The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), aimed to combat online piracy against foreign websites, has created much controversy and debate over the past month. Proponents of the bill say it will protect intellectual property in the U.S. market, but Google and other tech giants say this is “Internet censorship,” which could depress investment.
“The solutions are draconian. There’s a bill that would require ISPs to remove URLs from the Web, which is also known as censorship last time I checked.”
-Google chairman Eric Schmidt
Introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Lamar Smith [R-TX] on Oct. 26, the bill would punish Web companies for hosting unauthorized copyrighted content, including music, movies and software.
Google and eight other Internet companies wrote a formal complaint to lawmakers on Nov. 15, expressing their concerns for SOPA.
Here is the list of the nine companies opposing the bill in the written statement:
- AOL Inc.
- eBay Inc.
- Facebook Inc.
- Google Inc.
- LinkedIn Corporation
- Mozilla Corp.
- Twitter, Inc.
- Yahoo! Inc.
- Zynga Game Network
Although these Web companies support the well-intentioned goals of the bill, they state “the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of web sites.”
In addition, they believe that if SOPA and the similar PROTECT IP Act pass, this would deter economic growth and job creation for the U.S.
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