from the speak-up dept
David has now penned an open letter to Congress, which we've embedded below, asking Congress to reject SOPA and PROTECT IP as being extremely bad bills that will have massive unintended consequences, hurting jobs and internet security at the same time. Here are just a few excerpts:
It’s likely that if SOPA and PIPA existed when I started my company, we would have incorporated outside of the United States and all of the jobs and investment that I have put into the economy would have been taken elsewhere. I expect many businesses will make the decision to incorporate elsewhere should this legislation pass and it’s possible that existing corporations will relocate to more entrepreneur-friendly countries.It's difficult to argue that Ulevitch doesn't know what he talks about. He runs the largest DNS provider in the world. How much longer will Congress continue to ignore the people who actually understand the technology they're trying to regulate?
My company invented many of the specific techniques that SOPA and PIPA would require all domestic Internet Service Providers and companies like mine to employ. Needless to say, we understand the censorship technology being proposed in this legislation and we are deeply concerned. While the aims of protecting IP and reducing piracy are noble, there are many reasons why SOPA and PIPA are dangerous as currently written. Here are the three that impact my business most:
- It will, by definition, be overbroad, as there is no way to censor only illegal content without harming legitimate uses on sites as well. This is particularly true in light of the broad notion of “sites dedicated to infringing activity.”
- Through their requirements to block websites, these bills will create a domestic Internet firewall designed to censor websites equivalent to the “Great Firewall of China” that is used to suppress information. If we implemented such a solution we would be setting a terrible example for the rest of the world, including countries we criticize for the same behavior like Iran, Syria, and China.
- They will burden companies with an onerous level of liability for all user-generated content. What the bills propose would be akin to requiring the phone company to be responsible for the legality of every phone call that takes place. With that kind of regulation, companies will spend more on lawyers and litigation than they will on hiring and innovating. Existing laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act already provide a satisfactory legal framework to remove copyright infringement and enforce intellectual property rights.