Following this week's Internet blackout by service providers and online resources opposed to the pending Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, Congressional leader have announced a postponement on future action on the legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delayed a vote on PIPA scheduled for Tuesday. In the House, Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith responded by announcing that the Committee would not consider SOPA until a compromise on the legislation was reached. Several backers of the legislation, including Senator Marc Rubio (R-Fl) who had co-sponsored PIPA, have withdrawn their support after being flooded with phone calls and messages expressing opposition to the anti-online piracy measures. But Senator Patrick Leahy, the leading sponsor of PIPA, was not swayed by the outpouring of concern over the breadth of the pending legislation. He expressed his continued support of the legislation and warned of the continuing threats posed by online piracy and theft. "Somewhere in China today, in Russia today, and in many other countries that do not respect American intellectual property, criminals who do nothing but peddle in counterfeit products and stolen American content are smugly watching" the controversy over the bill, he said.
Geri Haight is a Mintz Member and former in-house counsel who focuses on employment litigation, counseling, and compliance, as well as intellectual property and trade secret matters.