In another blow to the opponents of anti-piracy legislation, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over the weekend paved the way for a January floor vote on the PROTECT IP Act, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last May.
The bill takes aim at rogue overseas web sites pirating content, including TV shows and movies.
"We were surprised and disappointed to learn today that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion to proceed on the Protect IP Act in January, particularly on the heels of the long and contentious markup on the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House Judiciary Committee," said Netcoalition.com, whose members include bill opponents Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and Twitter. "Serious concerns about this legislation continue to be raised by venture capitalists, technology companies, cybersecurity experts, and human rights groups alike, all of whom agree that rushing this legislation without addressing these significant issues will undoubtedly have a devastating effect on both the Internet ecosystem and the American economy.
That followed the news late Friday that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith planned a Dec. 21 continuation of his markup of he Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the House version of anti-piracy legislation aimed at foreign Web sites targeting U.S. audiences.
Bill opponents were starting to celebrate after Friday's adjournment of the hearing, which began Thursday, firing off e-mails that the markup had been delayed until January. But Smith had said the adjournment was until the committee got back, and which he decided, would be the Wednesday before Christmas.