300 Internet industry execs sign letter opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
I share with you another exciting announcement we made earlier today:
300 Internet industry executives sign letter opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
– Web hosting, infrastructure experts offer to help make legislation more effective –
McLean, Va., Dec 21, 2011 – The Save Hosting Coalition, a consortium of businesses in the web hosting and Internet infrastructure industries, today announced it has delivered a letter from 300 leading industry executives expressing their opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The Coalition delivered the letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and House Judiciary Committee ranking member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI).
Christian Dawson, one of the founders of the Save Hosting Coalition and Chief Operating Officer of web hosting provider ServInt, said the overriding goal of the letter was to foster communication between the Internet infrastructure industry and legislators responsible for steering the bill through committee.
“PIPA could be brought to the Senate floor for a vote before the end of this month,” Dawson said. “Before any further movement, we need to make sure legislators hear loud and clear that the passage of this legislation would be bad for the American Internet economy, bad for intellectual-property protection, bad for jobs and bad for the country.”
“As SOPA enters another day of Congressional markup, legislators need to understand that – no matter how badly flawed the bill is right now – there still is time to craft legislation that works,” said Dawson. “We strongly urge the Committee to engage with representatives from the Internet industry, so that together we can design a bill that protects intellectual property rights, while preserving America’s leadership position in the Internet economy. The industry is ready, willing and able to help. All Rep. Smith has to do is ask.”
Dawson said that although PIPA is of critical concern in the short term, the Internet infrastructure industry also is concerned about PIPA’s sister bill in the House of Representatives, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The Save Hosting Coalition believes that SOPA has many of the same flaws found in PIPA and it is gathering signatures on a letter opposing it as well.
Download a copy of the letter delivered to Congress opposing SOPA, complete with a list of signatories.
About the Save Hosting Coalition
The Save Hosting Coalition is a consortium of leading companies in the web hosting and Internet infrastructure industries that are working together to make their expertise more readily available to American policy makers. The Coalition’s goal is to help lawmakers produce legislation that protects the rights of intellectual-property holders while protecting America’s status as a leader in the global Internet economy. More information can be found at www.savehosting.org
SOPA: Simple answers are hard to come by
Hattrick, thanks for your question; I'm certain you're not alone in feeling somewhat overwhelmed and confused by this legislation and the thousands of different voices, all shouting at the same time, at the top of their lungs, about why it's so awful.
The bill itself is 78 pages long, and -- like most pieces of legislation -- it's a difficult read. I'll try to distill the over-arching reason why it's so dangerous here, but to get the real skinny on all its many shortcomings, I strongly encourage you to spend a few minutes at http://www.savehosting.org.
In my view, the principal flaw in the bill for those of us in the web hosting industry is that it forces hosts, under threat of legal action, to deny access to sites which third parties have accused -- simply *accused*, mind you -- of containing unauthorized, copyrighted content. It does so in a fashion that pressures hosts to take the most drastic measures possible -- measures that could very well threaten neighboring clients in shared environments who are guilty of no wrongdoing. Lastly, there's this: though the government lets you choose the method by which you deny access to these blacklisted sites, the government decides -- after the fact -- whether you did a good enough job making those sites unavailable. If they find your efforts lacking, you can be sued for being an accessory to the crimes committed by the sites in question.
As I said earlier, this is just one of the reasons why SOPA is a hugely dangerous piece of legislation. Again: head over to http://www.savehosting.org to learn more.