[IRP] Silicon Valley tech giants unite against piracy bill

michael gurstein gurstein
Wed Nov 16 20:48:29 EET 2011

Good Morning Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley tech giants unite against piracy bill

By Mike Murphy <mailto:mmurphy at bayareanewsgroup.com> 
npbjzlpjdqdyygyj_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  and some of Silicon Valley's biggest
companies are leading the charge against the Stop Online Piracy Act
currently making its way through Congress.
The bill, which counts the Recording Industry Association of America and
Motion Picture Industry of America among its backers, is aimed at cracking
down on Internet piracy of copyrighted materials. Critics say they support
the spirit of the bill, but say it overreaches and would allow the
government to not just go after users posting illegal material, but shut
down the websites, online advertising networks and online payment systems
they use.
In a blog post
djtngvjncwcppbpd_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  Wednesday, Google Director of Public
Policy Pablo Chavez said the bill "would threaten innovation, jobs, and free
expression." Eight big tech companies - Facebook
shwgqmhgdfdjjnjn_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html> , Yahoo
tfkrqpfrcwcmmlmn_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html> , Twitter
mbrckwbctgtjjdjj_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html> , eBay
pcyhzgchmbmllsbb_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html> , AOL, LinkedIn
vskgfbsgcjcllwjc_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html> , Mozilla and Zynga
ctbvfrtvlwlppjwz_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  - joined Google in petitioning
lgymtkgmhfhvvdfj_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  to express their deep concerns with the
legislation. Testifying on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Google counsel
Katherine Oyama said
lpkwgnpwtftqqmfk_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  "the bill sets a precedent in favor of
Internet censorship and could jeopardize our nation's cybersecurity."
The tech industry faces tough odds: CNet notes
kgcmfhgmbjbppljm_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  that Oyama is the only opponent of the
bill invited to testify, and SOPA's backers include a wide range of both
Democratic and Republican legislators. Supporters of the bill reportedly
will argue
byprlqyrdgdccsgb_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  it will save jobs related to the
entertainment industry.
PC World reports
byprlqyrdgdccsgj_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html> Silicon Valley Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a
Democrat, is working with Republican Rep. Darrell Issa to propose
alternative legislation that would use the International Trade Commission's
patent infringement process as a model to set up a system to investigate
copyright-infringement complaints. "The implications for our economy, for
innovation, and for job creation would be dire," Lofgren said. Lofgren and
Peninsula Congresswoman Anna Eshoo have also signed a letter
fcvgqrcgmnmddhnh_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  to Judiciary Committee leaders urging
them to consider the chilling effects the bill could have on small
businesses, startups and venture capital funding.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
shwgqmhgdfdjjzfj_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html> has also come out strongly opposed to
the bill, calling it "the worst piece of IP legislation we've seen in the
last decade," saying it violates due process and by effectively creating a
blacklist, would sabotage the domain name system.
Judicial Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), dismisses the
criticism, according to the Washington Post
djtngvjncwcppscw_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html> : "Because this bill focuses on illegal
activity, legitimate and lawful American businesses should have nothing to
worry about."
But Harvard Business School fellow James Allworth says web companies should
worry, telling the BBC
qnjgkmngpdpzzbpp_pmmyvjhcjhhl.html>  the bill "contains provisions that will
chill innovation. It contains provisions that will tinker with the
fundamental fabric of the Internet. It gives private corporations the power
to censor. And best of all, it bypasses due legal process to do much of it."
The fight over this bill is worth keeping an eye on as it develops, if not
for the civil liberties being debated than for the billions of dollars
potentially at stake.
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