Death of SOPA may be only big victory for individual rights online in 2012

Congress kills one Internet censoring, Constitution-violating SOPA bill; another remains in Senate

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Over the weekend Congress did to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) what SOPA would have allowed copyright owners to do to those they accused of content piracy: killed it without giving its backers a public opportunity to defend themselves.

The office of House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) issued a press release Saturday announcing that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had promised there would be no vote on SOPA in the House unless backers were able to reverse what had become a tidal wave of opposition from every point on the political spectrum as well as both sides of the divide between copyright holders and their customers.

The White House got credit for slowing SOPA's progress enough for Congress to put it out of its misery.

Guilty (of piracy) until proven innocent

It was the provision in the bill that would have allowed the Dept. of Justice and copyright holders to make sites accused of content piracy disappear from the Internet without the chance to defend themselves or even require judicial oversight that lit fires under SOPA opponents.

Even a last-ditch effort by the bill's lead sponsor to save SOPA by limiting or deleting the extra-judicial powers it would have granted didn't slow those opposing SOPA, whose determination was reinforced by weeks of self-justification,patronization and dismissal of their concerns by SOPA's sponsors and its defenders.

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