U.S. Congress halts SOPA, PIPA vote

U.S. Congress halts SOPA, PIPA vote
The SOPA and PIPA bills, in their current iterations, look dead in the water

The United States Congress has delayed a vote on the hotly-contested anti-piracy bills following the Black Wednesday protests.

The controversial PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) was to be subject to a crucial vote this coming Tuesday, while a decision on SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) was also believed to be close.

However, in light of the widespread online activism this week, which saw Wikipedia go dark for a day, the government has indefinitely suspended the vote until the legislation can be revisited.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid said on Twitter: "In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP Act."

Completely derailed

The future of both bills is now uncertain, with representatives on both sides of the political spectrum emphasising that a compromise will need to be reached.

"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith.

"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."

Delaying the vote and seemingly completely derailing both bills in their current forms will be seen as a gigantic victory for many of the web's big hitters who have been campaigning against the perceived censorship of free speech.

Via: BBC

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.