SOPA sent back to the drawing board; Smith issues statement

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued a statement today that should pretty much make all the anti-SOPA activists incredibly happy. The bill has been shelved indefinitely.

This is what he said.

“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.

“The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports

“The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs.  Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.

“The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store.  It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.

Now this doesn’t guarantee that the bill won’t be back in some different form, but Smith is looking to make a less controversial version of the bill

“The Committee will continue work with both copyright owners and Internet companies to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property.  We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem.

The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.”

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