The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is being steamrolled through the halls of (US) Congress and it has not held up against the public’s scrutiny. SOPA is a rather intimidating piece of legislation that all but hands over the right to prosecute “violators” for just about anything we do online; whether it’s a bad pop song cover or reviewing a video game – SOPA gives copyright holders sweeping powers to treat perceived offense as felonies.
Needless to say that this bit of legislation hasn’t been very popular with citizens of the internet (btw if you’re really unhappy with SOPA you should write or call your Representative instead of filling out online petitions) and has been met with tons of backlash. Though most of the criticism comes strictly from users, Kaspersky Lab – the antivirus and security vendor, has announced its decision to withdraw from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) for their support of SOPA. Kaspersky Lab’s decision is by no means a light one; the BSA includes tech heavies like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and Intel among others.
Kaspersky Lab cites the proposed law’s cleaver instead of a scalpel approach to combating piracy as being restrictive and hindering technological innovation. From a statement released by the company: “Kaspersky Lab would like to clarify that the company did not participate in the elaboration or discussion of the SOPA initiative and does not support it. Moreover, the company believes that the SOPA initiative might actually be counter-productive for the public interest, and decided to discontinue its membership in the BSA as of January 1, 2012.”
Hopefully Kaspersky Lab’s decision to leave the BSA can start a fire underneath some of the trade group’s other and more notable members and kill this piece of legislation.
Hat tip to Killahkazx