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This was a huge weekend for opponents of online censorship.

First, late on Friday came the announcement that the DNS portion of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was removed from the bill. Not long afterwards came the announcement that the bill as a whole was essentially shelved in the House:

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.

"While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House," Issa said in a statement.  "Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote."

At around the same time, seven senators, including three co-sponsors, announced their opposition to the Protect IP Act (PIPA):

It looks like the internet uprising really is having an impact. Senator Ben Cardin -- a co-sponsor of PIPA -- has put out a press release saying that he won't vote for the bill as written today, after hearing from many constituents. Oddly, he says he will remain a co-sponsor of the bill, but wants to amend the bill to take into account the concerns he's hearing.

Similarly, six other Senators, including two co-sponsors -- Senators Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley (the two co-sponsors) along with John Cornyn, Jeff Sessions, Mike Lee and Tom Coburn -- have asked Harry Reid not to bring the cloture vote he's promised to bring on the 24th.

Later on Saturday, Sen. Mark Udall also announced his opposition to PIPA in its current form, bringing the total number of senators publicly opposed to 14.

In the midst of these repeated victories, the White House released a statement in response to a We The People petition on SOPA and PIPA. The statement has been widely interpreted as opposing SOPA and PIPA in their current forms.

The result of all this is that the Senate is now isolated in its continued pursuit of this terrible legislation. However, even in the Senate opposition is quickly rising and remaining supporters are scrambling to make concessions to try keep PIPA alive.

Because of the intense grassroots pressure over the past two months, defeat of both SOPA and PIPA is now within reach. However, the first Senate vote on PIPA is still scheduled for Jan. 24, and only 14 senators are publicly opposed.

Please, keep emailing your senators, asking them to oppose the Protect IP Act.

1:48 PM PT: If you are in the New York city, San Francisco, Seattle or Washington, DC areas, sign up to attend a rally against PIPA on January 18.


Originally posted to Chris Bowers on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 09:24 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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