(The Hosting News) – It’s known as the Stop Online Privacy Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the U.S. Senate, there’s a similar bill called the Protect IP Act. No matter the name difference or house of Congress, the legislation has the intention of cutting down on internet copyright violations by giving authorities additional resources.
But despite the goal and support from some top companies (such as entities in the recording & film industry), the legislation has been as equally controversial with some expressing concern that it could negatively impact the Internet’s economy.
Does the legislation need reworking?
On Monday it was revealed that the Business Software Alliance had concern over the contentious copyright legislation despite the fact that the group had initially applauded the bill’s introduction.
Why is the group so important? The alliance is made up of companies including Apple, Dell, Intel, and Microsoft.
Writing yesterday on the alliance’s blog, BSA CEO Robert Holleyman said the bill needs some reworking.
Holleyman stated, “Valid and important questions have been raised about the bill. It is intended to get at the worst of the worst offenders. As it now stands, however, it could sweep in more than just truly egregious actors. To fix this problem, definitions of who can be the subject of legal actions and what remedies are imposed must be tightened and narrowed.”
“Due process, free speech, and privacy are rights cannot be compromised. And the security of networks and communications is indispensable to a thriving Internet economy. Some observers have raised reasonable questions about whether certain SOPA provisions might have unintended consequences in these areas. BSA has long stood against filtering or monitoring the Internet. All of these concerns should be duly considered and addressed,” he continued. (You can view the entire post here (blog.bsa.org).
While the legislation will continue to be considered, surely the BSA’s standing could elevate critics’ concerns.
Meanwhile, various critics of such copyright legislation have argued that, if passed, laws would give federal authorities the ability to simply pull the plug on accused copyright violating internet sites without affording the accused a chance to defend, and/or correct their actions.
It’s also been contended that the legislation could hold hosting providers just as liable as the accused offender.
Why do some see this as bad? It’d be a difficult task for a provider to monitor any possible copyright violation done through a client base that could include hundreds-of-thousands of users.
Then, most importantly, there’s the innovation issue. Could such legislation actually stifle the prospect of up and coming tech companies looking to expand their presence on the world-wide-web? For example, what if similar legislation had applied to a company like YouTube when it was just getting started? Could the popular video site have fallen under litigation with the effect of harming its growth? Such questions are legitimate in the minds of the bills’ critics.
A Variety of Supporters & Opponents
In the past, supporters of SOPA have been reported to include the likes of the RIAA, Viacom, the Motion Picture Association of America and more. However, the bills’ opponents have ranged from the small hosting providers to top internet giants including Google, Facebook, and more.