'Anti-Piracy' PIPA Vote is Delayed as Bill Loses Supporters

Politico is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will no longer lean on Democrats to pass the anti-piracy, web-censorship bill PIPA, and has decided to delay the vote. Reid was one of PIPA's largest supporters, and his apparent change in enthusiasm suggests legislators' doubt over whether the unpopular bill can grab the 60 votes necessary to pass. 

From Politico:

The anti-piracy bill suffered a beating this week. Around half a dozen co-sponsors on Wednesday announced they do not support the bill as written, including key Republicans like Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Reid's reversal comes on the heels of a national action on January 18th, when websites like Reddit and Wikipedia went dark to protest SOPA and PIPA in an internet black-out. And last week, even the White House joined the people to officially reject the web-killing bill. 

"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet," the White House wrote.

Reid is scheduled to take the bill to the Senate on January 24 for a procedural test vote.

Update:  Reid's full statement:

“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.

There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.

I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill. I encourage him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet. We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at January 20, 2012, 3:50am

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