Following a day of unusual industrial action, the US House of Representatives has capitulated on its controversial SOPA bill. Wikipedia and Google, as well as many other web operations, blacked out their websites on Wednesday 18th January 2012 in protest at legislation passing in the United States. The SOPA and PIPA bills change the burden of responsibility for links to pirated content.
The SOPA bill was held up by Congressman Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. A hearing on DNS blocking at the committee scheduled for Wednesday January 18th 2012 was postponed, with the Mr Issa saying:
“While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House. Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote. The voice of the Internet community has been heard. Much more education for Members of Congress about the workings of the Internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal.”
“Earlier tonight, Chairman Smith announced that he will remove the DNS blocking provision from his legislation. Although SOPA, despite the removal of this provision, is still a fundamentally flawed bill, I have decided that postponing the scheduled hearing on DNS blocking with technical experts is the best course of action at this time. Right now, the focus of protecting the Internet needs to be on the Senate where Majority Leader Reid has announced his intention to try to move similar legislation in less than two weeks.”
The SOPA and PIPA bills were proposed United States in order to help movie studios and big brands to maintain their intellectual property rights.