Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Apple and Microsoft-backed BSA acknowledges that SOPA “needs work”

The Business Software Alliance, an industry trade group backed by Apple, Microsoft and over two dozen other tech companies, has admitted that SOPA needs work and that important questions have been raised about it.

As The Next Web uncovered last week, the BSA were formerly proponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Due to its involvement, the companies that are members of the BSA were complicit in supporting SOPA. We don’t like to draw conclusions where it is difficult to trace their origin, but it’s easy to posit that the publicizing of this connection on the part of these tech companies to SOPA lit some fires at the BSA.

To that end, BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman posted a notice outlining its concerns about SOPA.

“It is evident from what I heard that much work remains ahead for the Committee,” said Holleyman, after listening to statements from BSA members, continuing by stating that “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.”

Holleyman goes on to say that in order to ensure that due process and free speech rights aren’t compromised, the restrictions of SOPA must be tightened and narrowed.

“Some observers have raised reasonable questions about whether certain SOPA provisions might have unintended consequences in these areas,” he writes, “BSA has long stood against filtering or monitoring the Internet.”

So it looks like the BSA has revised its stance on SOPA, which is great news. The bill as it stands is fundamentally flawed and needs a deft touch if it is not to have a serious impact on our internet freedoms. You can read our rundown of SOPA and why it’s so detrimental.

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