Sen. Ron Wyden places a "hold" on the PROTECT IP Act
"Senator Wyden plans to hold the bill," said his office by e-mail. "We will have a longer statement shortly."
Wyden called last year's version of the Internet blacklist bill a "bunker-busting cluster bomb" when precision-guided munitions would be better suited to dealing with copyright and patent infringement on the Internet. He placed a hold on that bill, which kept it from coming to the floor.
Now, he's at it again after the PROTECT IP Act failed to incorporate enough of his desired changes.
A Senate hold is, according to the Senate, "An informal practice by which a Senator informs his or her floor leader that he or she does not wish a particular bill or other measure to reach the floor for consideration. The Majority Leader need not follow the Senator's wishes, but is on notice that the opposing Senator may filibuster any motion to proceed to consider the measure."
More controversial recently have been "secret" holds in which the name of the senator was withheld and legislation simply stopped; the Senate voted to end that practice earlier this year, though the rule won't apply until the next Congress.
Update: Wyden's office has just sent out his explanation for the hold:
“In December of last year I placed a hold on similar legislation, commonly called COICA, because I felt the costs of the legislation far outweighed the benefits. After careful analysis of the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, I am compelled to draw the same conclusion. I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective. At the expense of legitimate commerce, PIPA’s prescription takes an overreaching approach to policing the Internet when a more balanced and targeted approach would be more effective. The collateral damage of this approach is speech, innovation and the very integrity of the Internet.
"The Internet represents the shipping lane of the 21st century. It is increasingly in America’s economic interest to ensure that the Internet is a viable means for American innovation, commerce, and the advancement of our ideals that empower people all around the world. By ceding control of the Internet to corporations through a private right of action, and to government agencies that do not sufficiently understand and value the Internet, PIPA represents a threat to our economic future and to our international objectives. Until the many issues that I and others have raised with this legislation are addressed, I will object to a unanimous consent request to proceed to the legislation."