US lawmakers abandoning online piracy bill

US lawmakers abandoning online piracy bill

By , Jan 20 in blog with 0 comments

SOPA 1 thumb US lawmakers abandoning online piracy billFive days before a critical vote, US senators are abandoning an anti-piracy bill after an outpouring of online opposition to tinkering with internet freedoms.

Senate Democratic leaders still plan to vote on Tuesday on taking up the Protect International Property Act and supporters are scrambling to make changes before then to answer some of the critics, but it is questionable whether they have the 60 votes needed.

Half-a-dozen of the 40 original co-sponsors of what is known as the PIPA bill withdrew their support on Wednesday amid a one-day protest blackout by Wikipedia and other web giants and a flood of emails to Capitol Hill offices that at times doubled normal volumes.

More than 7 million signed a petition on Google saying the Senate bill and its counterpart in the House would censor the web and impose burdensome regulations on US businesses.

"The overwhelming input I’ve received from New Hampshire citizens makes it clear there are many legitimate concerns that deserve further consideration before Congress moves forward with this legislation," said Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, one of the politicians who pulled back her support of the bill.

Others included Republicans Orrin Hatch of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boozman of Arkansas.

Nearly all cited the earful they were getting from constituents.

"I can say, with all honesty, that the feedback I received from Arkansans has been overwhelmingly in opposition to the Senate bill in its current form," Boozman said.

Several Democratic co-sponsors also now say they oppose the bill as it is written.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has resisted suggestions he put off the Tuesday vote.

Reid and the bill’s main sponsor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said it was too important to delay action on legislation aimed at combating the billions of dollars US content creators and companies lose to foreign copyright violators and counterfeiters every year.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Thursday urged Democrats to shelve the bill for now, saying serious issues with the measure should be resolved before "prematurely" bringing it to the floor.

The Senate bill, and the parallel Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would allow the Justice Department and copyright holders to seek court orders against foreign websites that steal from American content creators.

It would bar advertising networks and payment facilitators such as credit card companies from doing business with the offending websites.

The bills have the strong support of the entertainment industry which loses billions every year to foreign copyright violators and from industries such as pharmaceuticals battling fake and sometimes harmful alternatives sold on the internet.

The opposition, as demonstrated by Wednesday’s protest, is led by internet-related industries that say the bills will lead to censorship of the internet and a surge in lawsuits that will discourage budding internet entrepreneurs.

Story source: www.ninemsn.com.au


About the author

 US lawmakers abandoning online piracy bill Mike Andrew has been working with the Internet and small business for over 12 years. Mike has been a keynote speaker at conventions and seminars and conducted social media training sessions all over the world. Mike has an extensive media background having worked in electronic media for over 30 years. Mike specialises in social media and Internet marketing strategy, SEO techniques and search engine marketing campaigns. His articles appear on numerous blogs around the web as well as national magazines.

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