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Senate will vote next month on Protect IP copyright bill

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Declan McCullagh
December 20, 2011

The U.S. Senate will debate a controversial Hollywood-backed copyright bill as soon as senators return in January.

A vote on the Protect IP Act, a close cousin of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, will be held January 24, thanks to a last-minute push by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over the weekend.

“This is a bipartisan piece of legislation which is extremely important,” Reid said Saturday. “I repeat, it is bipartisan. I hope we can have a productive couple of days, pass this bill, and move on to other matters.”

Both Protect IP and SOPA have earned the enmity of Silicon Valley companies, Internet engineers, venture capitalists, civil libertarians, and a growing number of Internet users (PDF) because of the methods they use to make suspected piratical Web sites virtually disappear from the Internet. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, author of the treatise American Constitutional Law, says this approach violates the First Amendment.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 4:49 am

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