SOPA is dead

Mashable: "Lamar Smith, the chief sponsor of SOPA, said on Friday that he is pulling the bill 'until there is wider agreement on a solution.' ... and ... “'In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT IP Act,' said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in a statement Friday morning."

Yipee! We will be ready for them when they return.


      1. It will never be safe until we vote these turkeys out.  Democrats and Republicans who supported SOPA/PIPA need to be removed from office.  They are a cancer on the republic.

        1. I think all Democrats and Republicans need to be voted out. Both parties are completely corrupt as far as I can tell. I have no faith that the next batch from these same parties is going to be any better.

          1. Baby/Bathwater… thrown out…

            I think many bluedog DINOs (not all democrats) need to be removed from office along with the overwhelming majority of republicans and some independents. This is based off of observing their voting records among other quantifiable things. Emotional nihilism is ineffective and unrealistic when it comes to voting.

            If there are republicans with better voting records I should take a look at, please direct me to them. I haven’t found any and I mean this literally.

            Also, if you have any suggestions for currently viable alternatives, I’d sincerely like to hear them. If they don’t have grassroots support nor any money, they probably aren’t viable (right now) in our current reality. If there’s someone (or a group) you really want people to get behind and truly think is viable, let me know. Anything’s possible.

            But, overall, we need to get the best, lesser evil (and good dems and independents) into office so we can slowly erode the walls that have been built and battle-hardened for decades. Only then will the corporatist firewall weaken enough to even begin to change their entrenched structure and allow policy changes that will slowly erode their power.

            There’s sadly no quick fix to this unless we are to be unrealistic and think we can throw them all out and there’ll magically be better alternatives that pop up from nowhere. This is not reality.

            I hope to see some individuals shine and rise up via the OWS movement, but realistically that’ll take years (probably).

            This wonderful organization is a great alternative to emotional nihilism:

            Bad news: Quick change isn’t going to happen. It’s going to continue to be a slow, painful process of choosing lesser evil until systemic change is possible.
            Good news: We can continue to make small, but significant strides by making educated choices in who we vote for and support. We can continue to educate each other about this. The more people that make educated voting choices, the better.
            Great news: We keep that up and future generations won’t suffer like we have. After enough time, our government will get over systemic humps and become exponentially better. Probably won’t see it in our lifetime, but I’d love to be proven wrong by the greatest American generation instead of the shitbag, apathetic, nihilist, cynical worst one, that’s for sure.

            The response to SOPA/PIPA and the OWS movement gives me sparks of hope. We’ll see…

    1. Don’t let your guard down too quickly, there are at least two pieces of legislation still on the table which are MUCH WORSE than either SOPA or PIPA.

      The “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers” act, and ACTA are both huge threats to freedom of speech and online freedom in general. Both would make ISPs log your data for law enforcement, and ACTA’s “three strikes” provision could allow content owners the power to permanently revoke your internet access or even imprison you without any trial, just by accusing you of copyright infringement. Both have the power to take down websites without any judicial review or due process, and the whole Megaupload fiasco two days ago should remind you that the ICE and FBI already still have the power to censor any site they want for any reason they want, without due process.

      The battle is not done yet. We’ve gained a tremendous amount of support, and brought these issues to light, showing the average internet user why this is such an important issue, but the lobbyists will not stop here, and we cannot let our guard down.

  1. Congratulations to all of boingboing, and Cory in particular, for your part in bringing this dark bill to light.

    Using the internet to save the internet. It was actually quite inspiring.

  2. My god.

    We did it.

    SOPA is dead (to be revived at a latter day no doubt under a new coat of paint.)Holy cow man. 

  3. Yeah, coming into an election year they aren’t going to have time to deal with this. So now we have at least a year or so to enact serious, far-reaching campaign finance reform so the RIAA can’t buy an equally odious bill in 2013. 

    Er… okay that’s not gonna happen. Better stick to the Eternal Vigilance plan. 

  4. I wouldn’t call it “dead”. Thoroughly wounded, perhaps, but not dead. It’s certainly the best thing that could have happened for the time being, though. We’ve got to keep an eye on the news, and ensure that they don’t try to sneak it through somehow. 

  5. More sleeping than dead…   I suspect that it will come up again (probably after the elections)  in a quiet manner and possibly linked to a bill that is too big to veto.

  6. Probably not a good thing. After Anonymous destroyed the DoJ’s website and a few others to protest Megaupload’s bust I’m sure we’ll see the same provisions show up as a matter of national security now, not just stopping piracy. 

    1. Not even the most money grubbing congressman will risk re-election, even to please their evil overlords. The scale of opposition to these measures took them by surprise, and they are scurrying for cover like cockroaches when the light is turned on. Nerds 1, Trolls 0.

        1. Does it matter which bottom feeder is in office, really? The system is so corrosive to integrity I doubt it will matter who is in office. Perhaps the internet community can shine enough light on how political sausage gets made to keep the worst possibilities at bay. I hope so. Go nerds.

