SOPA Delayed; Cantor Promises It Won't Be Brought To The Floor Until 'Issues Are Addressed'

from the holding-fire dept

Some late breaking news here: following Lamar Smith’s announcement that the new manager’s amendment for SOPA will remove DNS blocking (to be added back at a later date after it’s been “studied”), Rep. Issa has announced that he will now postpone the “nerd” hearing that he was holding in the House Oversight Committee, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday. The key reason? Majority Leader Eric Cantor has promised him that he will not bring the bill to the floor unless there’s real consensus on the bill. That’s big news — though, as Issa notes in his statement, it’s worrisome that Senator Reid still seems to want to move forward with PIPA:

“While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House. Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote,” said Chairman Issa. “The voice of the Internet community has been heard. Much more education for Members of Congress about the workings of the Internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal.”

“Earlier tonight, Chairman Smith announced that he will remove the DNS blocking provision from his legislation. Although SOPA, despite the removal of this provision, is still a fundamentally flawed bill, I have decided that postponing the scheduled hearing on DNS blocking with technical experts is the best course of action at this time. Right now, the focus of protecting the Internet needs to be on the Senate where Majority Leader Reid has announced his intention to try to move similar legislation in less than two weeks.”

Indeed. It is still important that Congress hears from “the nerds” and plenty of other experts concerning the implications of these attempts to regulate the internet, but if SOPA is not going to be rushed to the floor, such hearings and education can (and should) happen in due time, rather than rushing to get them in, just as Congress comes back into session. There are more important things for Congress to focus on.

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Comments on “SOPA Delayed; Cantor Promises It Won't Be Brought To The Floor Until 'Issues Are Addressed'”

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37 Comments
Jay (profile) says:

Two issues

There are exactly two issues that concern me here.

1) What Lamar Smith seems to be interested in is getting the tech industry onboard for this bill. This equates to finding a way to make them entirely agreeable to the idea that they need to pass something here or else he has to give the MPAA their money back.

2) The public still hasn’t been invited here. That’s the entire problem. Has the KEI, PK, or CEA been contacted in regards to these issues? I’d love to see if Michael Petricone could possibly speak to some of these congresscritters and show the importance of fair use to them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Two issues

That’s exactly the problem I have with this, too. It’s only a matter of time before they make it “worthwhile” for Google and the others, maybe by giving them some kind of exemption or something. And then what? Who will protect us in Congress?

We need civil liberties organizations and other such organizations like EFF to defend us in Congress. Enough with this Corporation X vs Corporation Y BS. It’s only a matter of time before neither side is on OUR side.

Francois Demers says:

SOPA Delayed

Firstly, the required disclaimer: I am a Canadian national residing in Ukraine. I am not a voter in any constituency of the United States of America.

However, I have been following the debate about SOPA: I think it is somewhat transnational in scope and foreigners may have opinions that can usefully be shared with American citizens.

Mr. Lamar Smith is sponsoring SOPA which he states to be intended to protect “one of the most profitable and productive industries in America”. That is a laudable goal and I see no rational reason to object to protection of the American economy.

Where SOPA is misguided is not in intent but the business model it intends to protect. New media and new uses for media have always created business turmoil that, among others, the music and film industry have been slow to embrace.

“We are in the business of making and selling CDs and DVDs” is a very narrow perspective and it is doomed to fail: SOPA or not, new delivery systems will subvert and destroy it.

“We are in the business of creating and dissemninating popular entertainment” is a better definition and one that comes with a built-in economic model: finance it with paid advertising.

It worked for radio and television when the brontosaurs roamed the land.

With the right strategic alliances with Big Data companies (Google comes to mind), the internet makes it possible to deliver exactly the right content to exactly the right person at exactly the right time. User profiling makes it possible to plug-in the most motivating advertising message and MEASURE the return on investment.

Advertisers like this idea so much that they are becoming content creators and providers. See for example what fashion brand Burberry is doing on line with acoustic music and its vertical social network built around its iconic trench coat.

But why are advertisers distracting themselves from their own missions to enter the branded content business while there is a superb pool of talent to do it for them in American the film and music industry?

Left hand, meet right hand. Please talk to each other and everyone can forget SOPA.

Yes dear end user: you are going to have to pay for it one way or another because it does not make itself. But wouldn’t you rather get it for free with some ads, sponsorships and product placement thrown in there like your grandparents did? Is it not exactly what happens when you use Google or Facebook? Do you really mind that much?

David Evans (profile) says:

Re: SOPA Delayed

Left Hand and Right Hand have met. Left Hand called Right Hand a competitor and tried to break his knuckles with a hammer. Right Hand continues to be a suck-up, but Leftie doesn’t seem to be listening to anybody right now.

