A Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised On The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP MORE (D-Vt.) passed the Judiciary Committee earlier this year, and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said he would introduce a House version in September.
The bill is strongly supported by the music, film, gaming and publishing industries, which lose billions of dollars every year to online piracy.
But Internet freedom advocates argue the measure would give the government too much power to censor websites.
Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight On The Money — Senate Democrats lay out their tax plans Senate Democrats propose corporate minimum tax for spending package Elon Musk rips Democrats' billionaire tax plan MORE (D-Ore.) placed a hold on the bill in May.
"I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective," he said in a statement announcing his hold. "The collateral damage of this approach is speech, innovation and the very integrity of the Internet."
The Post argued the bill protects legitimate websites and does not infringe on free speech.
"The Protect IP Act takes pains to protect Internet service providers, search engines and others that may have done business with a rogue site," the editorial board wrote. "They are not required to scour the Internet for offenders nor are they held liable if they happen to host or provide services to a site that is eventually deemed unlawful. They are only required to take 'reasonable' and 'technically feasible' measures to obey a court order."