Congress to vote at a later date on internet piracy legislation in a surprise blow to Hollywood and top media firms

The US House Judiciary committee considering the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) abruptly adjourned Friday with no new vote date set. The surprise victory for the tech community came amidst a barrage of online criticism and in spite of the fact that most politicians on the committee appeared to support the act.

On the second day of discussions committee chairman and chief sponsor of the legislation, Rep Lamar Smith (R-Texas), conceded to calls for further investigation of claims that the legislation will damage the infrastructure of the internet.

Top media firms, including some of the biggest names in Hollywood, have been lobbying hard for the legislation claiming online piracy is costing them billions in lost sales and jobs.

But executives from Google, Wikipedia and other high profile tech firms have accused the committee of pursuing the same strategy used by China to censor its internet and claimed the legislation as drafted would damage the Internet’s global structure.

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