In a blow to the forces who would keep you from illegally watching The Scorpion King 3 this frigid weekend, the Obama administration has signaled that they will not throw their weight behind the cheerfully abbreviated anti-piracy legislation known as SOPA.
A blog post (how Internety!) on the White House's website penned by the president's chief intellectual property enforcer Victoria Espinel, along with chief technical officer and the special assistant to the president for cybersecurity coordination, outlines the administration's position:
While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.
The specific provision of SOPA that has everyone rushing to the defense of Mother Internet would mandate ISPs to block foreign domain names accused of hosting illegal content. So incensed are the carpel-tunnelled masses that the 19,000-member strong NY Tech Meetup is scheduled to demonstrate on Wednesday outside the Manhattan offices of both of New York's U.S. senators to protest their support of the legislation.
All the pushback may be working: a co-sponsor of PIPA, a complementary piece of legislation to SOPA, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, has said he wouldn't vote for PIPA with it's current language. And SOPA sponsor, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, announced that the DNS blocking provision would be removed—although not entirely—"so that the [House Judiciary] Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision.”
But as always, we turn to the true Master of the Universe for guidance: