By John Walker on January 20th, 2012 at 5:59 pm.
Look, it’s my day off, and yet here I am. That’s how flipping excited I am to tell you what an INCREDIBLE difference the SOPA/PIPA protest on Wednesday made. One Wednesday the US Congress had 80 members in favour of the bills, with just 31 against. As of yesterday, those figures had changed to 65 in favour, and 101 against. Yes, those numbers don’t add up – a lot more Congresspersons made their minds up. Because of you people, exercising your right to protest and speak out.
And even more exciting (!), Joystiq have just reported that PIPA is now on hold, no longer to be debated in the Senate next Tuesday as planned, because of the “legitimate issues” that were raised by “many”. We made a difference.
This isn’t a victory. But it’s a huge step in the move to protect the freedoms of our incredible internet. The vote was postponed by its main supporter, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. He has called on the paper’s author to go back to those who paid for it (the entertainment industry) and tell them to try again, this time “maintaining openness and innovation on the internet” – the very thing those industries so desperately want to stop. Oops!
Additionally, the delightful author of the SOPA bill, Lamar Smith, has said that his own disastrous attempt needs work, despite still using words like “foreign thieves” in his hubris-filled statement. In which he also continues to quote utter gibberish figures based on nonsense to pretend that piracy is costing America $100 billion a year – numbers completely discredited here. Honestly, reading the statement makes me want to punch myself in the face, just to make the words go away.
So this isn’t it. They’re not gone. But they’re an awful lot harder to bring back for a while, and it’s unlikely they’ll be as broadly idiotic. With the vote so turned around, well, this is a reason to be happy, and certainly evidence to slap in the face of all the twits who said, “shutting off some websites won’t make a difference.” Slap those twits! Also, these ones.