updated 07:50 pm EST, Tue December 20, 2011
Debate to continue early next year
The House Judiciary Committee has reportedly delayed action on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which has been met with increasing opposition from the public and tech industry. California's Representative Darrel Issa, a vocal opponent of the bill, published a Twitter post noting that SOPA proceedings had been postponed due to the "House schedule."
Committee chairman and chief sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith recently acknowledged that more time was needed to work out the details of the act, including provisions that allow Attorneys General to have control over the Doman Name System (DNS) that is used to manage Internet addresses.
Backers, including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), suggest the bill is necessary to fight rampant copyright violation on the Internet, however many tech companies believe the specific terms will cause problems for sites that offer legitimate content. Other concerns focus on free speech, as Americans would be effectively barred from accessing any website the government believes is related to piracy.
The latest delay effectively halts further House action on SOPA until the Committee members return from their holiday recess.