According to this handy chart, based on data provided by the good people of, the flawed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) legislation is now opposed by over one hundred members of Congress. Prior to the internet’s day of action on 18 January, during which sites like Reddit and Wikipedia went “dark” for 24 hours, only 31 Congress members were voicing dissent.
In addition, the scheduled Senate vote on PIPA (previously set for 24 January) has now been postponed by Senate majority leader Harry Reid. Reid cites “legitimate issues” raised by protesters of the bill as one reason for the postponement, but it’s also likely that he realises the bill cannot generate the votes needed for it to pass.
Reid has called on PIPA’s author (Senator Patrick Leahy) to “forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet”. In other words, it should be back to the drawing board for this piece of legislation.
On the SOPA front, Senator Lamar Smith (author of that bill) is now saying that “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”. Which is, uh, still rather presumputuous (only foreigners are responsible for piracy in the US? Ok then). Smith also quotes a figure of $100 billion that piracy is supposedly costing the US every year, which I would imagine is actually a rather tricky figure to accurately measure.
[Update]: The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has now finally withdrawn support for SOPA too, stating: “We call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests”. This late change in attitude must have taken tremendous strength of character, given that the bill (in its current form) looks dead.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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