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House Kills SOPA 495

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-second-thought dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a surprise move, Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that he will stop all action on SOPA, effectively killing the bill. This move was most likely due to the huge online protest and the White House threatening to veto the bill if it had passed. But don't celebrate yet. PIPA (the Senate's version of SOPA) is still up for consideration."
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House Kills SOPA

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  • Internet wins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechGuys (2554082) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:03AM (#38713434)
    Good work!
    • Absolutely (Score:5, Funny)

      by Brain-Fu (1274756) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:08AM (#38713494) Homepage Journal

      All these posts on Slashdot about how bad the bill is really made a difference!

      • Re:Absolutely (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Marillion (33728) <ericbardes AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:19PM (#38714276)
        Some of us actually wrote our congressional representatives. I wrote a letter to mine two months ago. I have no idea if it helped, but lawmakers do talk to each other.
      • Re:Absolutely (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:22PM (#38714298) Homepage

        All these posts on Slashdot about how bad the bill is really made a difference!

        True. This really is one of the major think-tanks of information science policy. You may have meant it as a joke, and gotten modded so, but when it comes to sober and deliberative analysis of the effects of information science law, I don't think it gets a whole lot better than this. We are clearly stronger on information science policy than Congress, the BSA, or most of the major think-tanks in D.C. When we forge opinions here, they are based not on the highest bidder but on the strongest position (with a bit of an anti-authoritarian bent, admittedly). If I post something that is emotional and not well-founded, I get kicked in the jewels pretty soundly (more often than I'd like to admit). When we take the resulting theories out to the world, they are treated with respect because they have been tempered in the heated debates that happen right here. This is not far off from the new-media Federalist Papers.

        The fact that we joke and rant and argue does not mean we are not getting the job done. It is possible that American Democracy has no future -- corruption may be unstoppable -- but if it has a future, this is what it looks like.

        • by lolcutusofbong (2041610) on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:06PM (#38715500)
          Come on now, Slashdot opinions barely percolate out to the rest of the technology-aware parts of the Internet. If anything it was Reddit and their "Operation Pull Ryan" that shook up the discussion. We're Protoss with no carriers. Reddit is Zerg.
        • Re:Absolutely (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Spykk (823586) on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:25PM (#38715720)
          While I agree with you I feel I should point out that interpreting every +5 post on Slashdot as consensus in the community would be a mistake. There have been a growing number of clearly slanted first posts by a handful of users that are mysteriously modded up almost instantly. Slashdot's system of moderating is quite good but it is not tamper-proof.
          • Re:Absolutely (Score:4, Insightful)

            by pclminion (145572) on Monday January 16, 2012 @06:59PM (#38719166)
            OMG conspiracy! The phenomenon you describe is explained by statistics, not a moderation cabal. Earlier posts were, uh, posted earlier. They've been up for moderation longer, and at the time they were posted there were fewer comments competing for moderation. As time goes on, the distribution smooths out, and badly moderated comments are corrected.
        • Re:Absolutely (Score:4, Interesting)

          by whereiswaldo (459052) on Monday January 16, 2012 @03:09PM (#38716252) Journal

          I think you hit on some good points here.

          Slashdot is a totally different environment than a professional setting: there are CEOs, engineers, high school kids, lawyers, etc.. all here posting their thoughts. They all get lumped into the same bin of comments and moderated without regard to those unseen traits (at least, in theory). One day I might mod someone +1 insightful and the next day -1 troll. I don't risk losing my job by doing so. No one opinion is higher than the others, so there's nobody to target with bribes (well, other than the people selecting the stories to comment on). I'm sure there are groups on /. that moderate certain opinions down which is an issue. Still, I think this site is pointed in the right direction at least.

    • Re:Internet wins... (Score:5, Informative)

      by d3ac0n (715594) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:22AM (#38713670)

      But not in the way many slashdotters might think.

      Little appreciated here on Slashdot is the fact that SOPA was as unpopular on the right side of the spectrum as it was on the left. Many conservatives and libertarians rightly see SOPA has a HUGE power grab, and massive step towards an even more centralized government.

      Eric Cantor is very tied in with the Conservative Blogosphere and with conservative internet "consciousness". As such he promised early on to do his best to kill SOPA.

