Lamar Smith removes DNS blocking from SOPA

The Stop Online Piracy Act has gotten slightly less objectionable. Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has announced that he's removing the DNS blocking provision -- the most controversial aspect of SOPA -- from the bill. So while it is still possible (and easy) under the bill for someone to request the cutoff of revenue sources for a site, it will no longer be possible to obtain a court order to block all access to that site from within the US. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when we consider our continued freedom to visit a website a victory, even a small one.

In a statement on his website, Smith said he's removing the provision "so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision. We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers."

We don't dare truly believe this is evidence that Smith is listening to us, but it's still proof that change is possible. Keep talking to your congresspeople about this.

[Image: Infographic from AmericanCensorship.org]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.