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Votes on SOPA, PIPA delayed

WASHINGTON — Leaders in the House and Senate announced today that they have indefinitely delayed further action on the controversial anti-piracy legislation that spurred protests earlier this week. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said next week's Senate vote on the PROTECT IP Act would be delayed "in light of recent events," namely the Internet-wide protests that occurred on Wednesday. In a statement, Reid said, "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved."

The main House author of the Stop Online Piracy Act said he would delay further action on that bill until it could be crafted into a more acceptable form.

"It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products," Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) said in a statement.

Congressional opposition to SOPA and PIPA crystallized this week after web page "blackouts" spread across the Internet. Among Minnesotans, the only members of Congress still pledging to support to the bills were Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken; every House member indicated they were opposed to the legislation.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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