More And More Internet Infrastructure Players Coming Out To Say How Bad SOPA/PIPA Are

from the anyone-support-it? dept

We've noted in the past that most of the people who actually understand the basic internet infrastructure have come out against SOPA and PIPA. That includes both individuals and companies (such as OpenDNS and Dyn), but it appears that we may be reaching a tipping point with tons and tons of internet infrastructure companies speaking out against these bills. We've already talked about the massive GoDaddy backlash... but it's interesting to note that many registrars and hosting companies are using this as an opportunity to speak out against SOPA and PIPA. Hover, Dreamhost, NameCheap and Name.com have all made explicit statements on their blogs. Back in the DNS space, EasyDNS has written a blistering anti-SOPA post on its blog:

If this becomes law, it's a short stretch from SOPA to NODA (No Online Dissent Anywhere) and if you think I'm a nutcase for saying so, I'd like to remind everybody what happened just over a year ago, when US politicians were tripping over themselves to shut down wikileaks (a royal fiasco in which this company was embroiled) and to this day, they have not been charged with a crime anywhere.

Many of the "dirty tricks" employed against Wikileaks would be enshrined in law under SOPA (and someday, NODA):

  • A requirement that service providers block access to offending domains, including that they stop resolving their DNS
  • Search engines to purge search results for offending domains
  • Payment processors to sever ties to offending domains

And they added an extra provision that it will be an offense to knowingly create a service or system to provide a workaround to a banned domain or host. So for example, they would no longer have to hassle Mozilla to remove that firefox plugin that lets you reach ICE blocked websites, it would be illegal to make it or distribute it.

And that's not all. As if to drive home the point, a relatively new group called the SaveHosting Coalition just came out with a letter signed by over 300 execs involved in internet infrastructure companies, saying they're against SOPA. The full letter, embedded below, is well worth a read. It's quite comprehensive, and basically makes it quite clear that SOPA isn't just bad for internet infrastructure, but it's bad for jobs and the economy, as well as pretty much anyone who does anything online. Here's just a snippet:
We write to express that, after careful review of H.R.3261 - the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011 (SOPA), we believe that this legislation will lead to significant loss of high-wage, high-tech jobs in our industry and other industries that are directly or indirectly supported by our industry. This impact will diminish the attractiveness of U.S. companies to foreign customers, while also reducing the U.S. hosting industryís ability to compete with foreign competition within our own borders. Further, and of equal importance, weaknesses in SOPA may actually lead to less protection for intellectual property owners by undermining the stability of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Finally, SOPA undermines the U.S. judicial systemís reputation as a fair and transparent method of resolving business disputes.
It's getting more and more ridiculous for anyone to suggest that SOPA isn't harmful to the wider internet infrastructure, when pretty much anyone who knows anything about that infrastructure has come out against the bill.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    I can't keep track anymore with everyone coming out against it, even supposed supporters. Who is still for SOPA?

     

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  2.  
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    Beech, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    As heart warming at it is to see so many people and companies coming out to support the open web, it's heart breaking that even if it is defeated this year, next year there will be another bill just as bad, or maybe just a smidge better so as to look less insane by comparison. And if that doesnt pass it will show up again the next year, and again, and again, until the douchebags paying congress for them get their way. Every year they make their demands just a BIT less oppressive so they can say "Well, these other guys just dont want to compromise AT ALL!!!" and every time another bill comes up it will get just a bit harder to mobilize as much support. Look at all the opposition to this bill. Now, if the bill wasnt quite as bad as it is now, how many would be rallying against it? And if it gets brought back again next time, how many of those opposing are going to start seeing it as a 'boy who cried wolf' scenario and not take it as seriously? So every time it comes up, the MAFIAA's position seems slightly less ridiculous, and the defenders will get slightly more apathetic until it finally gets pushed through.

    Or it will just get attached as a rider to a completely unrelated bill and snuck through while no one is looking.

    But thats the real tragedy of our system, that something so blatantly unpopular can get shoved down the populaces throats just because a monied party demands it.

    Actually...the real real tragedy is after they get this bill, they'll be back asking for even more....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    Entitlement industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Steerpike (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    GoDaddy is out against the bill now, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    "such as OpenDNS and Dyn"

    Gee, what do these two companies have in common? They don't want to have to pay attention to their customers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    Or are they just awakening the public now to how much they are violating the public?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    "Finally, SOPA undermines the U.S. judicial systemís reputation as a fair and transparent method of resolving business disputes."

