Microsoft Finally Makes It Official That It Opposes SOPA.... As Written

from the note-the-caveat dept

Early on, Microsoft was a quiet -- but definite -- supporter of PIPA. When it came to SOPA, however, apparently had concerns... though it never said anything publicly, until now. On the eve of mass blackouts and protests, Microsoft has released a weak statement about how it opposes the bill "as written," which is somewhat meaningless, given that the bill is about to undergo a revision any way. Notice, too, that they only say SOPA... and not PIPA? Is it really that hard for Microsoft to realize that the whole concept behind these bills is broken? Or is Microsoft just confirming for us that it's past the "innovation" stage of its lifespan, and now moved on to the death spiral of "protecting the way things used to be?"


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2012 @ 7:17pm

    Micro$oft.

    That is all.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    blaktron (profile), Jan 17th, 2012 @ 7:22pm

    I think its a bit more nuanced than that. MS is the largest provider of DNS services to US corporate clients (anyone running Active Directory uses MS DNS somewhere).

    Regardless of their views, personal or corporate, on DNS blocking (or anything of that nature, redirection, signing etc) their customers MUST be confident that they will always be compliant of US law while using MS DNS products.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Jean-Marc Giffin, Jan 17th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    It's quite significant that Microsoft has said anything at all, and I think even just a small statement like that speaks volumes against it. I'm happy that they have officially said they oppose the bill, however brief the statement.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 17th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    Thanks

    Now its only rats fleeing a sinking ship.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2012 @ 8:17pm

    Calls into question Google's preposterous claims of the extraordinary burden of search engine blocking. MS a both a victim of piracy and a search engine sees the situation in a balanced fashion and makes the right decision. Again, Google simply has no significant content business so it invents reasons why it cannot be subject to regulation. Should make for an interesting hearing with MS explaining why they can and Google explaining why it can't.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Liz (profile), Jan 17th, 2012 @ 8:26pm

    Re:

    Again, Google simply has no significant content business so it invents reasons why it cannot be subject to regulation.


    A simple "Google" search brings up this list:

    Deja.com
    Pyra Labs-Blogger
    Neotonic Software-for CRM
    Applied Semantics-for search
    Kaltix Corp-for context sensitve search
    Genius Labs-for blogging
    Ignite Logic-web templates for law firms
    Picassa-digi photo management
    Keyhole Group-digital mapping
    Where 2 Technologies-digital mapping
    ZipDash-maps and traffic for mobile devices
    2Web Technologies-spreadsheets
    Urchin-metrics/analytics
    Dodgeball-mobile social networking
    Reqwireless Inc.-Java browser
    Current Communications Group-broadband internet
    Android-software for mobile phone o/s
    Transformic Inc-search engine for deep/invisible web
    Skia-graphics software engineering
    DMarc Broadcasting-digital radio broadcasting
    Measure Map-analytics for blogs
    Upstartle-Writely, document editor for the web
    @Last Software-SketchUp 3D modeling
    Orion-Referral search engine
    Neven Vision-automatic information extraction from jpgs
    Jotspot Ind-wiki platform for websites
    YouTube-online video company
    Endoxen-geomapping software
    Xunlei-filesharing app for the web
    Adscape Media-in-game advertising
    Gapminder's Trendalyzer-presentation software
    Doubleclick-ad platform for the web
    Tonic Systems-document conversion technology
    Marratech-video conferencing technology
    Green Border Technologies-secure web browsing tech
    Panoramio-photo site sharing for Google Earth
    Feedbumer-RSS feed distribution analytics and management
    GrandCentral-mobile voice management
    Postini-communications security and compliance

    Last I checked, that counts as "content."

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

    Death Spiral? With their cash, the M$ will outlast my life, assuming I make it to the average age (at least 40 years).

    If anything, they'll turn into a Intellectual Ventures type of camp, buying patents and filing suits.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    ervserver (profile), Jan 17th, 2012 @ 8:36pm

    re

    This would be much more impressive had Microsoft had made this announcement via the Twitter Choir

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

    Re:

    Your desperation is so sad, TAM. I look forward to seeing your increasingly laughable excuses every time the laws your bosses pay for suffer another blow.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    MahaliaShere (profile), Jan 17th, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    So they wait til hours before the blackout before going "hey, me too!"

