SOPA Needs Work to Address Innovation Considerations

posted by in Piracy November 21, 2011
Nov 21

When House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith and his bipartisan cosponsors last month introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), I said in a press statement that the bill would have to balance key innovation, privacy and security considerations with the need to thwart the threat rogue websites pose before BSA can give its support to SOPA.  This remains the case.

Last week, when the Committee held a hearing on SOPA, I listened carefully to Members’ statements and questions as to how this balance would be achieved. It is evident from what I heard that much work remains ahead for the Committee.

I believe the bill’s basic goals should be to promote creativity — something software and computer companies are very good at — while deterring bad actors that profit from selling copies of software and other works they do not own. BSA firmly believes these goals are compatible and achievable.

The idea behind SOPA, as Chairman Smith explained at last week’s hearing, is to remove pirates’ ability to profit from their theft. We think that is the right approach as long as it is done with a fine touch.

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 that 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.

BSA stands ready to work with Chairman Smith and his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to resolve these issues.

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36 Responses

  1. anonymous says:

    Or a better idea would be to drop SOPA ALL TOGETHER!!! Seriously, this is going to do NOTHING to fight piracy. If the bill passes, people who pirate will still find ways to pirate software, no exception. Obviously, pirates don’t care about laws, and if new ones passes, it still won’t stop them All this will do is put innocent computer users in jail and punish people who don’t even pirate.

    This is coming from someone who buys their software, movies, games, and music legally, and never downloads illegally (I like the real deal). If this bill is passed, I could picture someone being thrown in jail just because they’re using a cartoon character they like as a forum icon or something, or in software case, doing a video tutorial to teach others.

    If rogue sites are an issue, why not educate consumers to buy from legit sources instead? I understand piracy is bad, but there has to be a better way than this bill. I don’t know, maybe go after the person who uploaded the said content. No need to block websites from innocent people, just because someone uploaded something to the net.

    I got to give BSA props for having a comment system to let one voice their concerns. The MPAA and RIAA blogs don’t even have comments (hmmm, I wonder why?)

  2. Justin Bailey says:

    Forgive me, Mr. Holleyman, for asserting that neither you nor the BS of A are interested in anything beyond the bottom line. What you consider to be piracy is technology beyond what you even understand. If you did have any idea of what the impact of your actions past and present were capable of destroying there would be no need for this formal (if not water-thin) commentary on your part.

  3. joe blow says:

    funny how it seems things like this that further lock down america and its progress seem very easy for america and the companies to accomplish, but fixing real problems like corruption and budgets within their own ranks is impossible.

    • Rubic says:

      It’s easier to blame others than to hold themselves accountable. Once you blame others, you then have justification to “protect” others, and if others can’t do that, then you then have to regulate and restrict them “for their own good.” Consider it redacted that I make a rude remark about the irresponsible legislators and corporations behind this piece of crap.

  4. Daniel says:

    Putting more and more barriers to the sharing of information and knowledgement only limits the progress of technology… I’m talking about software patents and licenses, since I support open source software and open source ideas.

  5. Your press statement does not even mention privacy. Maybe you should go back and revise it so that this revisionist blog post has some credibility?

  6. martin says:

    it is in the interest of dear governments to arbitrarly apply restrictive laws. and the world’s citizens are sick and tired of it. so is piracy. but as you might know the internet has not been developed to be controlled. it should stay this way. sopa reads like having been developed by people who never used the internet, people locked in stone age.

  7. Dr. Marcus Challin says:

    This is pure doublespeak and newspeak, where lack is white, yellow is purple, war is peace, and debt-based money is wealth.

    First, BSA comes out with absolutely joy, thunderous applause, and 1000% support of the legislation they have lobbied for and helped to freaking WRITE – http://www.bsa.org/country/News%20and%20Events/News%20Archives/en/2011/en-10262011-smithbill.aspx

    Then all heck breaks loose with the public outcry, protests, and complaints against the founding and member companies over this blantant attack on our rights, freedom, and liberty, helping the state to control us and our internet use.

    Now they back off, while still being 1000% behind the legislation. Read between the lines, people.

    The legislation does not need to be altered. It needs to be voted down, shredded, and burned, never to be thought of or spoken of again.

    If this legislation passes in ANY form, it will be a foot in the door they will incrementally amend in the following years and decades to eventually get everything they originally wanted… Complete control of our internet and us through it. Totalitarian China-like oppressive and tyrannical control.

