The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week had betetr than expected attendance in spite of no blockbuster announcement, but there was a very loud anti-SOPA and pro-SOPA effort underway at the show. What’s SOPA you ask? It’s the Stop Online Piracy Act aimed largely at websites that might house pirated content. It was considered a boost to Hollywood while holding technology companies and Internet providers liable. The tech community said SOPA was going stiffle innovation.
The White House has already come out against the bill. The anti-SOPA effort at CES seems to have won, as Rep. Darryl Issa of California, who is very active in the consumer electronics industry, issued an announcement that SOPA won’t come to a vote.
Here’s the story from Ziff Davis:
In a press release, Issa announced that he was canceling his Wednesday hearing on “the impact of Domain Name Service (DNS) and search engine blocking on the Internet, has been postponed following assurances that anti-piracy legislation will not move to the House floor this Congress without a consensus.”
Issa said, “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.” Without the Majority Leader’s support, SOPA won’t get to the House’s floor, it will not be voted on, and this makes it essentially dead.
Why did the House reverse its course? According to Issa on Twitter, first the Internet protests had a big impact. “The House of Reps heard your #stopsopa message loud and clear.” And, in a rare bipartisan move in our current political climate, Issa tweeted, “Great news folks: #SOPA will not move in the House of Reps” citing President Obama’s anti-SOPA statement.
This isn’t the end of the story, though, Issa continued, “While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act [PIPA], I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House.” “The voice of the Internet community has been heard. Much more education for Members of Congress about the workings of the Internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal.” Therefore, “the focus of protecting the Internet needs to be on the Senate where Majority Leader Reid has announced his intention to try to move similar legislation in less than two weeks.”
Besides SOPA, 3D TV, and more cases that protect your smartphone or tablet, there were a lot of fun things to see at CES. Photos are below.