Are you telling me that we, the masses of the internet actually made a difference? Maybe. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill was benched in the House, as announced today by the panel’s chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas.
The decision came several hours after Senate leaders took a similar action with legislation known as the Protect IP Act. The moves came in the wake of massive Internet-based protests against the measures as well as large-scale defections from lawmakers. In a statement, Smith said the committee would wait until “there is wider agreement on a solution” before proceeding on action to fight overseas-based infringements of U.S. copyrights.
Also making headlines is the fact that the ESA withdrew their support of the bill shortly after the announcement:
From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites. Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry’s creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals. Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests. As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution.
Better late than never, right? Even if “never” comes to mean ex post facto. In either case, we’re certainly pleased with the outcome of all the amassed efforts to draw awareness to this poorly-thought out bill.