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 have also withdrawn their co-sponsorship of the House's anti-piracy measure.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.


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 HatchBottom line The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Press: Forget bipartisanship — it's dead! MORE (Utah), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (Fla.), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntBiden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push Republicans embrace Trump in effort to reclaim Senate GOP attorneys general group in turmoil after Jan. 6 Trump rally MORE (Mo.), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanSenate GOP opens door to earmarks Arkansas governor quietly bucking GOP's dive into culture wars Trump allies line up ahead of potentially bruising primaries MORE (Ark.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate Lobbying world Overnight Defense: NATO expanding troops in Iraq 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 ReidBiden's first 100 days is stylistic 'antithesis' of Trump The Memo: Washington's fake debate on 'bipartisanship' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring 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.