      It appears that he has kept his promise. Well Done Mr. Cantor. Well Done.

      • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:27AM (#38713750) Homepage Journal
        I may disagree with you 95% of the time (or more; who knows!), but if what you say is remotely true (and I have no reason to doubt that), then today I think we are all thankful for what has happened.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        SOPA was as unpopular on the right side of the spectrum as it was on the left

        Really? It sure looks like the right wing politicians in our government -- which includes almost all the politicians in Washington (don't kid yourself; we live in a very right-wing age) -- were highly supportive of SOPA. Why would they not be? They give hand-outs to corporations all the time, and they rarely pause to think about the effect on our civil liberties. It was only because of the libertarian element of the Republican party that this bill was shelved; there are just enough libertarians to cre

        • Re:Internet wins... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Creepy (93888) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:19PM (#38714266) Journal

          You can blame both sides for this one - sure it was introduced by House Judiciary leader Lamar Smith, a Republican, but co-sponsors include Democrats Howard Berman, John Conyers, and Ted Deutch, amongst others. You would think someone on a Judiciary committee could write a bill that wouldn't trample all over first amendment rights, but Lamar Smith has that one down to an art. This is at least the third piece of legislation I know of that he has sponsored that has been tossed out over first amendment concerns.

          Many businesses strongly supported SOPA, including Ford, Pfizer, the BSA, the ESA, NBC, Go Daddy, the MPAA, the RIAA... the list goes on. The problem is, it was business friendly to a fault, giving copyright holders unprecedented power to shut down sites, whether they were violating copyright or not and without requiring proof. There was no way this would ever pass a legal battle in court - it was killed as it needed to be. At least this one was killed before it got to court - congress has done a good job of passing these things and then having them immediately killed.

          Now maybe we can wait for the China to bully us by threatening sanctions in the same way we bullied Spain...

        • Re:Internet wins... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by zegota (1105649) <rpgfanatic&gmail,com> on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:29PM (#38714358)
          I'm a hardcore liberal hippie and even I know that a lot of the hardcore liberal hippies are on precisely the wrong side when it comes to piracy measures. The reason? The entertainment industry is a massive donor to left-wing causes.
        • Re:Internet wins... (Score:5, Informative)

          by number11 (129686) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:51PM (#38714658)

          SOPA Is very much a right-wing bill. What could be more right-wing than attacking a system where anyone can communicate equally, regardless of where they fit into the hierarchy of society? The point of SOPA is to curb the free and open nature of the Internet and to reinvigorate the power of established corporations and government agencies -- sounds very right-wing to me."

          For some definition of "right-wing" that is so broad as to be mostly useless. (Unless your point is, "what's considered 'left' in the US would be viewed as center-right anywhere else".) It's a "corporatist" bill, and most American Senators and Representatives are in the pocket of corporations, including many of those who pass for "left-wing". The entertainment industry is the primary proponent of this bill. Among the sponsors of the (PIPA) bill in the Senate you'll find such "liberals" and proponents of 'net neutrality as Al Franken (who last year was keynote speaker at Netroots Nation, but I'll bet he has "schedule conflicts" that prevent going to it this year).

          Virtually everybody in Washington ("right" or "left", Obama or Bush) wants to keep extending the power of the government, witness the recent vote to extend the "Patriot" act.

      • Political Compass (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rsborg (111459) on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:09PM (#38715536) Homepage

        But not in the way many slashdotters might think.

        Little appreciated here on Slashdot is the fact that SOPA was as unpopular on the right side of the spectrum as it was on the left.

        It's more accurate to model political affiliation in 2 dimensions [1], authoritarian/liberal vs. conservative/progressive. If you look at Congress, the problem is that most elected representatives on both sides of the spectrum are authoritarian despite whether they're conservative or progressive... meaning there are almost no true liberals (free love AND free trade, ie, left-libertarians) representing us (one could say they don't represent the people anymore).

        By this measure, SOPA was a full-on authoritarian bill. It was popular in DC, because it catered to big business which loves authoritarian legislation (removes uncertainty and easy to game) and it was fully business friendly.

        It also highlights the fact that the Internet as it currently stands is a true bastion of liberalism. For all it's warts and dangers, it is a bulwark against the 1984-style authoritarian singularity. We must defend it.

