updated 05:40 pm EST, Tue January 17, 2012
SOPA activity resumes next month
Republican Congressman and Judiciary Committee chair Lamar Smith stated Tuesday that the Stop Online Piracy Act would resume the drafting process in February. Despite hopes from opponents that a shelving meant it was stopped, the contentious bill would be back to the markup phase. Pre-election retreats were the immediate reason for the pause, Smith said.
By the time it resumes, SOPA may nonetheless have to undergo substantial changes if it survives at all. Smith had already said he would likely drop the DNS blocking provision in an attempt to overcome the mounting objections to the primarily industry-derived proposal. Obama administration officials have likewise signaled that the President (wouldn't pass the bill as long as it included components that would require censoring parts of the web and possibly compromising Internet security.
SOPA, and its Senate equivalent PIPA, was originally aimed at approval before the end of last year in what opponents have seen as an attempt to rush the measure before it could face public scrutiny. Word quickly emerged regardless and led to enough opposition that it was pushed into 2012. Parties and companies that once supported it led backed off; GoDaddy now actively opposes the bill after its original endorsement cost it over 100,000 domains and a substantial amount of business.
Technology company protests have mounted to where Google will change its homepage to voice its opposition. Wikipedia and other major sites are also either blacking out their sites or posting protest messages.