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Breaking: Holden Withdraws SOPA Support

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Score one for the techies. Rep. Tim Holden, one of 30 co-sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act, has withdrawn his co-sponsorship in the face of public outcry.

The bill, called SOPA, has received intense protest from the online community including tech companies like Wikipedia and Google, as well as many of the architects of the internet itself.

“Based on my background as a sheriff, the Stop Online Piracy Act, commonly referred to as SOPA, was brought to me as a law enforcement bill,” Holden said. “At its core, the bill’s intent to eliminate theft by foreign websites protects the intellectual property of American manufacturers of all spheres.  However, the possible unintended consequences, such as stifling innovation and limiting free speech on the Internet, have come to the forefront of debate.  An open Internet requires that we find a better approach that is acceptable to all sides.  Therefore, I withdrew my cosponsorship of this bill and will work to find a solution that protects both the openness and innovation of the Internet as well as intellectual property.”

The issue came to prominent public attention Wednesday as Wikipedia went “dark” – not allowing users to access its content.

It also became an issue in Holden’s re-election effort. Likely primary challenger Matt Cartwright, a prominent attorney from Scranton, had criticized the bill.

“In my opinion, this bill is so full of unconstitutional infringements on free speech and unconstitutionally vague criminalization of conduct it is hard to imagine that its authors ever even read the document they swore to uphold and defend,” Cartwright told PoliticsPA.

The only other Pa. co-sponsor of the bill is Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming). PoliticsPA is reaching to to his office to see if he is reconsidering his support.

Sen. Bob Casey is a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, called PIPA.

20 Responses

  1. It’s funny how we seem to be the one’s who continually try to hinder the things that we say we stand for. We go to war to protect and promote democracy abroad but try to stifle it at home. Please LEAVE THE INTERNET ALONE! This also means that a software company take open source code that is free to everyone, stamp their name on it, call it proprietary software then hide behind legislation like this. The music and movie industry may be the leaders in this ridiculous greed driven bill, but there are other companies that would benefit from such nonsense.

  2. Thank You for not supporting this bill! SOPA and PIPA will take away our freedom of speech away!

  3. Cartwright has my vote if he ever moves to IL or runs for President. I am happy to see there are at least some politicians out there who don’t have Hollywood shoving money into their pockets in order to begin a new form of Nazism. The first thing Hitler did was take away the rights we hold so dear in the United States and SOPA and PIPA beg you to ask the question: Where does it end? Passing such a bill will open the flood gates to finding new reasons to block sites as well as put undue burden on the taxpayers as courts are flooded with an overabundance of infringement cases and requests to close sites out of spite.

    Congressman Smith: Who paid for your campaigns? I hope someone is looking at your books now and maybe they should introduce a law regarding forms of bribery.

  4. First they will take away our Internet. Then one by one ever so slowly our personal freedom will be chipped away until Orwells vision if the future will come to pass,and by then it will be to late. All of our media will be “checked” to make sure it meets big brothers go ahead.

  5. Please fight to stop the thought police — we don’t need them here in the land of the free.

  6. Thank you. Thank you so much for not turning us into a country like China. You are setting a shining example for others who are currently supporting this bill. May many soon follow you in your footsteps.

  7. Thank you.

    SOPA and PIPA begins a fight over the internet’s soul. Do not pass this legislation. Remember in the time of Stalin in Russia where political leaders were writing legislation and policies for farmers even though many of the politicians themselves had never stepped foot on a farm?
    Replace the farm with the internet.

  8. Now the only difference between Tim Holden and Matt Cartwright is that Cartwright is a Canadian.

  9. Thanks!

    To any US citizen reading this that hasn’t contacted your representative – please do it! Here’s clear proof that making your opinion heard WORKS.

  10. Stop taking away our freedom. Do not pass anything under this administration. Look what our country has become in three years. Our health insurance rose $80.00 per month this year. It has never risen like that in forty years. We are in trouble stay out of the Internet.

  11. SOPA, PIPA – must we go through this same song and dance every year? The internet is the greatest thing to happen to mankind since the Agrarian revolution, and yet every year there is a new bill that threatens to compromise the openness and transparency of the internet for everyone on account of a pirate minority. This is a fool’s errand!

  12. Thank you very much for understanding the possible impacts of the success of this ridiculous bill.

  13. STOP trying to pass legislation on technical issues when you do NOT understand the inherent technical ramifications! Instead of trying to oppress the people of the US, be an originator! Be a supporter of the Constitution as it “was intended to be”. Stop these ridiculous bills that support turning the military on the US’ own citizens, stop trying to censor the citizens and their ability to mass . . . Instead, try stopping the inflow of illegals into our country.. STOP the spending on foreign countries when we have thousands and thousands of our OWN that go homeless and hungry every day… encourage the masses and stop

  • Do you agree that ByteDance should be forced to divest TikTok?

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    • No. It's an app used by millions and poses no threat. (40%)
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