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White House Supposedly Comes Out Against SOPA, House Shelves It

Written By : William Teach
January 15, 2012

Saturday, the White House responded to two petitions asking that SOPA and PIPA be killed as legislation

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Right now, Congress is debating a few pieces of legislation concerning the very real issue of online piracy, including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the PROTECT IP Act, and the Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act (OPEN). We want to take this opportunity to tell you what the Administration will support—and what we will not support. Any effective legislation should reflect a wide range of stakeholders, including everyone from content creators to the engineers that build and maintain the infrastructure of the Internet.

While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.

Well, that’s a pretty good response, eh? Then it gets kinda weasely

Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.

But, what is lawful? There are competing laws that make excerpts legal or not. Every-time you read an excerpt here, at Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, The Other McCain, The Lonely Conservative, Weasel Zippers, and so on, we are breaking copyright law. Same with some videos. But, we are also covered by Fair Use law.

Across the globe, the openness of the Internet is increasingly central to innovation in business, government, and society and it must be protected. To minimize this risk, new legislation must be narrowly targeted only at sites beyond the reach of current U.S. law, cover activity clearly prohibited under existing U.S. laws, and be effectively tailored, with strong due process and focused on criminal activity.

OK, that’s a little better, but, is the White House saying that US law should be extended to cover things outside of the US? With respect, that’s kinda what SOPA and PIPA say, too.

Anyhow, the White House does definitively come out against DNS blocking, which was a major issue of concern with the legislation. Tina Korbe points out that Reddit plans a 12 hour blackout in protest of the legislation, and further goes on to say

To clarify, it’s not like the White House promised to veto or anything. Instead, the administration has said it will “not support parts of” SOPA and PIPA, which, technically, is not quite the same as “opposing” the bills. It could be the White House just wants to stay out of a fight that pits liberals (Hollywood, etc.) against liberals (Google, etc.). Nevertheless, it’s still helpful that the president doesn’t want to push very hard for SOPA and PIPA — because you can bet opponents will continue to push against them.

Any little bit helps in the fight against legislation which gives way to much power to the Central Government and its unelected and persistent bureaucrats.

Meanwhile

(The Hill) House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.

Well, it’s a start, and could mean that the legislation gets shelved permanently. Now the ball’s in Harry Reid’s court. He plans on a Senate vote in the next two weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear that he has postponed any vote within the next few days.

Huffington Post points out that “The Motion Picture Association of America Inc. (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have each released a response to the White House’s position on SOPA and PIPA.” All are in support of the current legislation.

But, as a DUmmy points out, let’s not forget that Obama was against NDAA and it’s indefinite detention provisions right up till he signed it.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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