House, Senate Postpone SOPA, PIPA Legislation
Politicians, like dogs, are pack animals. When the alpha males, so to speak, make a move, those on the lower rungs of leadership move as one, nipping at the heels of the younger members, so all move in unison.
After Wednesday’s widspread Internet protests of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its House version, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), some members of Congress withdrew support, including PIPA’s co-sponsor, Republican Marco Rubio of Florida. While this was a big ripple in the pond, others in Washington, D.C. were likely waiting for the big dogs to lead them out of the fight.
Today, two of the pack leaders made such a move.
Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid, (D-NV) released a statement this morning, removing his support for the controversial legislation moving forward, at least for now. “In light of recent events,” said Reid in the statement, “I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the Protect IP Act.”
In addition, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) pulled his support of SOPA receiving a committee vote next month, postponing further action indefinitely.
Just about anyone trying to use the Internet on Wednesday saw a bevy of messages across the banner ad sections of major websites, as well as a number of major sites including Wikipedia having shut down completely, “going dark” to spread a growing resentment toward what has been called an over-reaching governmental Internet power grab. Google used its “doodle” to draw users to information and an online petition which brought in a whopping 7 million signatures.
Supporters of the two bills say they are needed to prevent websites from copying copyrighted content and spreading it with impunity. With such widespread support against the legislation, however, and elections upcoming, it would appear the voice of the people, combined, has become the biggest (and loudest) dog in the room.
At least, for now. We’ll see who the alpha males wag their tails for when the elections are over. I for one don’t think this fight is over.
Correction: I previously mentioned Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as co-sponsor of PIPA. This is incorrect, and the story has been updated. Apologies for any confusion!