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DNS Provision Pulled From SOPA, Protect IP

By - Source: CNET | B 38 comments

It's a small victory for the technology sector.

On Friday, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he plans to remove the Domain Name System (DNS) blocking provision from the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is a copyright enforcement bill that's has stirred up some rather heated controversy from all corners of the internet.

Prior to its removal, the provision would have required ISPs to block their subscribers from accessing foreign websites accused of infringing the copyrights of U.S. companies. But with this provision now removed, Smith now has a better chance of actually getting SOPA pushed through Congress.

"After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove (DNS) blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the [U.S. House Judiciary] Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision," Smith said in a statement released by his office.

"We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign Web sites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers," he added.

Smith was forced to suspend the bill after facing strong opposition to SOPA during the bill's markup in the Judiciary Committee at the end of the year. So far the Judiciary Committee has yet to schedule a date for when it will continue the markup.

Chairman Lamar Smith is one of the biggest backers of SOPA. His move to yank DNS-blocking out of his pet bill arrives just after Sen. Patrick Leahy, the sponsor of the music and film industry's prized stallion Protect IP bill, decided on Friday to remove the DNS sections that mandate DNS blocking and redirecting.

Also on Friday, six Republican senators asked Majority Leader Harry Reid in a letter to actually postpone a vote on Protect IP. "Prior to committee action, some members expressed substantive concerns about the bill, and there was a commitment to resolve them prior to floor consideration," their letter stated.

Meanwhile, next week there will be a hearing to examine the impact of DNS and search engine blocking practices on the Internet, headed by one of the lead opponents to SOPA, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a member of the Judiciary. Public interest groups are also keeping a watchful eye on this new shift that's taking place in in Washington.

"It appears that lawmakers are beginning to realize how much damage their anti-piracy bills could cause to the Internet and to Internet-related businesses," said Sherwin Siy, the deputy legal director of Public Knowledge. "While we are pleased that some progress is being made, we are also firm in our opposition to both bills because some very bad provisions remain."

Earlier this week, social news site Reddit said that it plans to sign off from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST on January 18 to protest the controversial bill. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales also said that his firm may conduct a protest blackout, although it's unknown if he plans to join Reddit, or go dark on a different date.

"I'm all in favor of it, and I think it would be great if we could act quickly to coordinate with Reddit," Wales wrote. " I'd like to talk to our government affairs adviser to see if they agree on this as useful timing, but assuming that's a greenlight, I think that matching what Reddit does ... is a good idea."

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  • 32 Hide
    kcorp2003 , January 15, 2012 12:31 AM
    if they pass SOPA. i'm going to hunt down who voted yes and smear shit on their door.
  • 24 Hide
    kjsfnkwl , January 15, 2012 1:02 AM
    This is not a victory at all. The victory will be when all SOPA and PIPA initiatives are dropped, and things continue on as they are now. In my opinion, the internet is at the height of it's existence, and has never been better. The government needs to just leave it alone, and accept that piracy is what it is. No matter how you slice it, it's not the end of the world that giant corporations are losing like 0.001% of their profits as a result of piracy. If people are pirating instead of buying, it's the company's own fault that they're doing something wrong (**Crysis 2**).

    Stop trying to fix what isn't broken! LEAVE PIRACY ALONE. We get that piracy isn't good, per se, for companies, but the alternative is screwing up the internet as we know it. Just suck it up. The United States government is incapable of making an act that will stop piracy and not screw up the internet, so just DON'T TRY.

    TL;DR The internet is fine how it is stop trying to change it.
  • 23 Hide
    fonzy , January 15, 2012 12:29 AM
    Yeah pulled for now until it's passed and then they will find a way to put it back in. Fcuk SOPA all of it.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    fonzy , January 15, 2012 12:29 AM
    Yeah pulled for now until it's passed and then they will find a way to put it back in. Fcuk SOPA all of it.
  • 32 Hide
    kcorp2003 , January 15, 2012 12:31 AM
    if they pass SOPA. i'm going to hunt down who voted yes and smear shit on their door.
  • 24 Hide
    kjsfnkwl , January 15, 2012 1:02 AM
    This is not a victory at all. The victory will be when all SOPA and PIPA initiatives are dropped, and things continue on as they are now. In my opinion, the internet is at the height of it's existence, and has never been better. The government needs to just leave it alone, and accept that piracy is what it is. No matter how you slice it, it's not the end of the world that giant corporations are losing like 0.001% of their profits as a result of piracy. If people are pirating instead of buying, it's the company's own fault that they're doing something wrong (**Crysis 2**).

    Stop trying to fix what isn't broken! LEAVE PIRACY ALONE. We get that piracy isn't good, per se, for companies, but the alternative is screwing up the internet as we know it. Just suck it up. The United States government is incapable of making an act that will stop piracy and not screw up the internet, so just DON'T TRY.

