SOPA/PIPA Update: 12/13/12
This week marks another big one in the fight against SOPA & PIPA — I wanted to do an update of what’s happening this week as well as what’s been happening so far this month.
Working chronologically in reverse, what’s happening soonest is that the House Judiciary Committee — which has jurisdiction over the bill, and the greatest power to stop or change it — has scheduled the legislation for what’s called “markup” this Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Markup provides the opportunity for legislators to make edits to the bill to make it less harmful to the internet we know and love, and to weaken support for it overall — after any edits are made, the committee will take a vote on whether or not to send it to the House floor.
While we expect it to pass, this is a big opportunity to alter its course — so we’ve asked those who’ve signed up to take part in the campaign to call their representatives and otherwise take part in the actions being promoted at AmericanCensorhip.org.
Additionally, last week Rep. Darrel Issa and Sen. Ron Wyden — two of our biggest allies on this — unveiled what they’re calling the “OPEN Act.” Today, Mozilla published a letter in support of the OPEN Act in some DC papers along with Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, AOL, Zynga, and Yahoo! — you can read the letter here.
Before these two developments, the last major push was that in the last week of November and early this month there was a lot of concern that the Senate would try to move the Protect IP Act for a vote before the end of the year. An outpouring of support from thousands of Mozillians and others from across the web (along with a protracted fight on the payroll tax extension and other items) helped ensure that didn’t happen. It could move again in January, though — PIPA is still very much alive.
For now, I’d encourage anyone who can — those who live in the US — to call their representative in the House about SOPA (you can use this easy tool), and for everyone, regardless of locale, to check out the censorship tool at http://AmericanCensorship.org/moz#censor and think about what you could censor to raise awareness about this.
And one awesome stat about this campaign so far? As of today, at least 181,200 individual Mozillians have completed an action against SOPA or PIPA on a Mozilla web site. Great stuff.
Here’s the letter that we published today on the OPEN Act: