(The Hosting News) – Lately, a closer focus has been placed on what effect current federal legislation might have on the web hosting industry.
A group called the Save Hosting Coalition has formed to better explain legislative issues, gather support in the community, and attempt to stop some things they see as possibly having very dire and negative consequences.
Particularly, at the heart of the matter, appears the Protect IP Act, a bill designed to stop copyright infringement on the world-wide-web. While such an issue is a legitimate concern for everyone following proper copyright ethics, the group sees the Act as holding the web host as too liable for monitoring the activity of an accused copyright offender.
With many web hosts having a customer base of more than a hundred thousand, surely such copyright monitoring on the part of the provider could get complicated.
The coalition also points out that PIPA (Protect IP Act) could shut down accused sites without notifying the accused violator beforehand. That way, no chance to defend, explain, or correct on the part of the accused can take place.
While shutting down legitimate offending sites is a must, the group just doesn’t see it as following through with what one could consider proper protocol. Meanwhile, the Protect IP act is supported by some of the biggest names in business including Microsoft, Walmart, the Recording Industry of America, and plenty more.
Despite big name support for the bill that at first glance appears to outweigh the opposition, those with legitimate concerns include internet giant Google, Yahoo, Visa Inc., and more.
Overall, the Save Hosting Coalition believes that, if passed, the bill could hurt the economics of the internet. Why? The group points to several reasons.
An extra burden on the web host could result in increased litigation costs. Secondly, the coalition points out that the move could deter innovation. Without proper due process, the group believes that the prosecution may not take a new web entity’s entire purpose into account before pulling the plug. The coalition points to innovators such as YouTube and Twitter as having prospered due to the current field of internet prosperity.
There’s also the issue of legal confusion as it pertains to web hosting customers outside the United States. Many outside the country rely on hosting and data centers within the U.S. for their hosting needs. Resulting legal confusion through the act could deter potential web hosting customers outside the country from participating within the hosting industry to a greater extent.
Meanwhile, the Save Hosting Coalition believes the legislation could diminish internet security (disrupting DNS), and undermine a previous act known as the the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
A Gathering of Support
Although the group has focused on other legislation initiatives as well, the Save Hosting Coalition has organized an online petition against the Protect IP Act. The petition is specifically addressed to bill sponsors Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-ID). Signees include people representing some of the industry’s most recognizable hosting companies, including SoftLayer, cPanel, Cloud Linux, and SingleHop, just to name a few.
For more information on the Save Hosting Coalition, visit: http://savehosting.org/pipapetition/#