    I agree with everything except this. Since when did the U.S. judicial system have a reputation as a "fair and transparent method" for dealing with business disputes?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Estro, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    No, actually they aren't, if you read their PR or the gizmodo interview linked below. Even if they were against it, they can't change the fact that they helped draft it, nor that they testified in favor of PIPA.

    http://gizmodo.com/5870920/brave-godaddy-ceo-says-hes-neither-for-nor-against-sopa

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    And just what, exactly, leads you to that conclusion?

    DNS hosts nothing, has control over nothing. It's the road map, if you like, that lets you type in techdirt.com so you can come here and spew drivel without having to type the IP address octect.

    That being the case, then I guess you'd want to say the same thing about Rand-McNally for providing a road map you can use to find a crack house or the local Hell's Angels chapter house. Makes almost as much sense.

    DNS is a directory, same as the phone book, something which may also enable you to call a crack dealer, or the pizza delivery guy or whatever else.

    DNS is NOT content. It points to it, but it isn't the content itself. Without it, well, I'd suspect you wouldn't have found your way here because by complaining about "customers" you're saying the system is responsible for the domain name/IP address and not the myriad of registrars out there who, therefore, are responsible for what individual sites do, by your logic all of which means that they're responsible for whoever at the RIAA was pirating content and not the RIAA itself.

    Grow up and learn what makes up the internet.

    On second thought, just grow up. The rest can come later.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    It's so very sad that you're probably right.

    Though I must admit things are already going much better with SOPA that I expected they would initially.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Dave (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Meanwhile inside the beltway...

    ...Melvin Watt is thinking, "If all these nerds are so against this bill, why haven't any of 'em cut me a check yet?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    what a shame that of all those that have changed their stance on supporting SOPA to now not supporting it, very few seem to actually say which corporations/industries the Bill is meant to support, ie, the entertainment industries. i'll bet there are still a huge number of people that do not realise why this Bill is there in the first place.
    if someone is against it, dont just say why you are against it, say which industry is doing it's damnedest to bring it in (by lobbying, bribing, lying and cheating) and why that industry wants it, ie, to simply protect itself, nothing and no one else!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    US Congress logic: The death of one corporation is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    Gee, what do these two companies have in common? They don't want to have to pay attention to their customers.

    Cargo Cult comment!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    ken, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Pelosi has to protect the California Porn industry

    I guess the only supporters of of SOPA are the media and the Democrats they support. Pelosi is losing money because porn pirates are cutting into the revenue of her supporters. It is amazing that there are still industries who haven't figured out that copying and sharing information is now trivial, ubiquitous, and something most 10 year olds can do. Most industries have changed their business model to the 21st century. Backward industries and uneducated politicians are trying to mess up basic technology. That's why no mercury can be emitted by a power plant, but you get to break as many CFLS as you want in your house. Obamacare for technology and science ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re:

    Much as it doesn't seem that way at times to those who've grown up with it or the English common, civil and criminal law model it is far superior to most out there. Compared, say, to places like Russia.

    The fact that court is open is radically different that almost any other legal system that deals with business disputes and the fact that both parties get "heard" in that open forum is important.

    We may not like judgements, we may not like the idea of juries awarding kazillions to some "big entertainment" company after someone on a fixed pension if found liable and can never pay it off as distasteful but it DOES, mostly work.

    Outside of England, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand, the United States and others who have inherited this way of justice all of this is rare in the extreme. Perhaps only those areas using the Code Napoleon come close.

    So be thankful for what we have, as imperfect as it is. And will be far worse if SOPA/PIPA passes passes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    JaseP, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Who wouldn't testify in favor of Pipa, I personally thought she looked pretty smokin' in that bridesmaid dress ...


    Now, Protect IP, that's different ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    They're wriggling out of it as fast as they can.

    They're following the money, which, I suspect, is torrenting (as in river) out the door. Do I buy a bit of their sudden about face?

    Not in this life or, if I'm fortunate [or cursed] enough , the next several lives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re:

    May I borrow that? I promise to return it, cleaned up and so shiny you can see your reflection in it or use it to blind AC with.

