The U.S. House Judiciary Committee abruptly adjourned today without voting on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a controversial measure that would impose radical new requirements on search engines, ISPs, ad networks and other key internet players. The hearings will resume “earliest practical day that Congress is in session” according to the chief sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex), but with the Congressional holiday recess imminent that could be weeks from now.
UPDATE: Representative @DarrellIssa tweeted that the Judiciary Committee has scheduled the rest of #SOPA markup next Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 9 AM EST.
The delay is to allow more experts to weigh in with opinions and recommendations addressing technical, legal and first amendment issues.
SOPA proponents, including major content providers like the recording and motion picture industry, have argued that the new rules were necessary to combat “foreign” piracy and the sale of illicit goods like counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
SOPA opponents, including internet and tech giants and consumer and legal watchdog groups, say the proposed law is over-reaching, with the potential to “break” the internet and start a worldwide arms race of unprecedented censorship of the web.
If you’re involved with any type of online marketing, you should learn as much as you can about this proposed legislation, as the implications (mostly negative, unless you’re a large content provider or trademark holder) are huge.
Want to know more? Check out What All Marketers Need To Know About SOPA – The Stop Online Piracy Act over on our sister site, Marketing Land.