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SOPA on the Ropes

SOPA appeared Friday to be either on the ropes or at the end
of one.

Support for online piracy bills in both Houses of Congress, at least as
currently constituted, continued to erode at press time. The latest blow to
content providers' efforts to get more power to target alleged Web pirates came
Friday, when Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) sponsor Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
essentially struck the flag on that bill.

Critics have been calling for a do-over on SOPA and the Senate version, the
PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and Smith seemed to be conceding that point. That news
came not long after Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would delay a cloture vote
on PIPA.

In his statement, Smith said that he had gotten the message from bill critics.

"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns
regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,"
said Smith, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "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."

He said the issue would continue to get Judiciary's attention. "The
Committee will continue work with both copyright owners and Internet companies
to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America's
intellectual property.  We welcome input from all organizations and
individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address
this widespread problem.  The Committee remains committed to finding a solution
to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property
and innovation."