We wrote a post a few weeks ago discussing the reasons why we oppose SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). Here’s a quick update of where the bill stands currently.
Late last week, opponents of SOPA felt a sigh of relief. The reason? Perhaps the most powerful ally the Internet community could ask for, President Barack Obama, announced his Administration will not support SOPA, effectively putting a halt to passage of the bill. The White House announcement came in response to widespread opposition for SOPA, in particular, a We the People Petition signed by nearly 52,000 opponents of SOPA. The message behind the petition read “the more freely information flows; the stronger that society becomes,” a quote from President Obama.
“We we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” said the White House. “We will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation.” Check out the full White House response.
Additional Recent Developments
Majority Leader Eric Cantor has promised that he will not bring the bill to the floor unless there’s real consensus on the bill, something that is clearly missing at this point. In the new amendment to SOPA, Rep. Lamar Smith has removed the Domain Name System blocking from the language of the bill until it can be further “studied.” Majority Leader Harry Reid is still seeking to move forward with passing PIPA (Protect IP Act).
The White House was clear in stating it is still firmly committed to fighting against online piracy, and it will still seek to develop legislation aimed at deterring such activity. The White House has called all supporters and opponents of new Internet legislation to provide public input around the issue. In fact, the White House announced it will invite the petition organizer and a random sample of signers to join Administration officials on a conference call to discuss this issue further.
Even though our voice has been heard, it is not time to hang up our hats and call it a day. The debate concerning online piracy is far from over, and there will be more bills drafted. It’s our job to continue to voice our opinions and help shape legislation as best we can.
We’ll keep you updated on any further developments with SOPA, and any other anti-piracy legislation.