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US Government Puts SOPA Bill On Hold

According to CNET, US House Rep. Lamar Smith — aka the most vocal proponent of the proposed SOPA legislation — just announced that the House will put the bill on hold.

The move follows tuesdays SOPA blackout protest and the Senate’s decision to postpone their vote on the corresponding PIPA bill.

Rep. Smith issued an official statement, saying that he has “heard from the critics” and that it’s “clear that we need to revisit the approach” with regard to SOPA. His full statement is as follows:

Statement from Chairman Smith on Senate Delay of Vote on PROTECT IP Act

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today issued the following statement in response to the Senate decision to postpone consideration of legislation to help combat online piracy.

Chairman Smith: “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.

“The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.

“The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store. It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.

“The Committee will continue work with both copyright owners and Internet companies to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property. We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem. The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.”

The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.

And while this doesn’t necessarily mean the end for SOPA or PIPA, we can at least all concede that Tuesday’s public outcry did some good. Well done, internet. [CNET]

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