they even have proof that Hollywood people lost jobs directly because of piracy? Or is it just another made up argument like the amount of money "stolen"?

Setnom said,

Agreed. Do they even have proof that Hollywood people lost jobs directly because of piracy? Or is it just another made up argument like the amount of money "stolen"?

If you think about it, jobs and whole companies were created because of piracy, MPAA doesn't troll P2P sites for fun on their free time, DRM isn't made by concerned citizens trying to do their part. Imagine all the lost jobs if piracy stopped.

Delayed simply means "wait for the fuzz to calm down" and in the meantime look good for the voters. They'll try to pass it again or repackage/recycle it in to some other law. Stay vigilant!

matrix64 said,
Delayed simply means "wait for the fuzz to calm down" and in the meantime look good for the voters. They'll try to pass it again or repackage/recycle it in to some other law. Stay vigilant!

I agree. I think voting on it now would have been a bigger win, because it wouldn't have passed.