White House Will not support current iteration of SOPA; controversial legislation put on hold

The Stop Online Piracy Act, aka SOPA, will not go to a vote this week as originally intended. The Act was to go before the Senate this Wednesday; following widely-voiced public opposition to the legislation, the Obama Administration issued a statement over the weekend expressing concern at some of the legislation’s tenets. Voting on the Act was postponed today, with representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) saying he was “confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House.”

The White House’s statement affirmed some of the reasoning behind SOPA, stating that “online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response.” However, the Administration also affirmed the value of an “open internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation,” saying it wouldn’t support legislation which threatened these principles.

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The statement comes on the heels of an outpouring of public opposition to SOPA. While the Entertainment Software Association has endorsed the Act, companies including Mojang, Good Old Games and Epic have distanced themselves from the legislation, with even the likes of Sony and Nintendo removing their names from the list of supporters. Come Wednesday 18, a lengthy list of websites and software companies will be staging an online “blackout” to raise awareness of the Act, with Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales warning that “SOPA is far from dead – just dormant.”

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