This morning I was gratified to read that Lamar Smith, the chief sponsor of SOPA, has finally agreed to pull the bill that would have had a major chilling effect on the most innovative platform known to man.
Had this bill been signed into law Internet companies would have to check any user-generated content before it could be posted if they are to avoid the risk of being shut down, slowing the sharing of ideas and information to a virtual crawl.
The Internet is safe…for now.
Smith also released a statement on Friday and, as a public service, I have added sub-titles to help the hard of understanding. Here is his statement:
“We need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign [and domestic, but that doesn’t sound as scary…can we include Al Qaeda somewhere here?] thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.
The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore [because the music and film industries give me and my friends lots of money and opportunities to hang out with movie stars. I like Angelina Jolie ].
American intellectual property industries [including ones that provide cool Internet ideas that will be lost if my bill goes through] provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60% of U.S. exports [most of which is not from the music and film industries and is not affected by online piracy]. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.
“The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store. It is illegal and the law [which we already have plenty of] should be enforced both in the store and online.
“The Committee will continue work with copyright owners, Internet companies, financial institutions to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property [we haven’t given up yet and will attach this to some other bill that won’t get voted down]. We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem [and drum up campaign contributions].
The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.” [I’ll be back ]
Rumor has it that they are already working on attaching the text of SOPA to a child indecency bill, that no congressman would vote against!
As the saying goes – The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Stay focused my friends.