SOPA Debate Postponed to 2012
21 December 2011 4:00 pm
Further debate on the Stop Online Piracy Act, which has been
labeled as an attempt at internet censorship by a variety of online
service providers, has been pushed back to early 2012.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (known to its friends
as SOPA) is a controversial piece of legislation which spent the latter
parts of 2011 meandering its way through Congress, attracting derision
from all corners of the internet as it went. The debate continued right
into this week, with no side making any real progress. As such, any
futher debate on SOPA has been pushed back until the Congressional
festive hibernation period ends in January 2012.
In a way, this is good news; the delay will give organized opponents
of the legislation more time to fine-tune arguments and points from
internet engineers, lawyers, and others. Said opponents include Google,
Facebook, YouTube, Reddit and just about every other major internet
service which derives a large chunk of its content from users posting or
reposting film or music clips without the express permission of the
For the most part, these companies are upset that in addition to
having the potential to put them out of business and make posting
copyrighted material a felony, SOPA could also break the entire internet.
The sadder side of this news appears to be no one side has yet gained
any traction over the other, leaving the debate a deflated, sighing
mess. According to the Washington Post,
Representative Mel Watt (D-N.C.) became so irritated with opponents of
the bill requesting hearings with internet engineers that he
"tactically" forced a clerk spend 45 minutes reading the bill out loud.
Even more worryingly, Watt is reported to have said later in the debate
that, "A lot of money has been floating around on a lot of different
issues...It's not worthy for us to be talking about who got bought off
SOPA is offensive to much of what we internet users take for granted,
mostly the way we've become used to sharing our favorite snippets of
copyrighted media without having a law like SOPA destroy the websites we
use to share such things. If you'd like to add your voice to the those
opposing the bill, you can find the anti-SOPA petition right here.
Thanks to the holiday break, you now also have an extra few weeks to
contact your Representative and inform them of your feelings as regards
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