Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced
that he will postpone a test vote scheduled for next week on PIPA, indicating another victory for this week's anti-SOPA/PIPA activists. In a statement
, Reid (just as the MPAA/RIAA is doing) insists that the problems with the bills can be fixed with some additional work, even though it's certainly clear that both Hollywood-written laws have become politically toxic. Still, Reid seems to insist that a consensus can be reached within a few weeks, even if this week's events were an early death knell for the MPAA/RIAA written laws:
“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."
Originally PIPA/SOPA weren't about political affiliation or partisan politics; the bills were just awful -- period. But responding to this week's blackouts, most of the politicians backing away from SOPA/PIPA
were Republican, and GOP Presidential candidates last night all came out against the laws
. That placed a new layer of pressure on Reid and the Democrats to stop supporting the bills, lest they want to get swept away on a wave of public disgust.
It seems likely you'll only have to suffer through a few more weeks of empty rhetoric about job creation by the MPAA/RIAA (and the politicians who love their campaign contributions). It seems clear that SOPA/PIPA will be too much of a liability during election season and are headed out to pasture, replaced by new, slightly-less-awful MPAA/RIAA written legislation at a later date -- when you're paying less attention.Update
: Senator Patrick Leahy is mad
that a bad bill written by the entertainment industry is facing opposition by constituents he was elected to represent. Update 2
: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has also announced that his planned February vote on SOPA has been shelved.