The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Stalls In Congress

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.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Legal: Copyright | Legal: Regulation | Legal: Security


About The Author: (@CJSherman) is a Founding Editor of and President of Searchwise LLC, a Boulder Colorado based Web consulting firm. He also programs and co-chairs the Search Marketing Expo - SMX conference series.

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  • Michael Martinez

    Simply opposing this legislation is not acceptable. Instead of spreading more lies and hyperbole (which many in the search and SEO communities are doing), people need to PROPOSE A MORE ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE.

    This isn’t someone else’s problem. There is no “us and them”. The outright theft of intellectual property rights and the parasitical practices that financially benefit from that theft INHIBIT INNOVATION.

    For Americans, these are constitutionally mandated rights and your opposition to SOPA is not helpful, constructive, or beneficial.

    If you’re calling your congressional representatives, you need to be proposing ALTERNATIVES that you can live with and which protect IPR.

    It’s time for the free rides to end.

  • Chris Sherman

    @MichaelMartinez, excellent suggestion. But your emphasis on “inhibit innovation” needs perspective. As content developers (Search Engine Land, Search Marketing Expo, etc) we support protections on the intellectual property we develop. But when others scrape our content or otherwise copy what we’re doing, that has no impact at all on our attitude toward continuing to create the best stuff we can. My personal opinion is that there are some entrenched, very powerful interests who aren’t innovating, but rather wanting to coast with obsolete business models that favor protectionism in its various forms.

    So yes, let’s think about and advocate good alternatives, but no, let’s not give these cartels permission to damage the internet in the cause of protecting their own self interests.

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