        [1] http://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2 [politicalcompass.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not yet. TFA states "However, it isn't quite time yet to celebrate, as PIPA(the Senate's version of SOPA) is still up for consideration.
      [...]
      PIPA is less well known than SOPA, but the provisions are basicly the same. It still includes the same DNS blocking and censoring system that the original SOPA did, just without the SOPA name. There are around 40 co-sponsors of the bill in the Senate so far, with no word on how many senators support the bill in addition to that."

      Which Senators co-sponsered PIPA?

    • Re:Internet wins (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:27AM (#38713746) Journal

      Now you know why they want to shut down the Internet!

      Let's even presume they shut down the Senate version.

      How can we stop the "sneak it in later" effect?

      • by d3ac0n (715594)

        How can we stop the "sneak it in later" effect?

        Well, if the bill has been "tabled" that essentially stops that option. At least, that's my understanding of it. It COULD be brought back, but not quietly.

        Of course, the best prescription for those attacks of late night bill passing that Congress occasionally has are frequent purges of sitting politicians and regular ingestion of fresh people committed to smaller, more limited government. And now I'll stop with the medical analogy because it's beginning to g

        • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:48AM (#38713964) Journal

          In saner years you'd be right that it would be stopped. But there's something wrong this time - the push for the bill vs the content was so strong, the strongest I've seen in years. It's beyond "they got caught" - of course they knew they'd be hated for it. But they'd already stated "we want to pass this anyway despite your opposition". So if you'll allow me to go all Monty Python, "it's not dead, it's resting!" Let's assume the senate version rests too.

          This situation reeks of a Meta-Campaign. So they'll either rename it, or worse, split the components among other bills so that there's nothing to rally against.

          Try this - they're introducing it this time before this election round. Then once the people are re-elected "now they have nothing to lose" so they'll resurrect it next year. Or some such variations on a theme. The point is, just because it's sleeping, it's definitely going to wake up. Except for some surprise fallout, thousands of companies were drooling at how much fun power they stood to gain from this.

          • by russotto (537200)

            Try this - they're introducing it this time before this election round. Then once the people are re-elected "now they have nothing to lose" so they'll resurrect it next year. Or some such variations on a theme.

            They'll dust this thing off and pass it during the lame duck session after the election.

    • Re:Internet wins (Score:5, Insightful)

      by afidel (530433) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:09PM (#38714164)
      We won A battle, the war is far from over and it will require constant vigilance. The monied interests of the content industry and those who want more central government control aren't going to give up just because the issue got hot enough once for the legislation to be dropped. Expect to see it again in front of every Congress from here on out, and I'd bet that next time the core provisions will be attached as riders to some must past legislation like the defense appropriation bill instead of as a standalone bill that is easy to shoot down.
  • Holy crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:04AM (#38713436)

    Do you mean to tell me to tell me that in 2012 the government is actually listening to the will of the people? Man, the world really IS going to end!

    • Re:Holy crap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by robinsonne (952701) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:08AM (#38713490)
      I doubt our will has anything to do with it. They can always just tack on the junk that didn't go through this time on some spending bill for homeless shelters and kittens.

      [sarcasm]You wouldn't vote against kittens would you?[/sarcasm]
      • by ae1294 (1547521) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:18AM (#38713610) Journal

        I doubt our will has anything to do with it. They can always just tack on the junk that didn't go through this time on some spending bill for homeless shelters and kittens.

        But those kittens NEED copyright protection NOW!

      • I really wish we'd get a hard limit on how long bills can be to stop this kind of bullshit. Limit bills to roughly 25 pages or an equivalent under current formatting. Then, bills would have to at least somewhat pass on the merit of their own content instead of tagging along on bills that make it illegal to build cannons that shoot puppies filled with explosives at orphans.
      • Re:Holy crap (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:36AM (#38713846)
        You are right. Nothing is "dead" about SOPA. The *content* of SOPA is very unpopular, so its proponents will temporarily withdraw the bill until it can be repackaged and relabeled to sneak it through. The desire of voters is simply not a consideration. Key members of congress have been paid to push this through anyway possible, and they won't stop until the job is done.
    • Re:Holy crap (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:17AM (#38713598)

      The presidency, a third of the Senate and the entire House are all up for election this year... may have something to do with it.

