SOPA Action Postponed; Vivas' XBIZ LA Session Gets Mention

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Friday abruptly adjourned its debate on SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, with no new vote date set.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said the hearing would resume at the “earliest practical day that Congress is in session” after technical experts could be brought in to testify whether altering the domain-naming system to fight rogue websites dedicated to infringing activity would create security risks.  

The halt to Friday’s proceeding followed a hearing Thursday that lasted more than 11 hours and included much talk about whether the online adult entertainment business should be protected in all Internet piracy cases by the U.S. Attorney General if SOPA were to pass, as it is currently written.

Thursday's hearing included a reference to Pink Visual CEO Allison Vivas' appearance at XBIZ LA.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif, made the XBIZ LA reference when she expressed an interest to put on record Vivas' upcoming participation at the "Anti-Piracy Q&A Session" at the digital media conference in January at the Sofitel Hotel.

Lofgren also said she thought Internet industry leaders like Vivas would make good experts to call for future testimony.

Vivas will be accompanied by UCLA law professor Doug Lichtman, who will join her in discussing a range of hot-button topics related to content piracy at XBIZ LA.

"I was both surprised and pleased to hear that Rep. Lofgren referenced a desire to call a member of the adult industry to testify during the SOPA hearings," Vivas told XBIZ."We’re going to get in touch with Rep. Lofgren and see if we can make this happen.

"If I do testify, I’ll get feedback from other members of the adult industry first, so I can represent the industry’s position as accurately as possible and account for the fact that not all members of the industry feel the same way about this bill."

By late into the evening on Thursday the committee had voted to reject more than 20 SOPA amendments meant to address concerns by many members of the technology and civil liberties communities.  

The committee rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Darrell Issa, R.-Calif., that would have stripped out controversial provisions in the bill targeting search engines and Internet service providers.

SOPA would allow the Justice Department to seek court orders requiring ISPs to filter out the domain names and requiring search engines to block the sites accused of infringing copyright.

Issa's amendment, perhaps the most contentious part of SOPA, would have killed those provisions.

With the adjournment today, it could be weeks before the House panel continues dialogue over the measure.

If the panel eventually votes to approve SOPA, the legislation would go to the House floor. The legislation would also have to pass through the Senate before going to President Obama for his signature or veto.