The news this week has revolved heavily around SOPA – the Stop Online Piracy Act. The bill aimed to help US law enforcement agencies and copyright holders fight piracy online. The aggressive bill would basically allow the government to shut down sites that violate online piracy. (For a closer look, we wrote a break down of SOPA a few days ago.)
While many websites like Google and Twitter do not support SOPA a report from The Next Web shows how the lines can be drawn from some big players on the Internet that have no commented publically on SOPA but do have ties to the controversial bill.
Here’s how Alex Wilhelm breaks it down with Microsoft.
Microsoft’s official stance is “no comment” on SOPA but when you dig a little further there are lines easily drawn between the two. Microsoft (along with 28 other companies) is a major player in the Business Software Alliance and the BSA supports SOPA. This allows Microsoft and other companies to support the SOPA legislation in a roundabout way. (Here is the full list of companies supporting the BSA)
SOPA and the Protect-IP act have been getting lumped together and causing some confusion. While Protect-IP is in many ways the grandfather of SOPA, there are some clear differences. Protect-IP was designed to target the website that was hosting the pirated content, but SOPA goes as far to allow for government involvement. ibTimes hosts a great break down of some things that you should be aware of when it comes to SOPA. One of the biggest unspoken concerns is the possibility of SOPA only encouraging monopolies on the internet.
The hope is to have SOPA taken care of by the end of the year and while the future of SOPA is not yet determined – the bigger question of what will come of the Internet remains.