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?”

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Companies: microsoft

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Comments on “Microsoft Finally Makes It Official That It Opposes SOPA…. As Written”

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blaktron (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Liz (profile) says:

Re: 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:
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
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.”

Dave says:

Re: 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.

DNY (profile) says:

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.

The Luke Witnesser says:

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.

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?

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