November 18, 2011, 1:01 PM —
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) gives content owners the right to effectively close down websites. One might think all technology companies would fight, but at least 29, including Microsoft and Apple, support SOPA.
Microsoft tries to confuse the issue by saying "no comment" directly, but use their membership in the Business Software Alliance (BSA) to push the bill. Along with Microsoft include such heavyweights as Apple, Autodesk, Adobe, Symantec, and Intuit. There are 29 members, and you can see the list here. The BSA supported earlier bills trying to drastically increase penalties for alleged intellectual property abuse such as the Protect IP Act of 2008 which failed to pass.
Many feel betrayed by the technical companies they use to, for instance, build websites are actively supporting a bill that will allow companies claiming copyright infringement to shut those websites down without proving their claims in court. Many others feel intellectual property abuse has gone on too long and must be stopped with something stronger than the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). There are few people in the middle.
SOPA is politics, folks
As with the Occupy Wall Street crowd, I say again: if corporations are following the law of the land in a way that's detrimental to the public, then the law is what's broken.
steve-howard on news.ycombinator.com
Google was, unfortunately, the only company allowed to speak at the hearing in opposition to SOPA. No EFF, no computer scientists, no privacy advocates; just a bunch of lawyers and politicians. Democracy is dead; this country is a corporatocracy.
9mmsolution on gizmodo.com
These politicians are owned lock stock and barrel by the very firms pushing for this law. Pro-SOPA companies have contributed 4X the money to Congress vs. Anti-SOPA companies. Our politicians are bi-partisan whores and the democracy is really dead as a doornail.
Stoli89 on gizmodo.com
Businesses protect their own
Companies, even those fighting this bill, only care about their own interests. That's why I think people who blindly trust companies to do the right thing are crazy.
RexRollman on news.ycombinator.com
every one of us should be supporting SOPA. "internet censorship" is pure FUD spread by internet companies who want to make profit from stolen content. do you really think youtube, facebook etc have any interest in weeding out pirated content from their sites?
balajinix on thenextweb.com
Microsoft makes the vast majority of their money selling licenses. So does the entertainment industry. For years these industries (software, music, and video) grew to massive size by exploiting cheap duplication of digital goods and control over distribution channels. Now that further advancing technology has brought duplication and distribution to the masses they are franticly trying to regain control.
naner on news.ycombinator.com
Corporations' only moral code is greed. And I'm not talking abstractly, I've been part of discussions at companies where people adamantly say it is wrong to leave money on the table no matter what.
guelo on news.ycombinator.com
SOPA is for dinosaurs
The membership of this group is basically a list of businesses that startups should be chipping away at. Let them spend their time lobbying, while you sneak up behind them and whack them on the head with your niche webapp.
AlexMuir on news.ycombinator.com
Google (read: Eric Schmidt) has already openly stated that this bill is "draconian". It seriously is obnoxious. I'm all for protecting ones' IP but there is such a thing as fair use and this law would effectively prohibit any use content created by someone else. It's just f***ing stupid.
badmoon on gizmodo.com
The dividing line can be neatly seen as whether a company derives its value from server-hosted software or not. Companies which derive their value from server-hosted software have no reason to support IP-protecting legislation because their IP is already protected by the server/client architecture. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, most game companies, and of course content companies transmit their entire IP to each customer. It is impossible to technologically prevent the copying of this IP--we all know the failings of DRM. Thus they must depend on the law for protection. I hypothesize that Google might be less sanguine about IP protections if a new technology became available which allowed anyone to easily view and copy the Google search algorithm code at any time.
snowwrestler on news.ycombinator.com
Vote now by leaving a comment: is SOPA the death of the Web, or overdue protection for content creators suffering from widespread piracy?