The Protect-IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) have been under fire in recent months over their potential to disrupt the internet as we know it — private citizens, politicians, and major companies like Google and Wikipedia have come out against the bills, and others, like Reddit, have even scheduled service blackouts to protest the measures. Now, under mounting pressure, PIPA's author — Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont — says that "further study" is needed to identify the positive and negative effects of the bill before it reaches a vote on January 24th.

Leahy was sure to caveat his proposal heavily, stating that provisions of the bill are "essential to protecting American intellectual property," but it's certainly a positive step for opponents of the bill that have repeatedly called for the inclusion of additional experts. Of course, we'll still have to wait and see whether Congress reaches out to witnesses that don't work for the MPAA or RIAA.