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Senate majority leader postpones PIPA vote
Senate majority leader postpones PIPA vote
January 20, 2012 | By Mike Rose

The U.S. Senate's controversial Protect IP Act (PIPA) took a hit today, as Senate majority leader Harry Reid said that he has decided to postpone the vote on the legislation.

PIPA and its House sibling, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), are similar measures that would give the U.S. government and copyright holders the ability to block U.S. internet users from accessing sites accused of primarily being dedicated to copyright and trademark infringement.

But opponents to the bill raise questions about the bills' effectiveness against piracy, and how the measures would impact free speech on the internet.

Reid, originally one of PIPA's biggest supporters, was expected to bring the bill to the Senate on January 24 for a procedural test vote.

However, he has now postponed the vote, explaining in a statement, "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," he continued.

"We must take action to stop these illegal practices... 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."

Reid's actions cast doubt over whether or not PIPA will be able to net the votes it needs to receive a full vote in Senate.

This is just the latest blow for the bill, as both PIPA and SOPA have seen opposition grow over the past week. In the wake of anti-internet blacklist bill protests on Wednesday, a total of 18 Senators opposed the bill, including a number of Senators who were originally co-sponsors of the legislation.

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Jordan Laine
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Man they still don't get it. 1 pirated copy != 1 copy not sold. It's really not that hard to wrap your head around, but I guess I shouldn't expect them to understand based on the bill they wrote.

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Yea I'd like to see this "billions of dollars" if such laws got passed. I actually expect that these industries would take a hit from boycotts from any community backlash resulting in a net loss of jobs and money. This isn't the oil industry, the music, movie and game consumers have choices.

Doug Poston
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I agree that the 1-to-1 ratio is way over inflated, but piracy is an issue that does cause real harm to several industries (including our game industry).

All that said, SOPA and PIPA will cause *WAY* more harm to businesses than help. Not from boycotts but from lawsuits, counter-lawsuits, and having to second guess everything you do on the internet.

Joshua Darlington
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Data attack has outpaced data defense. Perhaps quantum encryption can solve this problem. But in the mean time, new business models can be used. Like value through inclusion and excitement instead of value through exclusion.

John Tessin
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I see nothing wrong with DRM as long as it is spelled out on the package so I can avoid products that use methods I don't agree with. (eg: installing a root kit on my computer ... ) When DRM interferes with my fair use of it, I dislike it immensely. BUT! The choice to add DRM to a product is the right of any publisher and if they feel it is necessary then I say "go for it!" The online DRM systems seem the less odious at the moment though it can make non internet connected play problematic.

As far as legislation, I really wish we could have a complete hiatus from all forms of piracy if even for a short while. This would at least let the market know what the real affect of what piracy is.

Remember that SOPA and SOPA are there to support another form of PIRACY! The one that seems to be running rampant and that is of stealing your civil rights. When profits are put before security by those we trust to protect us, we have chosen poorly. Let us never forget that DMCA was so poorly written that it hampers cryptographic research in the US.

Tomas Majernik
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Anthony I think it would help if we all (society) changed our view on how big of a problem piracy really is. In a fact, it is pushing the boundaries between what is (socialy) permitted and what is not - and piracy is slowly but surely getting on the side of allowed social behaviour (although being a crime).

Reminds me of what happend to me like a month ago - a friend of mine was asking me about Skyrim because he knew I was playing it. I said "great game, you can buy it there for a special price". He answered "Why would I buy it when I can download it for free?", so I asked him back "Why would You buy a bread at grocery when You can take (steal) it for free?" What brings me to the point - stealing software is just like stealing food or anything else. And I belive stealing has no place in modern society.

Nevertheless SOPA and PIPA don`t have my support (and doubt they would ever had).

Dennis Groenewoud
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Postponing is not enough I want these acts off the table. I hate the fact that America is deciding on such an issue that affects the whole world fuck off. Im so angry with this stuff its unbelievable and Im really angry due to the fact I cant do anything about it (Since Im not American). They think these things will help against piracy I do not think so look at China they have the most censored internet and still piracy is at its largest in China. ARGH!

Harry Fields
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China censors for political content mostly. The government loosely (in the most loose sense of the word) acknowledges other nation's patents... The great firewall of China is not in place to protect IP... it' is there to well, censor. Apples to Oranges.

Right now, SOPA and PIPA have attracted a lot of media attention which makes everyone a legal expert on the content of the bills, even if they haven't read the darn things (kinda like the "Obamacare" frenzy back in 2009). The bills need tweaked (don't most), but the purpose of them is legitimate.

Joe McGinn
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The purpose of the bills is entirely illegitimate. It is not the governments job nor is it in the nations interest to prop up old, obsolete, brick-and-mortar business models at the expense of innovation and exploitation of information age technology.