    Thanks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Re:

    It's the death of Hollywood that would be tragic as guess who has filled 99.9999999999999999999% of the campaign funds of members of Congress? Who else would be SO generous!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Some Other AC (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Pelosi has to protect the California Porn industry

    While I agree with the basic sentiment in your post, your attack on a single political party is extremely narrow minded. One of the key players behind this bill(and main sponsor if I am not mistaken) is Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas(much as this shames a Texas citizen and native).

    Both parties are equally evident in backing this inane and utterly useless piece of legislation in addition to the Senate equivalent, Protect IP.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    NothingReally (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    I am.

    Look, I can "read between the lines" and know enough to say that the majority of those AGAINST SOPA have something to lose other than Freedom of Speech.

    Hosting sites are obviously concerned about being shut down for not checking if their consumers are distributing child pornography / illegal content.

    The "founders of the internet" is preposterous; Appeal to Authority -__-. Those working on the DNSSEC do have a point, but they aren't concerned in the slightest over security... that's just a layman's smoke screen.

    What they ARE concerned about is how much work they'll have to do to accommodate what the government wants to do.


    Just take a second to think here:
    DNS Spoofing is more likely to occur over "unsecure connections", open wifi, tunneling, or anything where a middleman is involved.

    Now the ISP's can be seen as a middle man... but they aren't going to redirect you. Rather, they're going to say "okay, this DNS entry is illegal... so we won't forward the request and send back a 404 error."

    In fact, since the ISPs are the final stop... internet securities don't really apply. Your ISP is a bit like a proxy... and if a proxy modifies the page content then the internet hasn't been broken.



    As far as the rest of the nonsense... about censorship (as if censoring copyrighted material is illegal), about how 1 illegal item means you can shut a page down (it doesn't... but if you don't take preventative measures and those items keep growing... well... that really is YOUR fault as a CONTENT HOST.)

    I mean, saying that Youtube shouldn't be responsible for the piracy that occurs is like saying that a movie theater shouldn't be responsible for playing downloaded movies (i.e. not paying licensing fees).

    YouTube makes MONEY (somehow) from people using it's service for illegal content.... and that is what this is about.

    Unless YouTube were to actually TRY to filter copyrighted material (which they said they don't want to even though they could) they're intentionally distributing it and using the DMCA as a cover.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Mike42 (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Pelosi has to protect the California Porn industry

    A dose of reality to anyone believing this guy's exagerations:
    http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cfl.asp

    P.S. You can also buy mercury and dump it in your house. You can even drink it if you want. You just can't dump it into the air and poison everyone around you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re:

    And yet, it's completely preposterous that YouTube could possibly be utilized as part of a more streamlined business model.

    Yet another attack on YouTube, who, I might add, COMPLY WITH THE CURRENT LAW. Give me a break.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Mike42 (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re:

    You're absolutely right. And banks should be responsible for any stolen money they recieve.
    I mean, all the money has serial numbers, right? If a bank gets a 5 that was stolen from a little old lady during a mugging, the bank should be shut down and the executives tried for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Mike42 (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re:

    This could rock if it were true. Maybe even wake people up to the fact that the public domain has been subverted, and get people to push for a more reasonable program? Like 14, even 20 years from filing date?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Since they never make any money on movies, they obviously aren't paying taxes.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could pay our taxes to whom we wish to vote/support?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    Looks like the list of SOPA supporters was taken off of the House's judiciary committee website. At the very least, all links in stories including it give "The system cannot find the file specified. "

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re:

    "What they ARE concerned about is how much work they'll have to do to accommodate what the government wants to do."

    What they are concerned about is how much it will cost them to protect someones Imaginary Property that does not do them one byte of good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re:

    And what exactly is it that you think this law will accomplish?

    Less piracy?
    More security?
    Better enforcement of copyright issues?

    I'll bet you 5 bucks that when this law is passed, within 1 or 2 years, Big Media will be back saying "this sopa stuff, it doesn't stop the pirates, we need more power!" At what point do you think it's enough?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    btw, I'm all for enforcement of copyright infringement, but not at the cost of freedom of speech. And YES, this law will harm freedom of speech. Just as much as the DMCA is being abused.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Music Liberty (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To play devil's advocate, how can copyright be consistent
    with free speech?

    Copyright in its essence is antithetical to free speech.

    You have the right to speak and communicate, but copyright place a state imposed limitation on the freedom to speak and the free flow of information.

    The only logical conclusion is the one which Rick Falkvinge has arrived at -- copyright enforcement is inconsistent with free speech and privacy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, they will probably sneak in a law called the felony interference with a business model law ... oh wait, that's called competition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re:

    "Though I must admit things are already going much better with SOPA that I expected they would initially."

