Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Angers Top Web Companies

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By Justin Sarachik , Christian Post Reporter
November 17, 2011|11:05 pm

A new bill in Congress is in development that will work to eliminate internet piracy once and for all.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has not been met with excitement as heavy hitter web companies like Google and Facebook have expressed their dislike of the bill.

Supporting SOPA is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who represents around 2,200 firms including Google and the Consumer Electronics Association. But those two companies may follow Yahoo’s lead and leave, reports the Washington Post.

According to the bill, companies who have any pirated material, copyrighted movies, songs or software, showing up on their sites are to be held accountable for the content and legislation will come down hard on them.

The bill would be able to help the concerns of Hollywood studios, record labels, and publishing houses by cracking down to solve the piracy problems that have been plaguing them for years. Internet Piracy costs these media industry $135 billion in revenues each year, according to Chamber of Commerce's estimates.

Steve Tepp, chief counsel of intellectual property for the companies' Global IP Center said, "“This is a common-sense way forward that is good for the whole industry."

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“Given the fact that their mission is to grow the American economy, sponsoring legislation that would harm one sector that is perhaps the brightest spot of the economy is short-sighted,” said senior vice president of CEA Michael Petricone. “It makes one wonder what their membership will be like in the future.”

Other Web businesses are looking to follow suit and leave the Chamber of Commerce before they are held accountable for piracy. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Linked­In, eBay, and Mozilla are the biggest names fearing the bill and co-wrote a letter to the Chamber of Commerce expressing their concerns.

Executive vice president for government affairs for the Motion Pictures Association of America, Michael O'Leary said to the Washington Post, "Over 2 million Americans across all 50 states earn a living and support their families in jobs connected to the making of motion pictures and television shows. They deserve better than to see their work stolen out from under them by criminals out to make a profit. This legislation hits rogue sites where it hurts: their access to American consumers and to the financial services they use to make money.”

Tumblr, a popular blog social network site, placed censorship blocks along their users content in protest of the bill and in a statement said Congress was creating two "well-intentioned but deeply flawed bills."

"Doing nothing is not an option," said Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C, according to Fox News.

 

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