Just hours after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced today that he would postpone a vote on the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA), Representative Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), the primary sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) said that he would also delay a vote on SOPA until broader consensus can be reached about how best to combat online piracy.
These announcements followed a protest by major Web sites such as Wikipedia and Reddit on Wednesday, who “blacked out” their sites for 24 hours and implored visitors to urge their Congressional representatives to oppose the bills. The protest, by many accounts, succeeded wildly – Congressional offices were inundated with calls and emails, and about a million readers signed petitions voicing their opposition to SOPA and PIPA. Several co-sponsors of the bills withdrew their support following the blackout.
This morning, Rep. Smith followed suit, saying: “I have heard from the critics, and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. 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.”