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SOPA/PIPA is dead, will OPEN replace it?

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I have been on the Web since 1992. SOPA/PIPA is not the first time Congress threatened to legislate 'death of the Internet' but it is the first time that the Internet flexed its muscles in such a conspicuous fashion and the first time we won.

Unlike most, I didn't really expect SOPA/PIPA to pass. Not this time round. It took Congress over a decade to deregulate financial services despite or rather because of the huge amounts of cash flowing to buy the legislation. Each time the measure was set to pass there would be some last minute issue and the bill would have to be put off until the next campaign cycle and Congress would collect a fresh round of contributions.

The battle is far from over, the SOPA/PIPA backers will be back with a new proposal after they collect their rent for the current election cycle. One possible vehicle is the OPEN act introduced by Daryl Issa.

The best that can be said for OPEN is that it is not as spectacularly corrupt as its provenance would suggest. Instead of handing enforcement power to Rupert Murdoch and cronies, OPEN would at least have a federal agency (the ITC) acting in a judicial role. Eric Goldman wrote a good analysis of OPEN in Ars Technical last month.

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