Good job, Internet. You win.
As the day of online activism opposing SOPA and PIPA continued, supporters quickly began to have second thoughts. Now, the final blows have been struck. Senator Harry Reid has decided to put the Protect IP Act on permanent hiatus, and Representative Lamar Smith pulled his support for the Stop Online Piracy Act. In doing so, the bills have been effectively killed.
There was amusement to be had from watching those who formerly backed the bill scatter as the wave of anti-SOPA/PIPA press swept the Internet on January the 18th. Sites regularly used by nearly everyone with Internet access, such as Google and Craigslist, placed public denouncements of the bills on their sites. Over 4.5 million people signed Google’s online petition against the bills.
Other sites, such as Wikipedia, Reddit and Wired, restricted access to their content as a warning about what could happen if the bills became law. An estimated 162 million people visited Wikipedia during its 24-hour blackout, no doubt helping to spread the word.
Today’s news that the bills will not be moving forward was met with celebration that – this being the Internet – manifested itself in images like the one above. It is unlikely that we’ll ever see these particular bills come to a vote now that they’ve been so thoroughly tarnished.
But don’t be surprised if we see the ideas resurface later. Even while removing support for SOPA, Representative Lamar Smith stated “The Committee will continue work with copyright owners, Internet companies, financial institutions to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property.” Translation? This isn’t over.
Source: Ars Technica
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