While PIPA was just four days away from a Senate vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) released a statement notifying the public of the delay. In his statement, he said, “We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”
Also, Lamar Smith (R-Texas), author of the Stop Online Privacy Act, announced that the House “will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.” Additionally, Smith made it clear that the House will need to revisit the anti-piracy legislation in order to determine the best way to “address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.” Smith is an advocate for preserving American intellectual property and jobs but now he also realizes the importance of avoiding internet censorship.
Although the intense protests by the Internet companies called upon us to contact Congress to urge them to eliminate the anti-piracy bills, the announcement that the vote on PIPA and SOPA will be delayed does not mean the bills are gone for good.
At the very least, both Reid and Smith are now committed to making some sort of compromise.
Washington, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today issued the following statement in response to the Senate decision to postpone consideration of legislation to help combat online piracy.
Chairman Smith: “I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. 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 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. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.
“The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store. It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.
“The Committee will continue work with both copyright owners and Internet companies to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property. We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem. The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.”
The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement today on the Senate’s PROTECT I.P. Act:
“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.
“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.
“I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill. I encourage him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet. We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”