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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  1. identicon
    Francois Demers, 14 Jan 2012 @ 1:53am

    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?

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