Less then two full days after some of the world’s top websites began protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the lead sponsor of the bill Lamar Smith, says it will be sent back to the drawing board and redraft with an emphasis on keeping censorship off the table.
Speaking about the decision to keep the bill off the table Smith noted:
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy.” He went on to add: “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.”
Lamar Smith says he’s still committed to protecting “American intellectual property and innovation” but he stopped short of saying how the bill could be changed to reach that goal.
Under the current form of SOPA critics have argued that the bill would allow company’s to easily shut down sites that disagreed with its opinions, while pushing up the cost of community driven sites such as Wikipedia and Reddit by forcing owners to monitor activity in near real-time.
Lashing out against the decision to postpone his Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) told the LA Times:
“Somewhere in China today, in Russia today, and in many other countries that do not respect American intellectual property, criminals who do nothing but peddle in counterfeit products and stolen American content are smugly watching how the United States Senate decided it was not even worth debating how to stop the overseas criminals from draining our economy.”
In the meantime opponents of PIPA and SOPA say internet support to stop the bill from the likes of Wikipedia, Reddit and other popular destinations that went “dark” on Wednesday have led more people to understand what at one point was a complex technological based bill that could have passed had some of the top founders of online technology not stood up to have their voices heard.
In the meantime many of the top online minds have suggested that PIPA and SOPA need to be completely redrafted in order to work.
At the same time even without SOPA and PIPA the United States government proved this week that basic DMCA laws that already exist our effective in dealing with egregious copyright violations as they shut down the very popular file sharing website MegaUpload.com.
Do you think SOPA and PIPA can be simply re-drafted or do new bills need to be created all together?