SOPA and PIPA voting postponed by US Congress after massive online protests

By on Jan 21, 2012 in Current Events, Internet, Technology, United States Comments

The voting for the two controversial US anti-piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA, has been postponed by the US Congress, two days after massive online protests particularly from Wikipedia and Google.

A SOPA/PIPA protester in New York
Image Credit: Andrew Bergmann/CNNMoney

According to US news sites on Friday, January 20, 2012, the US Congress postponed indefinitely its voting for Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) or Protect IP Act.

“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s (January 24) vote on the Protect IP Act,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (@SenatorReid), a Democrat, tweeted that day, not mentioning when the voting session will resume.

Later that day, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) also issued a statement on the postponement of the SOPA and PIPA, citing the same reasons the Senate has mentioned.

“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy.” Chairman Smith was quoted at

“It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.” The US House Judiciary Committee Chairman added.

“The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports.” Smith explained further.

Apparently, SOPA and PIPA are bills that were said to strengthen protections against copyright infringement and intellectual property theft, but various groups and websites are are strongly opposing them, citing that they could cause a lot of job loss for Americans.

Last Wednesday, January 18, a Wikipedia blackout transpired after the popular online encyclopedia decided to join the online protest of other websites such as Boing Boing and Reddit, with Google also inviting its readers not to support SOPA and PIPA.

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