SOPA/PIPA Makes For Strange Bedfellows

And that's a good thing.

Recent legislation in the forms of SOPA and PIPA have united the most unlikely of allies in the form of RedState, Wikipedia, Google, UbuWeb, Dana Loesch, and many others on the Left and the Right. PIPA co-sponsor Marco Rubio has heard the arguments and has decided to give the legislation a big rethink:
In recent weeks, we’ve heard from many Floridians about the anti-Internet piracy bills making their way through Congress. On the Senate side, I have been a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act because I believe it’s important to protect American ingenuity, ideas and jobs from being stolen through Internet piracy, much of it occurring overseas through rogue websites in China. As a senator from Florida, a state with a large presence of artists, creators and businesses connected to the creation of intellectual property, I have a strong interest in stopping online piracy that costs Florida jobs.

However, we must do this while simultaneously promoting an open, dynamic Internet environment that is ripe for innovation and promotes new technologies.

Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy. Since then, we've heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.

Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet.

Ed Morrissey takes it home (emphasis mine):

No one disputes the need to protect and defend copyrights.  Most of the websites participating in this protest have an interest in battling piracy.  The need to protect copyrights, however, does not outweigh the need for checks on prosecutorial power and due process for the accused.  Rubio has belatedly gotten it right — Reid needs to pull back PIPA, the House needs to scratch SOPA, and both need to start over again in those efforts.

Stopping foreign piracy is necessary, but if this isn't done exactly right, our government will run roughshod over "fair use" rights based on the latest political whims. (Can you say "Righthaven times-10?") We have to be vigilant in the defense of the free and open Internet. FCC Chairman Julius "Caesar" Genachowski has been attempting power grabs under the banner of "Net Neutrality" for the past three years. Give them an inch, they'll take a mile.