Online Piracy Act shelved in the House
The outcry over SOPA has resulted in the Republican House withdrawing the measure until there is a "consensus."
Good luck with that, boys. The Hill:
The announcement comes just hours after Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), SOPA's sponsor, made a major concession to the bill's critics by agreeing to drop a controversial provision that would have required Internet service providers to block infringing websites.
SOPA is designed to go after foreign websites that offer illegal copies of music, movies and TV shows with impunity. Even without the provision allowing sites to be blocked, the bill would empower the Justice Department and copyright holders to demand that search engines delete links to sites "dedicated" to copyright infringement. Ad networks and payment processors would be prohibited from doing business with the sites.
The bill has sparked a backlash from Internet freedom advocates and Web companies, including Google, Yahoo and Facebook, who say it would stifle innovation and suppress free speech.
The provision that would have required Internet providers to block infringing websites was one of the most controversial aspects of the bill. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt compared the provision to how China censors political speech online.
There is a lot more wrong with SOPA than that. And Harry Reid is bringing the bill to the floor of the senate next week.
We're not out of the woods yet, but getting rid of the blocking provision is a nice start.