“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act,” Mr. Reid said in a statement today.
The legislation under question had been the subject of furious protest. Earlier this week, hundreds marched on the offices of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer to protest the bill, and websites like Wikipedia and Craigslist went dark. The bill has been opposed by the tech industry, but pushed by the film and recording industries, who say that piracy costs them billions of dollars a year.
Mr. Reid encouraged supporters and opponents to work out a compromise.
“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs,” he said.“We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.”
The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Gillibrand and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary. Mr. Reid suggested that a revised version of the bill is imminent.
“I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill,” he said. “I encourage him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet. We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”