While there have been a a couple of politicians
speaking out against the very questionable PROTECT IP Act
, we hadn't heard much from various companies that would be seriously impacted by the law. Thankfully, they're starting to speak up, starting with Google. Eric Schmidt warned that passing PROTECT IP would set a "disastrous precedent" for free speech
, and that Google would fight against it passing, and suggested the company would fight the law in court if it did pass:
"I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems," he said. "So, 'let's whack off the DNS'. Okay, that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say 'I don't like free speech so I'll whack off all those DNSs' -- that country would be China.
"It doesn't seem right. I would be very, very careful about that stuff. If [the UK government] do it the wrong way it could have disastrous precedent setting in other areas."
Of course, the problem here is that those in favor of PROTECT IP don't seem to understand the technology that they're regulating. So they don't realize that they're trying to create a "simple solution to complex problems," and don't recognize that they're effectively breaking the internet and infringing on free speech rights. It's not because they don't like free speech. It's because they don't understand what they're doing, and lobbyists for the entertainment industry insist this is needed to "fight piracy." The problem is that this won't "fight piracy" and will have massive unintended consequences. It's good that Google is willing to make this an issue.