PIPA's Own Sponsors Backing Off Bill; Ask Senate To Hold Off On Voting [Updated!]

from the wow dept

It looks like the internet uprising really is having an impact. Senator Ben Cardin -- a co-sponsor of PIPA -- has put out a press release saying that he won't vote for the bill as written today, after hearing from many constituents. Oddly, he says he will remain a co-sponsor of the bill, but wants to amend the bill to take into account the concerns he's hearing.

Similarly, six other Senators, including two co-sponsors -- Senators Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley (the two co-sponsors) along with John Cornyn, Jeff Sessions, Mike Lee and Tom Coburn -- have asked Harry Reid not to bring the cloture vote he's promised to bring on the 24th. In other words, as many of us have been asking: don't rush this. This is huge news. With Senators -- including three co-sponsors -- coming out so forcefully to Harry Reid that this bill needs more time, Reid is much more likely to delay the cloture vote, and to leave PIPA aside for other business for the time being. Either way, the letter (embedded below) makes it clear that more debate on the issues in the bill were promised and never held. And, they note, that they're hearing more and more and more about the problems in the bill, and believe they should be discussed openly, before anyone is voting on cloture or on the bill itself.

All of this, by the way, is because tons of you (tons!) have stepped up and reached out to your Reps. and Senators and let them know that these bills are unacceptable. Let's see if Harry Reid, Patrick Leahy and Lamar Smith finally admit that they, too, can hear you.

Update: Harry Reid apparently cannot hear you. He has come out with a statement saying that the cloture vote will continue on January 24th, despite the concerns of so many Senators (even co-sponsors of the bill) because it's "too important to delay." No. He's wrong. What's too important to delay is a real careful look at the impact of such a bill.

Update 2: More and more Senators appear to be distancing themselves from the bill. The latest is Senator Pat Toomey who makes it clear he does not like any bill that involves the government being able to order blocks of links to certain websites -- something he calls "pretty disturbing."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    theseamonkey, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    internet club: rules

    all smiles here :) rule # 1 of the internet, don't piss it off! :)

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

    All it took was realizing that whole generations of voters would vote against them ?

     

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    •  
      icon
      Hephaestus (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      No, they will hold off the vote till after the election and then pass it as is so the one up for re-election do not get voted out.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Jose_X, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re:

        A vote now when everyone is screaming is best, right? For the reasons you mention. The odds of failure are higher now with this very broken bill.

         

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    •  
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      Lazaras (profile), Jan 15th, 2012 @ 10:17am

      Election Year

      Said it on BoingBoing I'll say it here.

      It's just an attempt at a Sith Mind Screw so we'll forget aal about the fact that Congress drug it's feet about important issues while only backing down now because they went and pissed the internet off.

       

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    Beta (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    the long game

    I don't claim to be an expert in congressional politics, but...

    Is it possible that they just want to postpone the vote until after the election, so that they can vote for it with impunity?

    The correct countermove is to modify our message: we don't just want the bill not passed, we want it defeated before the election. We should make postponement beyond the election just as toxic as the bill itself, and no neutrality allowed.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 7:09am

      Re: the long game

      May be a vote is what we really want. Vote on it now and Vote it down now.

      Are we not better off getting our representatives really on the record against this travesty before the election? Lets get these people to show who they respect more us or the lobbyists.

      Demand a vote, a NO vote now.

       

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    gorehound (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    Creating an Event in Portland, Maine this post aginst PIPA

    This is not meant to be Spam just want to put one post on a PIPA Story and one Post on a SOPA Story.Hope I did not do anything wrong.
    I am Jordan the Vocalist for Big Meat Hammer and one of Maine's oldest Punk Rockers.I will post this here and on the new thread on PIPA Sponsors above this News Story.Since I am against both PIPA & SOPA I will do this same Post on two different Stories.I will not take up any more of techdirt's time on my grand plan.
    I have a mission !!! I am wondering who might want to take part in a Protest against Censorship in Portland.I am thinking of an event maybe called "Burn You Big Content Day".Each person would at least bring one book,CD, or Movie put out by either MPAA,RIAA, or one of the Big Publishing Companies.We would have our Protest Signs and at one point we will all bring our "Content" to throw into a pile.We would then either take an AXE to it or BURN IT.I would bring out my expensive Camera gear to shoot a Video of this Event and we could upload that Video to the Internet.If you live here in Maine and would be willing to Donate a short period of your time for this then reply here.If enough will sign on then I should set a Date well before Jan.24TH as that is the day I am pretty sure they will be Voting on.It should be done in the next maybe 5 days ? So how many of you will sign on ? Today is Jan.13TH and you can either email me or go on my Facebook to sign up.If enough people sign up then we are going thru with this.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    I have my doubts that a number of politicians are responding to the general hate of the bills these last couple days, but instead are responding to Comcast implementing DNSSEC this week. Most of the change of heart isn't the private right of action, but related to DNSSEC. It's one thing to argue that it will destroy the tech industry and censor the internet to these people, it's another to see that a major lobbiest is giving up a revenue stream because it's impossible to implement while keeping DNSSEC, meaning that if they can't make money off of it, it's actually true they can't block with it either.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 5:02pm

