Markup over House piracy bill adjourns after marathon debate
The House Judiciary Committee adjourned its markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act on Friday afternoon after spending the previous day and a half in heated debate over the bill’s potential impact.
A vocal minority of committee members introduced more than 50 amendments intended to delay and derail the legislation, which would authorize the government and copyright holders to seek court orders forcing search engines and other Web firms to delete links to foreign sites dedicated to copyright infringement.
But the majority of those amendments were shot down by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and his fellow supporters, who belittled claims the bill would lead to censorship and stifle innovation on the Internet. Still, the delay could add fuel to the grassroots backlash that has been growing online against the bill, and Occupy Wall Street agrees.
“I am pleased that the unfounded claims of critics of the Stop Online Piracy Act have overwhelmingly been rejected by a majority of House Judiciary Committee members,” Smith said.
Among the amendments defeated were attempts to strip the bill’s private right of action and exempt educational institutions from its terms.