Today PIPA was dealt a crushing blow when Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) pulled his planned cloture vote on the bill, agreeing to go back to the drawing board. The original vote was planned for Tuesday, Jan 24, but today he announced “In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.” In a later statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) said his committee wouldn’t take up SOPA until “there is wider agreement on a solution.” “I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy.” “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”
This shows huge positive progress on both PIPA & SOPA!
The fight isn’t over. These bills are not dead, they’re just not coming up for a vote right now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our remarkable accomplishment!
With the deck stacked tremendously against us, we have taken something that looked sure to pass and sent legislators back to the drawing table to regroup.
Our involvement in Wednesday’s events:
This Wednesday, when thousands of websites blacked out their servers to protest SOPA & PIPA, ServInt, in conjunction with the Save Hosting Coalition, collaborated with another group focused on the startup community called Engine Advocacy to put up a call tool: http://stopthewall.us/
Many of the blacked-out sites used our call tool to generate calls to their Senators and House members. Due to massive response, we’re still tabulating the various types of contacts generated from the tens of thousands of calls our efforts generated to Congressional offices.
Whatever the numbers, our efforts generated the desired effect.
ServInt staff also helped produce an animated video that shows the problems with these bills from the hosting provider perspective. It breaks down things into easy-to-understand layman’s terms, and was designed to be shared with folks who might not get what the hosting industry is so worked up about.
Here are links to the video you can share:
Our press conference:
Yesterday, NetCoalition held a press conference to recap Wednesday’s anti-SOPA/PIPA activism, and to reinforce the need to continue protesting PIPA. As one of the founders of the Save Hosting coalition, I was asked to represent the Internet industry on their speaker panel. Check out the link to the CSPAN coverage. My prepared statement begins at 15:25. There’s a good Q&A after everybody speaks.
Our lobbying efforts:
Also yesterday, I joined a group of Save Hosting members on Capitol Hill for meetings with elected officials in the House and Senate. A longtime Senate staffer told us the anti-PIPA/SOPA action was the most effective thing he’s seen in a decade on the Hill! One long-time congressional observer called this “the most effective single day advocacy in the modern, social media era” and said it pretty much killed or at least severely stalled these bills.
We are winning — and we couldn’t have done it without you. Help us keep up the pressure as this battle moves to its next phase!
Photo by Ed Kohler