House panel to move forward on Stop Online Piracy Act

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a bill markup for Thursday

A U.S. House of Representatives committee has scheduled a debate and vote on controversial copyright legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act, with the bill's main sponsor offering an amendment meant to address some concerns with the bill.

A House Judiciary Committee markup for Stop Online Piracy, or SOPA, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern Time Thursday. Representative Lamar Smith, the committee chairman and main sponsor of the bill, will offer a wide-ranging amendment to the bill, his spokeswoman said.

Smith and the Judiciary Committee staff have been working closely with lawmakers and interested groups for the past few weeks "to strengthen the bill and address legitimate concerns from groups who are interested in working with Congress to combat foreign rogue websites," said the spokeswoman for Smith, a Texas Republican.

In a markup, lawmakers have the opportunity to debate and amend a bill. If the Judiciary Committee votes to approve SOPA, the next step would be for the full House to vote on it. Smith introduced SOPA on Oct. 26.

Monday's announcement of the markup came the same day that Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, said the antipiracy legislation would allow "censorship" of the Internet. The entertainment industry has "overreached," Schmidt said during a speech before the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. "What they've said is, 'We're going to criminalize the linking and structure of the Internet itself. If someone posts a copied video, we're going to force intermediaries to take the link down.'"

SOPA would allow U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders blocking payment processors and online advertising networks from doing business with foreign sites accused of infringing copyright.

Under the current language in SOPA, the DOJ-requested court orders could also bar search engines from linking to the allegedly infringing sites, and require domain name registrars to take down the websites and Internet service providers to block subscriber access to sites accused of infringing.

SOPA would also allow copyright holders to seek court orders requiring online advertising networks and payment processors to stop supporting the alleged infringers if those businesses do not comply with requests from copyright holders. Under the current language, the court orders requested by copyright holders could target U.S. websites and services that enable or facilitate copyright, in addition to foreign websites.

Smith's proposed amendment would clarify that the bill applies only to foreign websites, not U.S. sites, accused of aiding copyright infringement. The amendment takes away language requiring Internet service providers, search engines and other services to redirect Web users who try to access a foreign site accused of infringing copyright.

In response to concerns about harm to the Internet domain name system, the amendment would prohibit courts from issuing orders that harm the DNS, and it requires a government study on the impact of the bill on the DNS.

The amendment also narrows several definitions in the bill.

Several SOPA opponents contacted for this story did not have immediate comments on the proposed amendment.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentcopyrightinternetGooglelegislationadvertisinglegalsearch enginesvideoe-commerceintellectual propertyeric schmidtU.S. Department of JusticeInternet-based applications and servicesInternet service providersMusic and audioU.S. House of Representatives Judiciary CommitteeLamar SmithD.C.Economic Club of Washington

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?