Opponents Cheer the Demise of SOPA, PIPA

Not surprisingly, the demise of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) was met with jubilation from the various organizations and companies that had battled against them.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), meanwhile, which took a rather hardline approach to Wednesday’s Internet blackout, pushed for a constructive dialog on future anti-piracy legislation.

Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delayed a scheduled Tuesday vote on PIPA, though he said he’s “optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.” Shortly thereafter, SOPA sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith announced that his bill had also been tabled.

The phrase “SOPA is Dead” soon started trending on Twitter and the victorious statements started hitting the inbox.

“PIPA and SOPA were overly broad bills that would have hurt legitimate businesses, hampered innovation and cost American jobs,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), said in a statement. “We thank all members of Congress who spoke out against PIPA and SOPA.”

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Shapiro put his support behind rival legislation from Rep. Darrell Issa, dubbed the OPEN Act, which was formally introduced earlier this week. It would give oversight of overseas, “rogue” Web sites to the International Trade Commission (ITC) instead of the Justice Department.

Issa, a California Republican, said today that “supporters of the Internet deserve credit for pressing advocates of SOPA and PIPA to back away from an effort to ram through controversial legislation.”

Other interest groups had similar sentiments.

“This shows, once again, that people power works. Any Democrat or Republican who tries to resurrect this bill will be setting themselves up to face massive accountability at the hands of voters for trying to kill the Internet as we know it,” Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

Fight for the Future, which ran one of the organizing sites for Wednesday’s SOPA/PIPA Internet protest and produced the infographic below, boasted that it “sent the MPAA back to the drawing board.”

The MPAA and RIAA were among some of the strongest backers of SOPA and PIPA. MPAA chief Chris Dodd raised some eyebrows this week when he suggested that Wednesday’s Internet blackout was an “abuse of power,” but in a statement today, he took a more measured approach.

“With today’s announcement, we hope the dynamics of the conversation can change and become a sincere discussion about how best to protect the millions of American jobs affected by the theft of American intellectual property,” Dodd said. “The threat posed by these criminal operations has been widely acknowledged by even the most ardent critics. It is incumbent that they now sincerely work with all of us to achieve a meaningful solution to this critically important goal.”

In an interview with The New York Times, Dodd called for a summit meeting between Internet and content companies, possibly at the White House.

As a result, don’t expect the issue of anti-piracy legislation to go away anytime soon. PIPA made the rounds in the last Congress, and before that it was the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). SOPA and PIPA might be off the table, but the issue will surely re-emerge, perhaps with a different moniker or backer. Time will tell if both sides will be able to find a workable solution.

For more, see the Top 5 Objections to SOPA, PIPA and PCMag analysts’ take on the bills, as well as the slideshow above, which features screen shots from Web sites that participated in Wednesday’s blackout.

For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

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