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Law that that 'would damage internet' hits buffers in US congress

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 16, 2012 | 3 min read

A controversial law to stop online piracy has been halted in the US congress . The legislation that would crack down on foreign Web sites supposedly infringing U.S. copyright materials, will not now come before the House for a vote until there is a " broader consensus"among lawmakers", said House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor.

Harry Reid: 'stop this bill' plea

It's a major victory for opponents of the bill known as SOPA and its Senate

counterpart, PIPA, said Adweek magazine.

Critics have claimed that the new laws will damage the architecture of the Internet.

They mounted an aggressive lobbying campaign to stop both bills, rallying big technology companies to take on big content companies.

"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," said Congressman Darrell Issa.

Along with Senator Ron Wyden , he has offered an alternative bill known as OPEN.

In a statement, Issa said that even though SOPA was halted, the fight wasn't over. "SOPA . . . is still a fundamentally flawed bill".

"Right now, 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 [PIPA] in less than two weeks."

Six Republican leaders on the Senate Judiciary Committee have asked Reid to delay PIPA's scheduled floor vote.

The six said in a statement, "We are all in agreement that the online distribution and sale of pirated content and counterfeit goods impose a huge cost on the American economy in terms of lost jobs, lost sales, lost innovation and lost income.

"We also believe, however, that we need to arrive at the right solution in the right way on this important issue."

If PIPA does come up for a vote,it is believed Senator Wyden will attempt to filibuster it .

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