Did The Internet Blackout Stop SOPA & PIPA
There was both victory and defeat as what will surely go down in history as "Internet Blackout 2012" wound to a close last night.
On the one hand, more than 7000 websites joined the protest against SOPA and PIPA January 18, going "dark" and offline, to illustrate what would happen to the information superhighway if either of the proposed pieces of legislation were to pass.
As of 9pm, six co-sponsors of the bills had turned the tables on the legislation they helped write! Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Representatives Ben Quayle (R-AZ), Lee Terry (R-NB), and Dennis Ross (R-FL) say they plan to now oppose the SOPA and PIPA bills.
One the other hand, both the SOPA and PIPA bills are still alive on Capitol Hill.
The blackout succeeded in getting the original SOPA bill pulled from the House floor and "shelved" until it can be rewritten and a consensus reached (i.e., the ambiguous language has to be specific)
The White House issued a statement calling on both parties to work together to author sound legislation that provides "prosecutors and rights holders" new legal tools to fight online piracy originating outside of the United States. There is still a need to pass anti-piracy legislation, yes. The law needs to be specific to movies and music only.
The PIPA bill is still very much alive in the Senate. It's actually a revision of the 2010 "Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act which failed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R) still intends to bring it up for a vote on the floor January 24. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has pledged to filibuster any attempt by Reid to get a vote on PIPA and he's not alone.
If you would like to voice your opposition to the bill you can sign this online petition, organized by Google.
This issue is far from over, and it will surely come up again. As I close this blog state senators are still sharing and tweeting their opinions on FaceBook, their websites, all over the world wide web that SOPA and PIPA would shut down if passed.
My favorite? This one from Illinois Senator Joe Walsh. Good thing the internet was still open for business last night. Let's hope it stays that way.