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US Senate postpones Tuesday vote on PIPA

Senators distance themselves from copyright bill in wake of massive protests

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has postponed a vote on the controversial Protect IP Act, scheduled for Tuesday, as a growing number of senators voice opposition to the copyright enforcement bill.

Reid, a Nevada Democrat, had scheduled a cloture vote in an effort to cut off debate and override a filibuster of the bill. But more than 25 senators have raised objections to the legislation this week, following massive online protests over PIPA and the Stop Online Piracy Act, a similar bill in the House of Representatives.

"There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Reid said in a statement. "Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year. We must take action to stop these illegal practices."

Reid's decision came as senators have flocked away from the bill. Opencongress.org, a congressional watchdog site, counted 45 senators either opposed or leaning against PIPA as of Friday morning, and only 32 supporting the legislation. PIPA supporters would need 60 votes to cut off debate and move forward with the bill.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.


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