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SOPA and PIPA top backers urge Congress to continue work

The MPAA and US Chamber of Commerce urged lawmakers to continue on with the online piracy legislation.

Clone of Sopa stop online piracy act suspended 2012 1 16Enlarge
Hollywood, one of the biggest backers of SOPA, is asking Congress to not let the bill die on the legislative floor. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Industry leaders from the Motion Picture Association of America and US Chamber of Commerce urged Congress to continue working on the piracy legislation debate and to not let SOPA and PIPA die in the legislative floor, Politico reported.

Congress were reportedly planning to suspend the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act when key sponsors showed signs of abandoning key parts of the bill.

More from GlobalPost: Congress to suspend SOPA: report 

"Despite all of my best efforts, the past year has been dominated by really a bitter war between Silicon Valley and the content industry," said Paul Brigner, senior vice president and chief technology policy officer of MPAA. "And it’s a shame, because a lot of it has been fueled, I think, by misinformation and exaggeration about what the MPAA and others were trying to accomplish with this legislation."

Brigner said the movie industry is committed to the technologies that provide the base for the Internet and acknowledged the controversial DNS blocking is no longer in the debate.

SOPA has been a hotly contested piece of legislation among free speech advocates, Internet companies and entertainment industry interest groups.

More from GlobalPost: Wikipedia blackout: Founder Jimmy Wales defends decision 

If the legislation were to have passed, the government and individual copyright holders could have potentially shut down any website or person associated with copyright infringement.

Steve Tepp, chief intellectual property counsel for Global Intellectual Property Center, said that since the most controversial components of SOPA and PIPA have been removed, “what we're left with is a very narrow, carefully tailored, narrowly targeted bill that addresses the worst of the worst online thieves.”

Tepp may not view the revised bills as adequate to tackle online piracy, however. "In order to slay this dragon, we need more than a fly swatter,” he said.

The White House released a statement Saturday addressing the SOPA bill.

More from GlobalPost: White House addresses SOPA concerns 

“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” three White House officials said in the joint statement.

Update: The House of Representatives are to take up the lower chamber's version of the bill next month, Reuters reports. Lamar Smith (Rep, TX), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was quoted as saying that the bill would be before his committee in February.

"Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February," Smith was quoted as saying. "I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House."

Procedural votes are set in the Senate for Jan 24.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120117/sopa-pipa-MPAA-congress