The following is attributed to Sherwin Siy,
deputy legal director of Public Knowledge:
“It appears that lawmakers are
beginning to realize how much damage their anti-‘piracy’ bills could cause to
the Internet and to Internet-related businesses. Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX)
said he would remove the highly controversial provision in the Stop Online
Piracy Act (SOPA) that would require Internet Service Providers to block access
to Web sites.
“In addition, today six Republican
members of the Senate Judiciary Committee told Majority Leader Harry Reid
(D-NV) that consideration of the Senate version of the legislation, Protect
Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) should be postponed.
“While we are pleased that some
progress is being made, we are also firm in our opposition to both bills
because some very bad provisions remain.
The bills are still over-broad in their reach, for example (as in the
Senate bill) allowing court orders against anyone a providing ‘directory,
index, reference, pointer, or hypertext link.’ Both bills still include a private right of action with few
protections from abuse, meaning that sites can be killed without ever being
proven to violate copyright.
“The apparent removal of the blocking
provision validates the criticisms from opponents of the bills. It’s time for a close, careful look at