      • Re:Holy crap (Score:4, Interesting)

        by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:25AM (#38713718)
        Why? Most people still have no idea what SOPA is, and the timing of this shelving is just perfect -- just before several popular websites were going to try to raise awareness.

        Now, let's see what happens with PIPA.
        • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:30AM (#38713778) Journal

          It's January 18 right? So they can still do the campaign, just replace the letters to read PIPA ... unless the Senate version gets pulled tomorrow, also in time to be ahead of the protests.

          (Do we still do the protests? Or will people whine "well we already won, so why bother protesting?")

        • by The Moof (859402)

          Most people still have no idea what SOPA is

          49 out of 50 times, you're correct. However, this bill started receiving coverage in national news outlets, and not just tech-related ones. Granted, some of what was covered wasn't quite accurate, but at least it was getting some national media coverage on the "this is bad" side of things.

    • Nah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Greyfox (87712) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:18AM (#38713608) Homepage Journal
      They just got caught. They'll try again when people are distracted by something else.
      • Re:Nah (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Peristaltic (650487) * on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:57AM (#38714056)

        They just got caught. They'll try again when people are distracted by something else.

        Exactly. Let's not declare victory yet- This is nothing but a strategic retreat.

        The intent is still there, they just met enough resistance that they figured it was prudent to fall back and re-group.

        With a number of high-volume sites going black on the 18th and growing media attention, public awareness might have approached a level that SOPA proponents weren't comfortable with- If they pull the target of the protest out of harm's way before the 18th, it will reduce the impact of the protest. Now, when the 18th rolls around, congress can say "Hey! We heard you, realized SOPA was a bad idea, and have pulled it from the docket, so there's really nothing to get upset about.".

        We need to stay vigilant... It's likely that the bill will be reintroduced with subtler language, or that SOPA-like riders will be introduced into other legislation, or who knows what. The entertainment industry has invested too much cash in the Congressional vending machine to walk away from this without a return.

    • Re:Holy crap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:21AM (#38713658) Journal

      No, they're just listening to a different group of corporations for a while. If Google, Amazon, and Facebook were in favor of this, the people wouldn't stand a chance.

    • Don't cheer too quickly. They're probably going to resurrect SOPA under another name in a few months, but attach it to a big and critical military spending bill. Thus it will pass into law, because nobody wants to vote against it, and be accused of playing into the hands of terrorists.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anne_Nonymous (313852)

      It's just that SOPA sounds like a disease. In six months this bill will be back named:

      Just
      Eliminate
      Super
      Underwhelming
      Security

      No politician is going want to be accused of voting to kill that bill.

      Next election season: "My esteemed opponent, Senator Rothstein, a JEW, voted to kill Jesus."

  • Hurray. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minikeen (2504690) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:04AM (#38713444)
    As a non-US citizen that's been watching the developments of this closely, I am extremely glad that this has happened. Hell, I'm sure everyone is. Now just need to do something about PIPA, and we can breathe a nice sigh of relief (for a while)
    • by Noughmad (1044096)

      Now just need to do something about PIPA, and we can breathe a nice sigh of relief (for a while)

      I don't think it works that way. See, politicians are the masters of compromise. They gave up on SOPA because of pressure from the public and/or internet corporations, so they both are somewhat happy now and will support them for the elections, and now they almost have to appease big media by passing other laws.

      When was the last time you've seen more that one politician take a serious stand on something? It's small concessions all around that keeps them in office.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by d3ac0n (715594)

      Why would the US want to do something about Pipa? I mean, she was so hot at the royal wedding in that dress and... Oh... You meant the BILL..

      Nevermind.

  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:05AM (#38713456)
    We did it!
  • Keep it Up (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spritzer (950539) * on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:05AM (#38713462) Journal
    I for one have been in contact with my Rep. and have written letters to both of my Senators. I will also being calling them both today. We're making progress. Let's keep it up.

    CALL YOUR SENATORS!!
  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:07AM (#38713478) Journal

    The people who brought the bill in the first place, are still active; and still receiving funding. More fundamental provisions are called for, to ensure such bills are not tabled in the first place.

  • Source? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:09AM (#38713506) Journal
    examiner.com is essentially a blog, [examiner.com] was this the best source for this information? There's no links to a reliable news source, no links to a .gov site or the congressman's announcement, just "hey he blocked it hurray!"

