First Dem reverses course on piracy bill

Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.) became the first Democrat to drop his support for the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) on Wednesday after a massive Web protest of the bill.

Republican Reps. Lee Terry (Neb.) and Ben Quayle (Ariz.) have also withdrawn their co-sponsorship of the House's anti-piracy measure.

Holden was one of the earliest backers of the controversial legislation and is the first Democrat in either chamber to reverse course after thousands of sites, including Google, encouraged users to contact lawmakers about opposing the legislation. Wikipedia and reddit blacked out their sites in protest.

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Lawmakers in both parties who had not previously taken a position on the bill announced their opposition after the popular websites brought mass attention to the issue. 

Others, including GOP Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (Utah), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioAna Navarro lashes out at Rubio for calling outrage over Trump's 'go back' tweet 'self righteous' US-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite MORE (Fla.), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime MORE (Mo.), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanVA chief pressed on efforts to prevent veteran suicides McConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal There is a severe physician shortage and it will only worsen MORE (Ark.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteKey endorsements: A who's who in early states Sinema, Gallagher fastest lawmakers in charity race New Hampshire senator to ask 2020 Dems to back repeal of state residency law MORE (N.H.), pulled their support for SOPA's Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act. 

The piracy bills are designed to go after foreign websites that offer illegal copies of movies, music and TV shows. The bills would empower the Justice Department and copyright holders to demand that search engines delete links to sites deemed to be “dedicated” to copyright infringement. Ad networks and payment processors would be prohibited from doing business with the sites.



Movie studios, record labels and business groups say the legislation would cut down on illegal file sharing, which is hurting companies and eliminating jobs.


But Web companies warn the bills would stifle innovation and censor free speech. They say the legislation would impose an unreasonable burden on websites to police user-generated content and could lead to legitimate websites being shut down.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller Steyer's impeachment solution is dead wrong MORE (D-Nev.) will bring the Protect IP Act to a vote on Tuesday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) plans to push ahead with work on SOPA next month.