    Sure, I believe you MS.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2012 @ 9:54pm

    Just jumping on the opposition band wagon. Meetoosoft.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2012 @ 9:59pm

    How About BSA

    OK, so Microsoft is against SOPA/PIPA. They could be a bit more strident about it. How about their creature, BSA (Business Software Association)? BSA is the IP enforcement arm of mostly Microsoft.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:17am

    Gonna ask the obvious: when has Micros~ ever been in an "innovation" stage of its lifespan?

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 3:40am

    Re:

    "MS a both a victim of piracy and a search engine sees the situation in a balanced fashion and makes the right decision."

    Yes, they are against it.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 4:12am

    Don't they realize how this will affect them?

    They probably think Google is the only one with something to lose, but MS operates a search engine and cloud storage among other services so they have as much at stake as anyone else.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 4:39am

    Re:

    You can't be serious? They definitely earned their keep by developing DOS and Windows, particularly back when Unix was a complete motherbitch to figure out and Linux was just a twinkle in some programmer's eye. Really for the average user the only other option was to buy a mac and deal with a rather closed system involving a mouse with only 1 button.
    Can you imagine that lady in the office with the cutesy puppy calendar trying to learn Unix just to make spreadsheets?
    With office and other products I'd say they've continued to do good things. I don't want to stick up for the monopolistic tactics used against companies, particularly ones like Netscape, but I'm glad that we have somewhat of a standard for office document files, and that isn't some terrible output of a company like Lotus, Real, Adobe, etc. MS just plain makes a better product. Things may be changing with OpenOffice on the scene now but really you can't deny what they have accomplished.

    I also feel like the hardware division has done very well for itself, right up at the top with Logitech, Sony, Apple, etc. Not really setting new standards there yet AFAIK. Wait, .net is a cross platform microcontroller OS. Yep, still innovating. I'm still salty about the new xbox menu though, I really WANT to hate them, but you can't deny what they've done.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    Please, this is the weakest of statements from them.

    In comparison to google, where's *anything* on bing's homepage about SOPA?

    Nowhere, because they're dinosaurs of technology.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    They are no longer going to support the bill, but they supported it longer than they did Vista so that's a bonus

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    DNY (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    MS, Supply and Demand and SOPA

    You can't really expect any business whose business model depends on artificial scarcity created by government intervention (in the form of monopoly grants called "copyrights" and "patents") to wholeheartedly oppose these measures. Microsoft is only doing this so as not to alienate customers: they, like Hollywood, the recording industry and dead-tree publishers, have failed to adopt the CwF + RtB business model and remain a lawsuit factory.

    Such businesses would rather infringe civil liberties and destroy the internet than succumb to the law of supply and demand that naturally drives the cost of any good which can be produced in arbitrary quantity at near zero marginal cost (which includes not just digitized text, audio, images, and video, but software) inexorably toward zero. But that law exists and SOPA, PIPA or any other bill of that ilk will not repeal it.

    "Piracy" is not theft (since copyrights and patents aren't actually property -- if they were they'd be of infinite duration as actual property doesn't suddenly become public simply by virtue of the passage of time, and copying does not deprive those who had a copy of their copy as theft of property does), but the inevitable black market (in copies of digital goods) created by government intervention in the economy.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re:

    "In comparison to google, where's *anything* on bing's homepage about SOPA?"

    The site was probably written in Visual Studio, it will take them a month to make the change and replicate it out. By then the protest will be over ;)

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re:

    "They definitely earned their keep by developing DOS"

    They bought DOS, windows was copied from Xerox Parc, every app they have was copied from someone else. The only reason they exist is because they got there early, and used questionable business practices.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "...but I'm glad that we have somewhat of a standard for office document files..."

    That is a joke as well. Their own programs can't even open documents of older versions of same program.

    Probably why the Government is still using older PCs' with older programs.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    I said it before and I'll say it again. Microsoft will cease to exist as a meaningful tech company within 10 years and with over 60,000 patents, will go on to becone the worlds biggest patent troll. Book it.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You've covered the development time, but what about getting together the specifications for the change... need to make sure all the stakeholders are aligned... don't forget about the QA time and there'd probably be a public beta or tech demo out for a while I'd think more like Q4 or even Q1 2013

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    The Luke Witnesser, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:59am

    Here lies the truth about SOPA/PIPA that even TechDirt has yet to report: what MPAA, RIAA, and Hollywood execs do not want you to see.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzS5rSvZXe8

    The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even their outmoded business model.

    Hint: can you say, do as I say so I can crush you under heel?

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This