Issa calls hearing on Domain Name Service, search engine blocking for Jan. 18

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The bill would require search engines and other Web firms to block foreign sites deemed dedicated to copyright infringement. Critics, including much of the Internet community, argue the law's provisions and impact on the DNS system would result in censorship and stifle innovation.

The Web's opposition to the bill spiked during the lone Judiciary hearing on the bill, which featured just one witness opposed to the legislation: a Google representative that spent much of the hearing as the target for lawmaker and content industry complaints about the availability of pirated content online.

The content industries claim online piracy is killing their bottom lines and argue they are simply asking for the same enforcement mechanisms used to block child pornography. They point to the loss of jobs and support from interests as divergent as the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Supporters have assembled a broad coalition of bipartisan support on both the House and Senate Judiciary committees after years of intense lobbying. SOPA's Senate companion, the PROTECT IP Act, is scheduled to come up for a floor vote this month after easily clearing the Judiciary Committee.

But the backlash from the online community has temporarily suspended a bill that had been fast-tracked for the House floor. And Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has placed a hold on the Senate bill, vowing to filibuster it if it comes to the floor. The White House has yet to issue an official position on either bill.