House Judiciary to mark up online piracy bill


Chief sponsor Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, offered a managers amendment Monday aimed at resolving some of the concerns by tightening the bills language and clarifying that its provisions apply only to foreign rogue websites.

I believe the managers amendment addresses the legitimate concerns that have been expressed, including protection of the First Amendment, due process, and the integrity and security of the Internet, Smith said in his prepared remarks.

In an unusual procedural move, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) insisted on having the clerk read the entire text of the managers amendment into the record, arguing the public has not had sufficient time to review it since it was released Monday.

Lofgren said she would prefer delaying the hearing on the bill, noting there had been no subcommittee markup and only one hearing, which featured a single witness opposed to the bill. Issa called for a second hearing on the updated bill, noting there will be as many as 60 amendments offered.

Smith suggested critics of the bill are set in their opposition regardless of what is in the amendment. He warned that the reading would take 45 minutes to an hour but denied an attempt by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) to prevent it. The clerk was still in the process of reading the bill at the time of this post.