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PIPA vote postponed
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PIPA vote postponed

Protests, blackouts may have influenced Reid's decision

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
    Center for American Progress FundSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid postponed a procedural vote that would decide the fate of the Protect Intellectual Property Act or PIPA, according to the Associated Press.

Pressure from protests and blackouts held by internet giants such as Wikipedia may have influenced Reid's decision, reported Politico. Reid said, "In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP Act."

In his statement, printed by The Washington Post, he added, "There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices."

Both PIPA and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) were designed to protect against copyright infringement and intellectual property theft, but critics have called the measures suggested in the bills draconian.

Politico reported that Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) are negotiating the removal of a provision that would require search engines to delete links to “suspected rogue sites” from appearing in search results.

But compromise may come too late, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Congress to set the legislation aside on Thursday. The Huffington Post reported on his statement:

Rather than prematurely bringing the PROTECT IP Act to the Senate floor, we should first study and resolve the serious issues with this legislation. Considering this bill without first doing so could be counterproductive to achieving the shared goal of enacting appropriate and additional tools to combat the theft of intellectual property.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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