Microsoft's Cold Feet Over SOPA Behind BSA's 'Rethinking' Its Views

from the tech-turn-around dept

One of the big surprises this week was that the normally "maximalist" organization, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) -- basically the RIAA of software -- did an abrupt and unexpected turnaround on SOPA. While it had been close to gushing in its initial support, it backed that down quite a bit, noting that the bill would likely have unintended consequences that needed to be dealt with. Behind that shift? Apparently Microsoft. Microsoft, who has been quite aggressive on copyright (and patent) enforcement lately, has always publicly supported these bills, in contrast to nearly all of the rest of the tech industry. However, even it appears to recognize that SOPA goes way too far, and apparently had a little discussion with the BSA about backing down.

Equally interesting in that article? Even AT&T appears to be quietly pushing back against SOPA:
Microsoft isn't the only company to embrace Protect IP yet have reservations about SOPA. Tim McKone, AT&T's executive vice president of federal relations, told CNET last week that "we have been supportive of the general framework" of Protect IP. But when it comes to SOPA, all AT&T would say is that it is "working constructively with Chairman Smith and others toward a similar end in the House."
To say this is unlike AT&T would be an understatement. It's been expected all along that they would support whatever was proposed on the SOPA/PIPA front. Apparently, now that they've taken the time to actually understand what the bill proposes, they recognize how it goes way, way too far...
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Filed Under: copyright, protect ip, sopa
Companies: at&t, bsa, microsoft


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2011 @ 2:39pm

    I think the thought of a lot of whining artists that don't know the ABC let alone the law may have scared them a bit.

    Think about it, anyone can ask financial service providers to cut off anybody, that part alone can bring down any website specially those for profit, Bing, Hotmail, Facebook and others services could all become targets of relentless SOPA action for the reminder of their existence, Microsoft, Google and Facebook may be off the hook with the AG but Graiglist would be a preferred target for them, anybody remember the hookers-ads affair, now every single website out there will have to be careful since the AG can just put them in those "pirate" lists and send them to be rubber stamped by a judge and they would claim ignorance or just an error if they got caught and nothing would happen.

    What happens to companies when they get into disputes with the government?

    Can an AG be instructed to mess with Amazon because they are against being taxed to force them to pay whatever the government wants?

    Some labels today make most of their revenue from digital, can they be forced to pay taxes to other states?

    This is just glorious, SOPA doesn't affect pirates, but it does affect every business out there, the only way to scape it is to move to another country and stay the hell away from the US.

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