Tech groups ask House leaders to slow down online piracy bill

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The Stop Online Piracy Act would allow the government and copyright holders to demand Web firms delete links to foreign websites deemed rogue or dedicated to copyright infringement. The legislation has broad support on the House Judiciary Committee and strong backing from the entertainment industry.

But the bill has sparked a widespread backlash from Web companies and free speech advocates that claim it could lead to censorship and stifle innovation thanks to some broad language and vague provisions that could ensnare legitimate companies.

Some of the initial supporters and co-sponsors appear to be wavering in their support as the bill's language receives more scrutiny. Opponents in both chambers are circulating a draft of an alternate piracy bill that could be introduced as soon as next Wednesday.