Lawmakers stopped anti-piracy legislation in its tracks on Friday, delivering a stunning win for Internet companies that staged an unprecedented online protest this week to kill the previously fast-moving bills.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he would postpone a critical vote that had been scheduled for January 24 “in light of recent events.”
Lamar Smith, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, followed suit, saying his panel would delay action on similar legislation until there is wider agreement on the issue.
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products,” Smith said in a statement.
The bills, known as PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) in the Senate and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the House, are aimed at curbing access to overseas websites that traffic in pirated content and counterfeit products, such as movies and music...