      Re:

      I have my doubts that a number of politicians are responding to the general hate of the bills these last couple days, but instead are responding to Comcast implementing DNSSEC this week

      I don't think it has anything to do with Comcast. Comcast has been a known DNSSEC supporter for years.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 5:12pm

        Re: Re:

        There is a big difference between supporting it, and giving damn close to absolute proof that it won't work.

        As far as congress is concerned, they would view stuff like this:

        If some tech experts say that this will interfere with DNSSEC, they just are against it on principal and if the bill is passed they will just fix any problems like they always do. On the other hand, if a company shuts down a revenue stream for DNSSEC, then there is no way to not break it while messing with it.

         

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          Hephaestus (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If some tech experts say that this will interfere with DNSSEC ... they will just fix any problems like they always do.

          I doubt a single IP type has ever asked the question, How are internet standards done. w3 standards take years to finish. They go through every expert, through legal, and through every scenario.

          This isn't a Microsoft patch we are talking about, this is ALL communications on the planet.

           

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        tsavory (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

        Re: Re:

        I think that is more of the TECH side came out and made it clear to the upper management that its not possible. So the right hand was finally "heard" what the left hand was saying.
        I added the "" around heard because as with kids the upper management is told but they don't hear till its in their face.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Edward Teach, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 6:39pm

      Where be thy proof, swabbie?

      Arr, ye freshwater swab, where be they proof? Totally unsupported assertions prove nothing by thy very self, mate!

      Besides that, why wouldn't an outpouring of anti-SOPA sentiment have anything to do with abrupt about-facing? Do you really think that bills like this just get a free pass because someone lobbies hard for them? If so, it just goes to show us your Royalist Colors.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anon, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    Why?

    Why do you always use that absolutely awful flash plugin thing instead of simply linking to the .pdf documents that support your postings? A simple link works just fine, no need for an awful flash plugin thingie to view a referenced document.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 4:21pm

      Re: Why?

      Why do you always use that absolutely awful flash plugin thing ...?


      HTML text of the letter from Charles Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Jeff Sessions, John Cornyn, Mike Lee, Tom Coburn.

      Also from that site:
      UPDATE: And Sen. Ben Cardin [D, MD] adds his name to the list of co-sponsors walking back their support.

       

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    A Guy (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

    It's good to see one of my Senators on that list. It's not even a re election year for him. WTG Senator Grassley.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Nick (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    leahy

    As a vermonter I'm going to do everything I can to get Leahy out of office.

    Bills become toxic, at what point does a senator?

     

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      identicon
      robin, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

      Re: leahy

      As a fellow Vermonter, that's a lllooooonnggggg wait, about 5 more years.

      IMHO, more useful to call his offices, both in Burlington and DC, to present your message that removing DNS blocking does not mollify your (our) opposition to this legislation (1st amendment concerns, 4th amendment concerns, private right of action concerns, etc).

      In fact, Burlington was a great call, really friendly and asked specific questions in response to my message for Senator Leahy. He's on edge about this thing now, after all how many Hollywood studios are based here in VT, and another call is worth it's weight in gold! Go.

       

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      another mike (profile), Jan 17th, 2012 @ 11:59am

      Re: leahy

      Politicians are like diapers. Change them often and for the same reason.

       

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  •  
    icon
    tsavory (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    It is a step

    It is a step in the right direction I would have to agree with AC saying a lot of it is about Comcast implementing DNSSEC but I do feel that we as a community also gave them a lot to think about. I Think that we still need to keep after them the DNS implications are just a part of what is wrong with the bills. As Polis and Issa had said during the hearings if you feel that a court hearing before cutting off revenue is implicated whats their problem with making sure the language is in there so no confusion about it later.
    Both Bills need to be removed. Both the House and the Senate need to focus on counterfeiting in a bill with narrow and precise language.
    But then again that would make ICE do their jobs and stop bad goods at customs instead of sitting behind a desk surfing the net trying to find the next 84,000 sites they can destroy trying to mess with things they don't know.

