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Apple, Microsoft Support That Awful Online Censorship Act

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This week, Donn Perez Fresard laid out the noble opponents to the oppressive Stop Online Piracy Act -- a bill which allows the government to shut down and blacklist websites at its discretion under the guise of hosted pirated material. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt called SOPA "draconian" and "censorship," with Facebook, AOL, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo, eBay, LinkedIn, and Zynga following suit. Summing up the sentiments of the millions of web users against the bill, the tech giants penned an open anti-SOPA letter in the New York Times. It reads:

We support the bills' stated goals -- providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign "rogue" websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new and uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites. We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry's continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation's cybersecurity. We cannot support these bills as written and ask that you consider more targeted ways to combat foreign "rogue" websites dedicated to copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism that has made the Internet such an important driver of economic growth and job creation.

One issue merits special attention. We are very concerned that the bills as written would seriously (DMCA) to provide a safe harbor for Internet companies that act in good faith to remove infringing content from their sites. Since their enactment in 1998, the DMCA's safe harbor provisions for online service providers have been a cornerstone of the U.S. Internet and technology industry's growth and jeopardize a foundational structure that has worked for content owners and Internet companies alike information lawfully online.

There are some, however, in the tech biz who support the measure -- indirectly, or otherwise -- in full.

Who exactly?

Oh, small upstarts like Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe.

According to The Next Web's Alex Wilhelm, no less than 29 companies are members of the Business Software Alliance, a group which commended the measure and hopes to see it into fruition. And the BSA regard Microsoft and Apple as major players. Recently, the group issued this bulletin:

The Business Software Alliance today commended House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for introducing the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (H.R. 3261) to curb the growing rash of software piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft that are being perpetrated by illicit websites.

Not exactly ambivalent, is it?

As Wilhelm notes, it's safe to assume that each of the following "dues-paying" members of the BSA support the Stop Online Piracy Act unless they publicly distance themselves from it. When Microsoft was asked its thoughts on the matter, its response was "no comment."

Unless otherwise noted, expect the same from the following BSA members:
  • Adobe
  • Apple
  • Autodesk
  • AVG
  • Bentley Systems
  • CA
  • Cadence Design Systems
  • CNC Software – Mastercam
  • Compuware
  • Corel
  • Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation
  • Dell
  • Intel
  • Intuit
  • Kaspersky
  • McAfee
  • Microsoft
  • Minitab
  • Progress Software
  • PTC
  • Quark
  • Quest
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Siemens PLM Software, Inc.
  • Sybase
  • Symantec
  • TechSmith
  • The MathWorks

(See also: 10 Ways to Improve Google Music and Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure)

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