  8. gabriel says:

    anyone who pirates should be suject to fines and or jail time

    im switching away from kapersky as my av its the princpal they dont wanna stop pirates from stealing there software making other customers pay thats a rip off

  9. Alan says:

    Dear BSA
    We will immediately stop any plans to purchase software from your vendors.Due to your companies stance on SOPA
    SOPA is anti Innovation.

  10. [...] month, BSA CEO Robert Holleyman said he believes that SOPA can promote creativity while deterring “bad actors”. Holleyman, however, added that “valid and important questions” remain and outlined a [...]

  11. SoftwareByDesign says:

    I’m currently 45 and have been involved with computers since I was 10 and back then there was no internet but there was still software piracy going on and laws like this are for one purpose to control that is all politician especially progressives aka liberals aka socialists want total control of the wealth of the nation of our healthcare of our lives. I can only hope all tech companies and individuals will reject any laws that give government trash like this current clown running the united states into the ground a foot hold to control the internet. The internet is the only source of truly free speech left and we need to protect that more than anything.

  12. [...] a critical mass. After the withdrawal of the support of the Business Software Alliance for SOPA in its present form, after initial enthusiasm, Go Daddy was the only high-profile recognisably Internet-based business [...]

  13. [...] reached a vicious mass. After a withdrawal of a support of a Business Software Alliance for SOPA in a benefaction form, after initial enthusiasm, Go Daddy was a usually high-profile recognisably Internet-based business [...]

  14. [...] a critical mass. After the withdrawal of the support of the Business Software Alliance for SOPA in its present form, after initial enthusiasm, Go Daddy was the only high-profile recognisably Internet-based business [...]

  15. [...] it looks like there’s tension even within copyright circles. BSA President Robert Holleyman says that “valid and important questions have been raised” about the bill, and that [...]

  16. [...] last month when the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a former staunch supporter, published a blog post indicating it had some reservations on the pending [...]

  17. [...] anti-virus and confidence businessman Kaspersky has customarily hesitantly voiced concerns about a US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and had formerly advocated a act. Kaspersky will cancel a [...]

  18. No firewall says:

    Any type of Internet censorship is a bad idea. It doesn’t matter how targeted. If you don’t like what someone is doing on the Internet, get their servers shut down. Building a Great Firewall of America is not the answer. It is 100% likely to be abused, no matter how you reword the bill for “a fine touch”.

    Copyright is a good idea, but it’s ultimately an expedient legal fiction, not a true right. Enforcement of copyright is not important enough to sacrifice our natural human rights.

  19. [...] legislation is also rapidly losing whatever supporters it once had. The Business Software Alliance formally withdrew its support for the legislation, as has the website hosting service GoDaddy.com. [...]

  20. [...] SOPA Needs Work to Address Innovation Considerations; Business Software Alliance; November 21, [...]

  21. [...] SOPA Needs Work to Address Innovation Considerations; Business Software Alliance; November 21, [...]

  22. [...] “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,” BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman wrote on the BSA blog. [...]

  23. [...] November, the Business Software Alliance, which counts Microsoft as one of its members, pulled its previous support of the Stop Online Piracy Act. At the time many media outlets suggested that meant Microsoft was [...]

  24. [...] meddelade sitt stöd för SOPA. Kort efteråt drog BSA tillbaka sitt stöd och förklarade via ett blogginlägg att de båda förslagen behöver genomgå en omarbetning för att försäkra sig om att de nya [...]

  25. [...] denunciation stays as good extended even after tweaking. Even a Business Software Alliance agreed in November which “definitions of who can be a theme of authorised actions as good as what remedies have [...]

  26. [...] targeted; language remains too broad even after tweaking. Even the Business Software Alliance agreed in November that “definitions of who can be the subject of legal actions and what remedies are imposed [...]

  27. [...] SOPA Needs Work to Address Innovation Considerations; Business Software Alliance; November 21, [...]

  28. [...] the BSA later backtracked in a November 21, 2011 blog post after the Internet industry started to raise multiple concerns with the [...]

  29. [...] “SOPA and PIPA, as deliberate in committee, did not grasp a indispensable balance,” pronounced Holleyman, who summarized BSA’s concerns with SOPA in a November blog post. [...]

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