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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today said that he expects the Committee to continue its markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act in February.

“Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February,” said Chairman Lamar Smith.


The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) would allow the Justice Department to obtain court orders and go after overseas “rogue” Web sites that traffic in countefeit goods, from purses to prescription drugs.

Supporters of SOPA and PIPA once could boast of wide bipartisan support, but the proposals suffered a series of blows starting Thursday, reports C/Net, when the Senate leaders decided to eliminate an important provision in PIPA.

Opponents say the legislation would make it impossible for search engines and others to conduct their business, stifling investment and innovation, skirting constitutional due process, and would in many cases amount to censorship. There are other, better ways to combat piracy, they say.

PC Magaziner reports a number of high-profile sites, from Reddit to Wikipedia, have pledged to shut down on Jan. 18 in protest of the bills, but organizers said today that as many as 7,000 sites are planning to go dark at midnight.

According to sopastrike.com, web sites joining the protest include Boing Boing, WordPress, and the Cheezburger network sites. From 8am to 8pm Eastern, these and other sites will return only a banner with information about SOPA. C/Net has coverage and a FAQ.

Will Dailywireless go dark? Probably not. I’m not up to speed on the issue.

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