SOPA Reportedly Wounded, Possibly Dead
If News reports from earlier this morning turn out to be true, opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act may have just succeeded in getting it killed. Details are not entirely clear, however it appears that in the wake of the White House’s tepid, yet firm statement of opposition to SOPA, the House of Representatives is preparing to cancel any vote on SOPA, in effect killing it.
Though the cancellation is still not verified, and the news is based on the word of a single SOPA opponent, that the opponent happens to be California Representative Darryl Issa means we ought to take it seriously. Earlier today, it was reported (though the story first broke Friday) that Issa has received a promise from House Majority leader Eric Cantor that SOPA will be shelved “unless there is consensus on the bill.” “While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act,” he said, “I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House.”
If true, this is stunning news, but let’s not pop the champagne just yet. It’s important to note that “unless there is consensus on the bill” is incredibly vague and could conceivably mean anything. Further, Eric Cantor has yet to confirm this promise publicly — we only have Issa’s account of their conversation at this time. The Senate’s counterpart bill, PIPA, is also still in play, and as we saw with the battle over the deficit ceiling, there are apparently procedural tricks the Senate could employ to pass PIPA without having to reconcile with a House bill. However, such tricks would require the President to sign on, and since he’s signaled opposition to core components of both bills, it’s likely that if SOPA goes down, so too will PIPA.
Assuming Cantor confirms this decision, a major victory for an open Internet has been achieved. We will update this post as soon as Cantor publicly confirms his stance.