SOPA hearings to resume in February in US House

Even as a number of major web sites plan to shut down their operations on Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, there's word today that SOPA hearings won't even be held until sometime in February. In a press release from the US House Judiciary Committee, a statement from the committee chairman, Congressman Lamar Smith, says that the committee won't begin its discussions on SOPA until sometime in February.

Congressman Smith, a major supporter of SOPA, is quoted in the statement as saying:

Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February. I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property.

The statement makes no mention at all of the planned web shutdown protests that will involve web sites like Reddit, Wikipedia and many others on Wednesday. A few days ago it looked like SOPA was going to be put into limbo but Congressman Smith's statement would seem to indicate that it is simply been delayed, not shelved.

The US Senate is also debating a similar bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Even though there was a call from several Senators to hold off on voting on the bill, the US Senate's Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that the vote will continue on PIPA as scheduled on January 24.

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... Congressman Lamar Smith, says that the committee won't begin its discussions on SOPA until sometime in February.

FWIW that doesn't mean it'll reach the House floor or a full vote or anything -- only that Smith wants to keep trying to come up with something that House leadership will let reach the floor for a vote. IMHO what to watch out for now is Congressional Reps supporting SOPA making backroom deals, tacking SOPA onto another piece of legislation in return for their vote on whatever. However All 3, the Senate, the House, & the President have to agree on legislation before it becomes law [though a presidential veto can be overridden], so there will be opportunities to fight SOPA even if that happens -- I think that's what the EFF had in mind when it didn't totally celebrate House leadership saying SOPA wouldn't reach the House floor.

... the US Senate's Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that the vote will continue on PIPA as scheduled on January 24.

If that vote happens it may just be an attempt to show Hollywood etc. that whatever Senators really deserve their campaign donations etc. -- again the House & President have to agree with the Senate, so if just the Senate passes something it can be largely irrelevant.

That all said, there is a lot of money involved in the way of campaign contributions etc. & 2012 is an election year. And as with the Keystone pipeline project, the President is relying on support for reelection from large groups on both sides of the issue. Things could get complicated... Some Senators & Reps for example could push for passage just to force the president to choose, even if they're otherwise against SOPA or PIPA, hoping that whatever choice he makes will lose him enough support that he'll lose the election. IMHO the best, perhaps only way around that sort of thing is to make sure those Senators & Reps realize the risks involved, & perhaps the best way to do that is with protests like Reddit going dark.

Yea I guess Neowin is to good for sites like Google, Reddit, Wikipedia etc. Mainly because they have nothing up protesting SOPA. Maybe they are supporters.

RightfulSpire said,
Yea I guess Neowin is to good for sites like Google, Reddit, Wikipedia etc. Mainly because they have nothing up protesting SOPA. Maybe they are supporters.

Pretty sure they are from the UK which has no way of supporting these types of bills since they are US only.

Lexcyn said,

Pretty sure they are from the UK which has no way of supporting these types of bills since they are US only.

Never mind....there is a banner now. Go neowin...and my op was just kidding to those who might have considered me serious.

RightfulSpire said,
Yea I guess Neowin is to good for sites like Google, Reddit, Wikipedia etc. Mainly because they have nothing up protesting SOPA. Maybe they are supporters.

While I don't/can't speak for Neowin, I think they try their very best to remain apolitical, to avoid any sort of political discussion. SOPA/PIPA are tech issues, so they make the Neowin news. The reasons behind them are political, which this article for example doesn't address. I don't know how they could go dark, making a political statement as it were, & still stay out of the politics.

Lexcyn said,

Pretty sure they are from the UK which has no way of supporting these types of bills since they are US only.

Or so you would like to think.
I am Canadian, and SOPA/PIPA affect me as much as any American. This is because to make the bill easy to understand, they classify all ARIN issued IPs as 'domestic', which covers most of north america and some island nations.

The problem with this is I have NO voice in an argument that affects me.

Tech companies may just have to just outbid the entertainment industries when it comes to greasing the palms of politicians. Sadly money still equals influence and policy :'(

They must be waiting for Wiki to come online before discussion as without wiki they wont able to discuss since where would they get all the info needed for their discussion

I hope other sites/companies/domains join in - We need to speak louder than the lobbyists who are putting billions of dollars in the pockets of gov't.

capr said,
PUT WIKIPEDIA BACK!!! I am panicking here.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki


Why not actually read the page and do what it says if you do wish to have Wikipedia, and other sites, stay online without fear of government takedowns should these bills pass.

xiphi said,

Why not actually read the page and do what it says if you do wish to have Wikipedia, and other sites, stay online without fear of government takedowns should these bills pass.

and you assume i didn't? because...?