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(Pocket-lint) - The much-criticised Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act have both been officially postponed.

The head of the US House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, says that they have taken the critic's concerns on SOPA "seriously" and will put the legislative bill on hold "until there is wider agreement on a solution."

In addition, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed that he is postponing PIPA's procedural vote, formerly due for Tuesday 24 January.

Reid states, though: "We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day's work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio."

Additionally, in a statement released today, Rep. Smith says: "It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products."

Nonetheless, the news will be seen as a great victory to those who have opposed the SOPA legislation from the start, including Wikipedia founder James Wales, who took his site down on Wednesday (18 January) as part of a mass "Internet blackout" protest.

Of course, some other ugly demon may raise in SOPA and PIPA's wake, but, for now, the opposition to the bills can breath a collective sigh of relief.

Writing by Rik Henderson.