    I agree with the president sure to sign it into law, after giving platitudes to the people signing the petition to prevent it. It kills two birds with one stone, removing a corrupt Chicago style politician from office, and putting the american version of the pirate party on the scene.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:01pm

    Re:

    That's just the state secrecy law in effect.
    Just like John Boehner cutting CSPAN video and microphone feeds from the House of Representatives.

    And no, you can't have those files through FOIA either. They'd just lie about its existence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    CraigB, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 11:17pm

    Re:

    Lol, Godaddy just changed CEOs, the guy going out left the new guy this pile of crap. Poor bastard, he's going to have a rough quarter. I don't feel very sorry though, GoDaddy is a terrible host.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 3:16am

    Re:

    That is why you should never give them money ever, people who support the end of democracy and freedoms should not ever be rewarded with money.

    That is why you should find legal alternatives or pirate things preferably in that order, just don't ever give them a dime ever.

    Eventually they run out of money, it can take a decade or two but they will end up in the gutter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 3:19am

    Re: Re:

    Angry Joe Vlog - Stop SOPA! one of the many people who makes money off of Youtube disagree with you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 4:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    By the way, if I was an American, I would be claiming all the expenses that a corporation can, since we're both " people."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re:

    "Those working on the DNSSEC do have a point, but they aren't concerned in the slightest over security... that's just a layman's smoke screen."

    Do you have any proof of that, or is this just your way of saying "I don't like what they're saying so I'll assume they have ulterior motives"?

    "Now the ISP's can be seen as a middle man... but they aren't going to redirect you. Rather, they're going to say "okay, this DNS entry is illegal... so we won't forward the request and send back a 404 error."

    ...which is why people will start using alternative DNS methods. Meanwhile, legitimate sites may be shut down in the same way.

    "DNS Spoofing is more likely to occur over "unsecure connections", open wifi, tunneling, or anything where a middleman is involved."

    Nobody is saying otherwise. Listening to the arguments actually being made helps.

    "I mean, saying that Youtube shouldn't be responsible for the piracy that occurs is like saying that a movie theater shouldn't be responsible for playing downloaded movies"

    No, it's absolutely nothing like that. I really wish people would at least think about their insanely flawed physical analogies - it took me microseconds to understand the flaws here.

    A cinema prescreens all the content it shows, only shows around 20-30 hours of content per week, and uses material sent directly to them by the studios. Many don't even screen independent product, let alone pirated material.

    Please explain how this is in any way analogous to a service that receives hours of footage *every second*, that can come from content owners and infringers alike and is impossible for a human being to prescreen (and a computer cannot be programmed to understand the subtleties of context). Bear in mind that fair use and public domain aspects have to be considered in your answer.

    "using the DMCA as a cover."

    Oh, another asshole who thinks that obeying the law is some kind of smokescreen, and thinks that (if the same logic is applied) that the postal service should be shut down because some people use it to send pirated DVDs. Never mind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Pelosi has to protect the California Porn industry

    I find it interesting, in a psychological way, when people display the effects of what I will call "political tunnel vision". The lack of objectivity in their interpretation of the world about them combined with the bias of prejudice results in what others see as ridiculous ranting and bigotry. One could probably write a thesis on this topic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re:

    YouTube currently makes money serving ads. On copyrighted content, that ad revenue is shared with the IP holders.

    The backlash isn't about extra work, it's about being able to shut down information without due process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    John, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    OH YA!!

    COME ON ALL PEOPLE BOYCOTT ANY COMPANY THAT SUPPORTS ANY KIND OF THESE BILLS WE CAN AND WE WILL BEAT THESE EVIL PEOPLE, WE AS ONE COME TOGETHER AND FIGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM ON THE INTERNET!!! MPAA/RIAA GO DIE AND GO TO HELL WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING YOU AND WIN!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 11:25pm

    Re:

    Someone download it from Google Cache and upload it elsewhere...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: MOOOAAARRRR PPPPOOOWWWEEERRR

    Captain: We need MOAR POWER
    Scottish accent: I'm giving her all she's got Captain.... These sopaium crystals are about to go critical and explode if we push them any harder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    P150HMB, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 4:53am

    Well, the solution to online piracy is very simple. The content people just need to make it easier for people to rent or buy it online than it is to pirate the stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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