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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Senate Vote Delayed On PIPA, Its Anti-Piracy Bill

Saying that "recent events" have raised questions, but that "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that there won't be a vote in his chamber next Tuesday on the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

That's the Senate's version of controversial legislation that supporters say would cut down on Internet piracy — but that opponents say would amount to censorship.

Wednesday, as we and many others wrote, Wikipedia and some other Web giants who oppose such legislation focused attention on it by "going black." And as NPR's David Welna reported, Wikipedia and the sites urged people "to complain to their lawmakers about the proposed anti-piracy legislation" and got a big response. "Heavy traffic caused more than half the official websites of senators to crash" on Wednesday, David found.

He also pointed out that "nearly half the Senate bill's 40 sponsors are Republicans, but many of them have withdrawn their support in the past few days." So, David said, if the legislation was to get through the Senate, it might first have to be altered.

Reid's decision now gives some time for such alterations. He gave no specific time for a vote, but said he's confident a compromise can be reached "in the coming weeks."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.