Of course, the Other Other Hand is perfectly capable of making content on it’s own. Granted, there are a lot of dick jokes involved, but we don’t mind that too much. So really, Left Hand and Right Hand can both go fly kites and we’ll all be just fine here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: SOPA Delayed

I agree with your reasoning except that these companies are greedy bastards that want ALL OF THE ABOVE to maximize their profits from both models at all costs regardless of who else gets hurt in the process. This is why they largely ignore the fact that their profit margins have largely INCREASED contrary to the image of “lost jobs” that they are selling to the public. They want to do away with fair use because they don’t directly make any money off of it. The MPAA and RIAA are also deathly afraid of the potential that personal computing technology and the Internet have on spelling their obsolescence. As they so successfully demonstrated in the original Napster days, their propensity for greed and arrogance by far outweighs their level of intelligence in these matters. It is my prediction that their continued vigilance on this path will ultimately lead more and more artists, businesses, and consumers to not do business with these abusive entities until they ultimately go the way of the dinosaurs.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: SOPA Delayed

“deathly afraid of the potential that personal computing technology and the Internet have on spelling their obsolescence”

SOPA is designed to do multiple things. It is designed to force people to deal with the current monopoly players, to route out and remove any competition, and to allow them to be the only player in the game. The last one is the most important over time. We are nearing a time when every tablet will have video editing software built in. They will also come with altered reality software. At CES this year cell phones and tablets had this ability built in, to on the fly alter what was being seen on the screen.

This leads to people being able to create live action or computer based sets, without the need for green screens or fancy and expensive post processing. You walk into a mall and want to do a movie about an empty mall and zombies. Push a button, the people are gone, and you can film your movie.

Its the end of both RIAA and the MPAA because of this.

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m hoping that more and more people are going to become more vigilant about this. I’m hearing from people who I never talked to about intellectual ‘property’ before, and they are becoming much more educated about this issues involved here.

If only a fraction of those people become more active in watching for these things, then we’re going to see a gain in attention.

Of course, that’s just my personal anecdote, but when people like the nurses I work with or my real estate agent brother, I’m getting the sense that we’re getting somewhere.

LeadPoop says:

Re: Re:

From a CNN Article awhile back:

“Polls show that me and apparently 91% of my fellow Americans have never been more frustrated with the dysfunctional nature of “our” Congress. Congress’ approval rating has fallen to an abysmal 9% — to put this in perspective, herpes is now slightly more popular than Congress. Bed bugs really can’t be that far behind.”

Dean Obeidallah

abc gum says:

Breaking DNS is a big part of the issue and hopefully is removed completely, not just postponed, reworded and snuck back in at the last minute.

They seem to have overlooked the equally bad lack of due process in these bills. Guilty until proven innocent is not the way it’s supposed to work.

Doublespeak and cognitive dissonance go together like peaches and cream.

Violated (profile) says:

Re: White House response to anti-PIPA/SOPA petitions

I am not impressed in the slightest.

Let us not forget that VP Joe Biden goes to bed with the MPAA & RIAA at night and he is solely responsible for ICE’s domain seizure policy and much more. Worst so far is the US Government bullying Spain to implement their own SOPA-like law.

DNSSEC has of course been a big problem when in an honest and secure system you can’t have liars. Now they have come to release this fact DNS blocking is on the way out.

Then “whoopee f’ing do” the Whitehouse tries to make out they disapprove of what is already being canned and they done this total BS by “listening to the people”.

If the Whitehouse really want to impress us then ICE should not be using super secret extension orders as part of an open and accountable administration. Also they should only be seizing domains following trial and conviction which is what we call “due process”.

David Evans (profile) says:

Re: White House response to anti-PIPA/SOPA petitions

You know, I’ve seen politicians and media statements refer to “the very real threat of online piracy”. I think maybe they know that an awfully large chunk of the public doesn’t believe it.

And actually, I think maybe that’s the larger issue. Piracy isn’t a ‘very real’ threat – it’s an imaginary threat. It’s a bogeyman.

Violated (profile) says:

Plans

I am not at all surprised that SOPA is being delayed when that was the plan since Xmas. The first thing they did when SOPA failed to pass before Xmas was to announce that they were pulling PIPA out of the Ice House.

The key point is that if PIPA fails to pass then SOPA has no hope at all. These bills do need to pass both houses. Only if PIPA passes will they run with SOPA.

We have yet to see them do their “magic trick” to make it appear like the public concerns have been addressed and all is now fine.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

SOPA and the House of Representatives

“…such hearings and education can (and should) happen in due time, rather than rushing to get them in, just as Congress comes back into session. There are more important things for Congress to focus on.”
Not sure I agree; this is one of the most important (and potentially disastrous) matters facing Congress, IMHO.

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