Earlier this week the Internet is witnessed the largest protest in its history, aimed at killing the pending SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills.
The effort has not been without results. Within hours hours several Senators who co-sponsored SOPA and PIPA have dropped their support, and today Senate leader Harry Reid announced that next week’s vote on PIPA will be postponed.
“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act,” said Reid in a statement today.
However, behind the scenes discussions on PIPA continue, and Senator Reid encouraged stakeholders to reach a compromise..
“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,” Reid said.
“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.”
Public Knowledge was quick to respond to the announcement, and urged Congress to involve a wider audience in the discussions.
“Everyone should be pleased that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided not to go ahead with a vote on the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) on Tuesday,” said Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge.
“At the same time, this is a wake-up call for Congress to abandon business as usual. Simply tinkering with the details of this bill, or of its House companion, is not the way to go. Neither is a ‘summit’ between the Big Media companies and tech companies.”
“At a minimum, Congress should start from scratch to determine the nature of the problem. No one has been able to figure out how the media companies calculated their supposed losses of jobs and income. If Congress goes ahead with legislation, it should hear widely from those concerned about the pending legislation – from Internet technologists, from law professors, artists, human rights activists, consumers and even public interest groups. Only then will legislation be truly accepted and truly be effective.”