The House Judiciary Committee will not be taking a final vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act. The markup session was announced via a statement from the Committee, of which Rep. Smith is the chairperson.
In a separate statement Smith blasted Wikipedia for its decision to blackout in protest of SOPA:
“It is ironic that a website dedicated to providing information is spreading misinformation about the Stop Online Piracy Act,” reads the statement. “The bill will not harm Wikipedia, domestic blogs or social networking sites. This publicity stunt does a disservice to its users by promoting fear instead of facts. Perhaps during the blackout, Internet users can look elsewhere for an accurate definition of online piracy.”
On Friday, Rep. Smith announced he would remove the DNS blocking and rerouting provisions of the bill, which are rthe portions that were considered to be the most dangerous to the internet in its current form. As it was written initially, SOPA would have given copyright holders (and the federal government) the ability to remove infringing websites from the DNS (Domain Name System). Many experts declared this would have negative consequences for the stability of the web.
Today’s announcement comes after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) assured a colleague there would not be a vote on SOPA unless there was “consensus” on the bill. Many, therefore, considered SOPA to be shelved, and shifted focus to the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
Now, it would seem that rumors of SOPA’s demise were greatly exaggerated.
Several big websites – including Wikipedia, Reddit, and Imgur – are planning blackouts tomorrow, while Google will add links to SOPA-related information on its homepage. We’ll be going dark here at Blippitt as well.
- Wikipedia Blackout: Official Statement Released on January 18 SOPA, PIPA Protest (blippitt.com)
- SOPA opponents gaining momentum; Wikipedia to join blackout – msnbc.com (redtape.msnbc.msn.com)
- Anti-SOPA blackout (samizdata.net)