    TL;DR The internet is fine how it is stop trying to change it.
  • 11 Hide
    erunion , January 15, 2012 1:05 AM
    Fonzy nailed it. They will pull out a few bits of the bill to cool of the criticism and make sure it gets passed. But as soon as it is passed they will reintroduced all those same provisions in a new bill and we'll start all over; and keep losing ground to the internet censors.
  • 5 Hide
    spentshells , January 15, 2012 1:06 AM
    Canada is trying to one up this...........http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnE2lOpYLQ8

    have a look
  • 16 Hide
    zachusaman , January 15, 2012 1:43 AM
    no, this bill has to die completely.
  • 0 Hide
    LLJones , January 15, 2012 2:22 AM
    oh Kanada....
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , January 15, 2012 2:49 AM
    This elections season,they haven't got a chance to pass.So, it's you guys should be careful to vote(I'm not an American)
  • -1 Hide
    mcd023 , January 15, 2012 2:49 AM
    I loved School House Rock!
  • 17 Hide
    kinggraves , January 15, 2012 3:22 AM
    Any form of SOPA that could possibly do anything about piracy will kill the internet. Any form of SOPA that won't hurt the internet will not affect piracy. There is no changes that will make it work. It's cementing the door shut so burglars cant get in. You also cant get out. You have to leave a doorway open and secure it with other means.
  • 7 Hide
    jhansonxi , January 15, 2012 3:32 AM
    They've realized that the DNS provisions are too controversial to have in a copyright bill. They'll stick it in a farm bill next time.
  • 13 Hide
    blazorthon , January 15, 2012 3:46 AM
    Are the Toms websites considering the idea of joining the Jan. 18th blackout?
  • 4 Hide
    HEXiT , January 15, 2012 4:15 AM
    i hope so... the uk tried passing a similar bill but it didnt even get a debate. it was left till the last minute and slipped in with out the house looking at it... peter mandelson basically made a law where you are guilty even if you can prove your innocent... if your ip gets spoofed your still guilty because you didnt secure it. yes that kind of law...
    thing is, it may have snuck in via the back door (typical mandelson tactic. he loves the back door ;)  ) but no isp is actually using it or upholding it because they know just how damaging a bill like that can be... after all if you ban your customers your quickly going to run out of subscribers. (take note BT,VODA,BSKYB)... (you gotta admire virgins brass balls, they sell there net on the premise you can download 7 700mb films, b4 there traffic management kicks in. there basically saying we know your gonna pirate films and this is how many you can get per session... tssk tssk tssk...)

    every 1 that has the net in there home should contact there local mp(uk) and house reps/ state goveners (America) and demand this kind of bill be dropped or you dont vote for em next time round...
    if enough people do it they will have no option but to adhere to public opinion...
    remember sometimes the little guy can pick a fight and win... especially if he brings a gun to a knife fight ;) 
  • 4 Hide
    Pawessum16 , January 15, 2012 5:42 AM
    Getting to the core of why it is Congress' responsibility to protect against piracy, is the little fact that it is built into the US Constitution. Article 1, Section 8 states that Congress shall have power..."To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" That right there is the ideal our Congress is trying to uphold. The problem of course is that we have a clash of 18th century ideals with 21st century realities. In the modern world, copyright infringement comes largely from those seeking personal enjoyment or glory. Back in the day of our forefathers copyright infringement would have come largely from those seeking monetary profit. Besides, how do we define "useful Arts"?
    I think to understand the full scale of this situation we need to take a little history lesson to see what our forefathers meant. We've all lived in a world where creative works are protected by law, but I wonder, what is a world without the protection of creative works like? I know I've never been taught such a thing even in college history classes.
    In the end, what these acts boil down to is, do we wish to protect 18th century ideals, and continue protecting the profits of crappy mainstream music artists, and George Lucus, or continue on our path of free information?
    Do we protect the profits of others, or the spread of knowledge for the greater good of humanity?
  • 15 Hide
    darkchazz , January 15, 2012 5:50 AM
    Fuck you America, you cannot try and rule the world and our internet. Fuck you.
  • 10 Hide
    Pawessum16 , January 15, 2012 6:00 AM
    pawessum16Getting to the core of why it is Congress' responsibility to protect against piracy, is the little fact that it is ...the spread of knowledge for the greater good of humanity?

    On another note, protecting artistry from personal enjoyment is not an ideal I believe in. I believe that artistry should be protected from a) monetary gain of those that aren't the creator and b) plagiarism. Artistry should NOT be protected from a person seeking enjoyment for themselves or their friends.
  • 2 Hide
    NuclearShadow , January 15, 2012 6:18 AM
    fonzyYeah pulled for now until it's passed and then they will find a way to put it back in. Fcuk SOPA all of it.


    You are sadly correct. If SOPA is dismantled and divided up into several bills the uproar against those bills will not be nearly as great. It would be much easier for them to slowly do it in small increments. SOPA was too large of a push and thus received a giant push back.
  • 5 Hide
    Travis Beane , January 15, 2012 6:21 AM
    But I like the internet as it is. If SOPA passes, it will make me sad. Do you want to make me sad? :,(
    The reason I fell in love with the internet when I was little was because it was a chaotic playground for those who saw fit to play. If the internet was only email and facebook when I first booted up and dialed, I would have gone and played sports or something boring like that.
  • 1 Hide
    leakingpaint , January 15, 2012 11:23 AM
    What a wanker - he probably doesn't even know where the escape key is! plonker! get hit by a bus and die, do us all a favour.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 15, 2012 12:52 PM
    this is a talk from the german hacker conference 28c3 (presenter is american). apart from being a very very good talk in general (no powerpoint and he still gets his point across :p ), he does an excellent job of describing how fucked up the anti piracy movement is.
    http://youtu.be/HUEvRyemKSg
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