Despite what you may have heard at the end of last week, the vote for the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) is not delayed until 2012 nor is it delayed “indefinitely” – instead members of Congress hoping to run the act through a vote without any more internet-based campaigns to stop it have secretly rescheduled for the middle of this week. This blacklist legislation is also known as the PROTECT IP act in the Senate, and what today’s news means is that the Judiciary Committee that was said to have convened until the end of January to re-work the act so that it better fit with the wants and needs of the VAST majority of free internet users is now going to vote this week instead. Opponents of the act will not be pleased.
It was in a TechDirt article that it first seemed to appear in comments that the vote had been re-scheduled not long after the first re-scheduling to make the vote in a quick and silent manner. CA-49 worker and House GOP watchdog Darrell Issa noted once that the vote would likely be Wednesday and that he’d received confirmation from Republican leader Eric Cantor that votes may take place Monday and maybe Tuesday. There is only one reason for this vote to be moved back into 2011: sidestepping moves like An open letter to Washington as signed by internet OGs like Sergey Brin and Mitchell Baker.
You can take action by contacting your state representative with this easy to use form or just call them up if you’ve got their number handy. H.R. 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act can be read in its entirety at Goftrack.us, complete with gems like this one: “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” Seem like a pretty big open space there? You are not alone in thinking this. Take action now or big business owners will be able to request and receive the ability to censor pages and content you post to the internet without due process. That’s the long and short of it.
So just to keep you updated: The well-intentioned, but immensely flawed “Stop Online Piracy Act” is still in the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing was yesterday and now members will debate and bring amendments to the bill. The Committee will reconvene in a few weeks — the date has yet to be scheduled. Nothing has been brought to a final vote. Everything is still very much in play. We’ll keep you posted on what’s going on and what you can do to help. But for now, we want to thank you.
One encouraging thing we heard yesterday:
I don’t believe this bill has any chance on the House floor. I think it’s way too extreme, it infringes on too many areas that our leadership will know is simply too dangerous to do in its current form.
— Representative Darrell Issa
We also want to express our tremendous gratitude to our friends at Mobile Commons who, on 30 minutes notice, hooked us up with their amazing platform (and provided their expertise) to automatically connect callers with their Representatives.
Don’t get all excited. This thing isn’t dead until it’s died and set on fire.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN ON THE INTERNETS?
I first logged on in a coffee shop in 1996 or 1997. See, The X-Files was my obsession at the time, and my friends and I had discovered that a magnificent thing called fanfic existed. So we would pool our money, buy time, and save stories to floppy disks at the Coffee Haus. :D
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST INTERNET HOME?
I jumped into a couple. I hung out on Usenet (alt.tv.xfiles.creative, hell yeah!) and in eGroups (before it became Yahoo!Groups), and my first website was on Geocities.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT INTERNET HOME AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE?
I flit around these days. I’ve been on tumblr for about two years, twitter for three, facebook for four or five, and I’ve had a livejournal for over eleven years. Oh, and I’ve had a self-hosted wordpress blog for four years.