    2. I think it would be foolish to not consider the fact that the internet may experience a “Cyber 9/11” event that results in rushed, draconian legislation that makes PIPA/SOPA look like nothing. (see: 9/11 and PATRIOT Act)

  7. Saying it’s dead is very misleading, you shouldn’t do that.
    Don’t make the same mistakes as Spain did, because a news post as bold as “SOPA is dead” can make people forget all about it too quickly.

    1. Agreed.  This kind of stuff is nowhere near “dead” until we vote these miscreants out of office.

  8. Tyler Riddle is spot on. These bills are no more dead than USAPATRIOT or the MCA, both of which are now so very 2006 as to be ancient history. Some will recall the celebrations when certain USAPATRIOT provisions were not renewed…until after the organized and publicized opposition relaxed in the wake of their “victory”. We’ll see the same with SOPA/PIPA, as the folks with the cash (RIAA/MPAA) have all the time in the world to re-introduce the same provisions in different bills. We arguably have won a skirmish, but the fight has not even really begun in earnest. That said, Cory and the eff are probably our best allies in the coming tussles.

      1. Hrm… there’s something to be learned there…

        We should shoot SOPA/PIPA in the head by going one step further than just opposing them.  We should convince Congress to pass legislation actually asserting protection for the Internet rights we demand.

        1. This does seem like an essential step, to me. We will have no rights until they are enshrined on law. And preferably as a constitutional amendment.

  9. So we can agree on that it’s merely been gravely wounded but is only as dead as off camera allows.

    How can we use our momentum to encourage the congress critters to start pushing for stronger protections for the internet? Something that won’t be so vuagely worded that it’d get armtwisted into ‘this is a pro-piracey bill’ but not so wishy washy or overspacific it’s useless except as a feel good placebo while the real problem goes unchecked?

  10. I’ve seen a lot of stories like this. My question is simple: When did the definition of “postponed” turn into “dead”? SOPA (and PIPA) haven’t been killed- the vote has just been “postponed” so they can be further reviewed.

    I agree with Tyler Riddle- they will probably just come back more powerful than ever. If anything- they have proved just how ignorant Congress is of the real world. 

  11. I think the bill was in it’s death throes the minute the U.S. Fed decided it would be a good idea to pull down Megaupload.  What a bunch of idiots, good for anti-SOPA; talk about ill-conceived timing!  What a bunch of boneheads.

  12. Right on! 

    For those addicted to defeatism, learn to appreciate the struggle, because it will go on. Celebrate victories, get back up after defeats, and never, ever trust anyone who talks in terms of final solutions.

    Going forward, we really need to learn how to deal with poisonous bills that get attached to “must-pass” omnibus legislation. That’s where I’m most worried this will show up next.

    1. Indeed.  It’s extremely hard to get something out of a much larger bill, and even harder still to get that larger bill stopped.  Especially if it’s inserted into something important or something that cannot realistically be opposed  politically (like the NDAA).  

      Getting it stopped before it gets to that point requires a lot of very good organization and contacts in government so you know when/where it’s going while they’re still time to stop it.  And the people who fought against SOPA for the most part don’t have that.

      That likely will happen here if people (and the groups/corporations opposed to this) don’t get their shit together when it comes to congress and lobbying.  

  13.  “The vote will be postponed until the media corporations make their insubordinate lackeys in Congress stop listening to their filthy constituents and toe the line properly.”

    1. There was just as much, if not more, corporate opposition to this bill.  And that was just as responsible for getting it hung up as us “filthy constituents”.  

      1. Not even close, in money terms. I believe that politicians net about $500,000 apiece from media interests.

        Personally, I have no problem with making policy a bidding war: but it needs to be open and public. “The people of America have put their money where their mouths are, and have bid £1.3Bn for this legislation to pass, vs £0.1Bn for it to fail.” At least then you have transparency.

  14. The Internet has won for now! But let’s remember we must not lower our guard against the MPAA and RIAA Tyrants cuz they will and always will try again.

  15. Where are the Free Order of Opportunistic Lawyer Sharks (FOOLS) when you need ’em?  Why isn’t there a league of lawyers crafting a counter-attack???  

  16. Maybe SOPA is dead, maybe it will return. What is for certain, is that this and similar legislation will keep popping up until Big Content is driven into the ground. Run bankrupt or made to reconsider their business models. And I truly believe that it is up to us, the consumers to do that. Boycot every crappy blockbuster (including not pirating it. Total blackout.). Don’t listen to the slick, greased up vocal chord masturbators of the big labels. They are overpaid for producing shit in its most impure form. Support the artists that lead the way in alternative models, like Louis CK and Amanda Fucking Palmer. Death to Hollywood! Bring me teh head of RIAA!

    (Now for a word from our sponsors)

  17. My apologies for repeating a comment I made in another SOPA thread here in BB, but it’s important.

    A similar legislation is being pushed in the Mexican Senate by Federico Döring of the right-wing, party-in-power PAN (National Action Party).  Unofficially called The Döring Law, the official name is ACTA (Commercial Anti-Piracy Act), and contains many of the same insidious provisions as SOPA/PIPA, but targets individual IPs also, without the French benefit of “three strikes”.