    Is anyone else reporting that SOPA is dead?
  • Counterattack. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:10AM (#38713510) Homepage Journal
    If you keep in defense, this will keep coming with pipa, popa, schupa, schmugga, and eventually they will succeed. The only way to fix this issue, is to go on the offensive, and passing legislation that will prevent such crap, and neutralizing the content industry and its assaults.

    google, amazon, ebay et al - its their task. they need to start buying congressmen/senators, and start buying laws, now. Because thats how the capitalist democracies work.
  • Be Vigilant (Score:5, Informative)

    by vinng86 (1978262) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:13AM (#38713550)
    The bill has been SHELVED, not killed. A lot of bills in the past came back after being shelved and got pushed into law when the opposition to it quieted down (e.g. the Patriot Act). Keep up the opposition. Do not let them pass this bill again!
  • Whats going on? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:14AM (#38713566)

    I'm curious whats actually going on? So, distract the populace with a ridiculous bill, meanwhile push thru and organize... what, the war on Iran, or prepare for the collapse and dissolution of Euroland, or maybe its time for the Argentine economy to collapse again, or ... My point is you ram thru an over the top #1 story to overshadow the #2 story, so what is currently the #2 story?

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I think you expect a little too much organization on the part of our political masters. They do try to manage the news cycle, but they can't predict exactly what the stories will be. I think they're honestly astonished that people actually care about this issue.

  • Shelved, not killed (Score:4, Informative)

    by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@NospAm.davidgerard.co.uk> on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:21AM (#38713652) Homepage

    The blogger is a bit overenthusiastic at the bill behing shelved. It's far from dead.

  • by Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:22AM (#38713668)

    I wonder if the entertainment industry will announce a pro-SOPA blackout in response.

    Imagine the howls of anguish if The Hobbit was delayed for a few months :-)

  • by Necroman (61604) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:22AM (#38713676)

    I recommend an article [cnet.com] that has actual quotes from Darrell Issa (the person who is talking to the press about this). The bill is on hold until the wording is changed in the bill so more people agree with it.

    Opening 2 paragraphs from the cnet article:

    The latest string of setbacks for supporters of the bills came Saturday when Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, said that he was promised by Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that a vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) will not occur "unless there is consensus on the bill."

    "While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act [a similar bill to SOPA introduced into the Senate last year], I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House," Issa said in a statement, according to the blog The Hill. "Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any antipiracy legislation coming before the House for a vote."

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:23AM (#38713686)
    With the House in majority Republican control and Cantor killing the bill, it doesn't really matter what the Senate does. This happens all the time when the Senate and the House are controlled by different parties. One will pass legislation that the other will never even take up just to be able to tell their voters "we passed a bill on X but those evil guys in the other party in the other side of Congress thwarted us". The only reason the White House was against it is that Obama listened to several of his top IT advisors who strongly came out against it. But in general Congress isn't really smart enough to understand what the legislation is about. It just became so toxic for a variety of reasons (a lot of big contributors on the IT side probably threatened to cut donations if it passed) that it wasn't worth the fight. Democrats have traditionally been more pro-entertainment industry and pro-lawyers than Republicans so I have to admit to being surprised that the White House didn't back it anyway. Plenty of Republicans back the entertainment industry too, they're just slightly less inclined to do so.

    By the way, one of my former co-workers said that he did contact his representative in Congress. He did not say who his representative was (most likely it's a Republican) but he said that it was clear that his representative really did not understand the bill at all and was framing it in the simplistic "Let's stop evil job stealing piracy!" terms that the entertainment industry has used to sell it to Congress.
  • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:31AM (#38713792)
    FTA: "...is a good demonstration of how the Internet enables Democracy." Thus ensuring that politicians everywhere hate it and want to kill it,
  • by Thoguth (203384) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:42AM (#38713900) Homepage

    This is good. The next step is to keep Lamar Smith from getting re-elected. Right now he's running unopposed for the republican nomination in a district that includes parts of Austin, a very techie town. With the right amount of national support for "Anybody but Lamar Smith" he can and should lose his seat over this.

  • by mvar (1386987) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:01PM (#38714090)
    PIPA is the greek word for "blowjob"

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