House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) lead Sponsor Lamar Smith (R-Texas) announced on Friday that he was postponing any further action on the bill.
Smith said he would stop work on the bill until there was wider agreement on a solution to combating piracy. Earlier this week, SOPA was stopped in its tracks by Virginia Republican Representative Eric Cantor, but on Wednesday Smith was defiant, saying that he planned to continue working on the bill in February in a markup committee hearing.
"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy," Smith said in a statement. "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," he continued. "American intellectual property industries provide 19m high-paying jobs and account for more than 60pc of US exports. The theft of America's intellectual property costs the US economy more than $100bn 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 committee will continue work with both copyright owners and internet companies to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America's intellectual property," he concluded. "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."
Source: Silicon Republic.