    Then there’s Ley Lleras in Colombia and Ley Sinde in Spain, surely no coincidence that legislation that favors corporate interests is being pushed simultaneously in several countries.

    1. OK. Who do we get in touch with, as non-Mexicans, to let them know we want it killed off too for many of the same reasons we wanted SOPA/PIPA dead?

      1. For the time being, awareness and passing it on, making some noise.
        You go to internet forums or Facebook pages from Mexico, they’re all yelling about SOPA, oblivious that ACTA is about to be rammed up their behinds.

  18. It will be back.  And soon.  It’ll have another name, and it’ll be softer, gentler, more insidious.  It will be called “a compromise” and those who oppose it will be labeled as “intransigent” and “negotiating in bad faith”. There will be backroom deals and quiet quid pro quos, there will be hints and allegations, incidents and accidents…oh, wait, sorry about that, channeling Paul for a moment…and there will be an earnest attempt to wear us down, to divide us, to win by attrition.

    We are at war with Big Content — with the legacy movie, music and publishing companies that want to control the Internet. We can’t win until they’re destroyed.  Not because we want it that way — but because they have MADE it that way.   In the end, we’re going to have to take them down, because — like Potter and Voldemort — neither can survive while the other does.

    This was only an opening skirmish, a prologue for what is to come.  Enjoy the momentary sensation of victory; tomorrow, ready yourselves for battle.

    1. We are at war with Big Content

      Agreed.  But the real point of SOPA/PIPA was to have yet another vehicle to squeeze the American public with censorship.

      I hope more Americans notice that corporatists are very overtly trying to turn America into China.  They verbally slam China all the time, but at the same time continuously keep pushing very real agendas to downgrade the American worker to Chinese standards.

      This goes for both Democrats and Republicans, but be sure and look at the voting records when it comes to things like being against collective bargaining, etc. — (tea baggers…  here’s lookin’ at you)

  19. “No matter how bad last season’s crops were, witch burnings are a poor policy response.” – Julian Sanchez

    1. Voting corrupt politicians out of office ≠ witch burnings

      (I apologize in advance if you were referring to SOPA itself instead of the resistance)

  20. I think the greatest victory in all of this is that this will show people that even these bought-and-paid-for politician corporatists still do, indeed, fear the bewildered herd (as their masters call us behind closed doors).

    This proves that cynical refrain from involvement is mere intellectual laziness and sloth.  This all just goes to show what solidarity can do for the American people.  If you are one of those people who says voting is useless, then you are useless and LAZY.  If you are one of those people who says “all politicians are the same”, then you are useless (look at the voting records, you ignorant clods).

    Now, let’s see Americans acting more like Americans and STAY INVOLVED in their government and vote these corporatist shill motherfuckers out of office.

    I’m still holding out hope this will turn of to be the best American generation after all…. instead of the worst.

  21. “We will be ready for them when they return.” 

    We should get ahead of them, them being the MPAA, RIAA, etc. This is not a technology problem, especially given the technology involved is adaptable and those who know it best are on the right side. It’s a business problem, an obsolete business model protected by people who have missed countless opportunities to engage and expand their audience and make a little money besides. 

    We need to get rid of language like “theft” and “piracy” to describe what these bills oppose. Theft implies denying access to something or in some way reducing its value, but a duplicable item doesn’t affect the source it was copied from. Piracy, for me, implies stealing for re-sale or conversion to something else: pirates robbed ships for their treasure, not because they wanted ships. I know pirated physical copies exist but since they are physical items, they don’t exist on the internet. 

    As for lost revenue, an unpaid for copy doesn’t affect their warehouse inventory or represent a true loss. In some instances,  they wouldn’t have gotten any money anyway: there are some people who think that if you can copy it, it’s free. But the studies showing that active file sharers buy more media than average aren’t going away. 

    What they really mean is “unauthorized copying” but they are the ones who own the authorization process. They are the ones who refuse to take people’s money in exchange for media they want to enjoy. They were the ones who forced Apple into a DRM arms race against its customers for years, until the big labels finally agreed to drop DRM and allow higher-quality audio. They are the ones who would turn a customer into a criminal, rather than find a way to keep them honest. 
    How to start a dialog at that level? 

  22. “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.”

    Wait, what were we talking about again? Oh, right, formless primal evil. Right, same thing.

  23. Good news. 

    I certainly hope that somebody who doest not forget nor forgive does it’s best to expose the people behind SOPA/PIPA in all their infamy, in time for elections. It’s simply not enough. 

    Maybe a National Net Association (take a hint from NRA and its way of communicating with congresspeople and officials it does not like, that is helping get them out of office) is in order.

    1. The Electronic Frontier Foundation may be what you’re looking for… they took the lead on this and many other similar issues. I still recall the first I heard of them when they took up the cause of Steve Jackson Games when they got raided by the FBI.

  24. We need to quickly put the same coalition together that just beat SOPA/PIPA and get a Citizens United decision Constitutional amendment together. Do it quick before the corporate media figures out what they throw a mountain of money to stop it.

  25. And on the “christ, what an asshole” front, Leahy’s reaction: 

    “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.” 

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