    They then want to mess with infringment issues find but it needs to be done with no room for confusion and must done with proper DUE PROCESS in place.
    As long as there is any provisions that allow Legal sites (aka rapidshare and others) to be taken down because some or even most may/can/will miss use it will never be ok for me.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    Hell all Reid wants is that cowboy poetry museum to be built on that land he owns in NV.

     

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    ervserver (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 7:06pm

    re

    Even with this I say don't let up, keep reaching out to lawmakers and tell why SOPA/PIPA is horrible

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 7:37pm

    Well, the pressure is working but better to keep it up. Even if reid is too stubborn to get the idea.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 8:10pm

    this is getting depressing

    So let me get this straight. It takes all of the internet, every single somewhat intelligent organization in existence, and 75% of the public just to get a handful of senators to even consider slowing down a bill? And we say we use democracy.Ha!

     

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    identicon
    Videosavant, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 8:56pm

    It's Railroading, Not Legislating

    Remember how Obamacare was passed. Get ready for more DC thuggery.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Wargh, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

    Two peas in a pod

    Lamar Smith and Harry Reid have to be related somehow.

    Both these pinheads aren't listening.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 10:04pm

    WHAT THE HELL IS SO DAMNED IMPORTANT THAT THIS MUST BE RUSHED?

    Yes, I'm screaming.

     

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    identicon
    thecandybar, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 12:36am

    What the hell is wrong with Reid? The public outcry against this is enormous and he is hell bent on passing it anyway?

     

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    Violated (profile), Jan 14th, 2012 @ 7:27am

    Rehash

    We should keep in mind that Protect IP (PIPA) is a rewrite of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) which failed to pass in 2010.

    So no matter what happens with PIPA and SOPA they will simply be back within 12 months with another rewrite. They will run with the ball now when a delay only makes things worse.

    One day I would like to see a bill that would reform copyright but then we don't have the money to buy one.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Here's a novel concept to get DC to listen and maybe get the mainstream news to pickup the story... It would be rather interesting to see the online opposition to take a page from (or even solicit the assistance from) the Occupy Movement and organize a "occupy" demonstration of their own at the Capital to coincide with Congress reconvening.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    What is really clear is that Pat Toomey has no idea WTF he is talking about. That interview asks him about PIPA and he goes off about his own bill regarding how companies need to protect user data. Seriously?? That guy obviously doesn't even know what PROTECT IP is about! But if he and his ignorance are against it, I guess that is good enough for now but that is extremely worrisome. This guy doesn't belong anywhere near technology bills.

     

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    kitsune361 (profile), Jan 14th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    Ya know...

    Harry Reid is either really terrible at his job as Senate Majority Leader, or secretly really good at looking incompetent while being a sly leader. HAHAHAHA who am I kidding?

    However, pushing for a cloture vote in the harsh light of all this "negative press" may be just what we need to kill PIPA. They need 61 votes for cloture, then it's a cooling period for a few days then a straight up or down vote. Then it goes to the house, or gets reconciled with SOPA... if they manage to pass that turd. Then it goes to the President, who, while not issuing a veto threat, has said that the DNS blocking provisions are crap.

    It could likely fail to get cloture. Even if the cloture vote succeeds, the bill could fail to pass. I say go for it. Better to force the up or down vote now, before an election, while the nerd rage is fresh and furious, rather than waiting for the distraction of the November election or the lame duck session afterwards.

    Maybe I'm too optimistic about this crap and have too much faith in Reid not really being an idiot and instead sly like a fox. Even if he is, it's still just all procedural BS and political gamesmanship in the Senate.

     

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    CJ (profile), Jan 15th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Did you know?

    I wont post names, but it should not be very hard for you to figure out who are the major players in the News media online.

    They have had a busy week moderating members, deleting accounts, and avoiding the SOPA like it was something communicable.

    I would not give any high fives just yet on this Bill not passing. Congress has a bad habit of passing laws behind the public's back when they least expect it. Be diligent everyone.

     

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    CJ (profile), Jan 17th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    A new Bill too replace SOPA

    A bipartisan group of House members has begun drafting the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN), a compromise bill.

    The OPEN Act secures two fundamental principles. First, Americans have a right to benefit from what they've created. And second, Americans have a right to an open internet. Our duty is to protect these rights. That's why congressional Republicans and Democrats came together to write the OPEN Act. But it's only a start. We need your help: sign up, comment and collaborate to build a better bill.

    http://keepthewebopen.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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