OPEN Act Emerges as SOPA, PIPA Take a Beating

Senators desert PIPA amid public backlash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2012 4:36 AM CST
OPEN Act Emerges as SOPA, PIPA Take a Beating
Protesters in New York City demonstrate against SOPA and PIPA yesterday. More than 4.5 million people signed Google's petition against the bills.   (Getty Images)

The public backlash and Internet protest yesterday made the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills look a lot like a sinking ship—one many lawmakers decided not to go down with. Sen. Marco Rubio dropped his support for the PIPA bill he co-sponsored and he was joined by 17 others, including six co-sponsors, leaving the bill's supporters without a majority, Gizmodo reports. More than a dozen former backers of the House's SOPA also announced their opposition.

As PIPA and SOPA took a beating, Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Ron Wyden sought support for their alternative anti-piracy bill, dubbed the OPEN Act, reports the Seattle Times. The bill would have the quasi-governmental International Trade Commission—which already investigates counterfeit imports—handle rogue overseas websites instead of the Justice Department. Its backers say it avoids potential Internet censorship, but the entertainment industry and other SOPA/PIPA supporters say it doesn't go far enough to tackle piracy. (More OPEN Act stories.)

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