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Red Hat: SOPA Threatens Innovation, Economic Growth

By - Source: Red Hat | B 22 comments

SOPA and PIPA in its current state threaten the innovation that drives open source projects.

Wednesday in a blog, Red Hat offered its two cents concerning the drama surrounding SOPA (House) and PIPA (Senate). The company points out that now isn't really the time to introduce the bills, as corporations, small independent companies and even the government itself is working hard to rebuild confidence in the American economy. Red Hat -- along with most of America -- worries that these two bills, if passed, could effect jobs and innovation nationwide. Not only could they break the Internet, they could break a fragile economy trying to recover.

"As America's – and the world's – largest and most successful provider of open source solutions and an S&P 500 company, Red Hat is proud to be headquartered in Raleigh," Red Hat said. "Our high-quality, affordable technology solutions are found throughout the mission-critical IT architecture of the financial, defense, transportation, telecommunications and most other industry sectors.
Our success and, increasingly, the economic success of our state is the product of the encouragement of open innovation and collaboration. A vital ingredient of this success involves leveraging the tremendous gains that the Internet has brought through online collaboration, software development and sharing of ideas."

"In a single generation, the Internet has transformed our world to such an extent that it is easy to forget its miraculous properties and take it for granted," Red Hat continues. "It's worth reminding ourselves, though, that our future economic growth depends on our ability to use the Internet to share new ideas and technology. Measures that block the freedom and openness of the Internet also hinder innovation. That poses a threat to the future success of Red Hat and other innovative companies. The sponsors of SOPA and PIPA claim that the bills are intended to thwart web piracy. Yet, the bills overreach, and could put a website out of business after a single complaint. Web sites would vanish, and have little recourse, if they were suspected of infringing copyrights or trademarks."

Red Hat hits the nail on the head. The bills would seemingly launch a virtual dictatorship that would allow enforcers to shoot first and ask questions later. However the good news is that there's growing opposition from all corners of the Web. The White House itself has even expressed serious concerns over the language used in the bills that "reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet."

"Six prominent Senators, including the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, who previously supported the bill called for delay in consideration of PIPA due to a variety of unresolved, outstanding issues," Red Hat reports. "On the House side, the Majority Leader has dashed the momentum of SOPA by delaying consideration until consensus is reached. SOPA and PIPA remain on the Congressional agenda, despite these developments. Even as legislators work to address the problems of 'rogue' web sites, Congress owes us a solution that addresses those concerns without killing the web’s economic engine and shutting down the future of innovation. SOPA and PIPA aren’t that solution."

"We all need to remain vigilant as work on these bills continues," the company concludes. "The momentum has slowed, but supporters of SOPA and PIPA continue to push hard. Opponents should make sure their representatives hear their voices."

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  • 19 Hide
    win7guru , January 19, 2012 5:32 PM
    I agree SOPA and PIPA are bad for the people.
  • 15 Hide
    lumberjack86 , January 19, 2012 5:22 PM
    These bills are just like any other prejudice in America. They don't like what they don't/can't understand, so lets just ruin the whole thing.
  • 11 Hide
    freggo , January 19, 2012 7:08 PM
    SOPA, if going thru, is going to backfire on so many levels, it is not going to be funny anymore.
    The moment you start blocking access to foreign websites you know there is going to be a retaliation.
    You block our sites, so we block yours.
    We have a lot to loose in this game and it is all to 'protect' the Limousine and Red Carpet world of poor musicians, Actors and Studios.

    How about for, say, 1 week we do not buy any music and do not go to any movie ?
    That's the kind of blackout that will get the attention of the right people.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    lumberjack86 , January 19, 2012 5:22 PM
    These bills are just like any other prejudice in America. They don't like what they don't/can't understand, so lets just ruin the whole thing.
  • 19 Hide
    win7guru , January 19, 2012 5:32 PM
    I agree SOPA and PIPA are bad for the people.
  • -5 Hide
    nikorr , January 19, 2012 5:42 PM
    One word. Cool!
  • 10 Hide
    huron , January 19, 2012 5:58 PM
    Well said Red Hat...not only are these bills bad for our freedoms (which apparently many lawmakers don't seem to be all that concerned about), but it could drastically impact the economy of anyone not associated with the RIAA and MPAA.
  • 10 Hide
    Yuka , January 19, 2012 6:01 PM
    "Measures that block the freedom and openness of the Internet also hinder innovation".

    Swap "internet" to "world" and we can start talking about the broken and over-ill-mannered-abused IP system.

    Well, fight for your rights, USA people! Don't let the un-educated old dogs go shooting with blind eyes.

    Cheers!
  • 4 Hide
    hoof_hearted , January 19, 2012 6:15 PM
    So how exactly does this SOPA bomplaint process work?

    If someone makes an infringement complaint, who do they complain to? What kind of proof do they have to provide to substantiate their complaint? Some new govt agency?

    What level is this enforced at to block an "offender"? A DNS block? Won't this just make USA based DNS useless and people will turn to foreign DNS by default? Will ISPs just not do DNS after time? Will they have some sort of "hard" block in place that inspects packets? Can't encrypted proxies and such work around this? What about Tor? Will the US have to use DPI to actually enforce this? It seems all of this cat and mouse has already been addressed with the GFC.

    Or is this going to be done more by the "law" approach? Serving subpeonas and such. And I wonder how this would work if you are remoting to a foreign computer outside of US law.
  • 0 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , January 19, 2012 6:47 PM
    I have an idea, why don't we just hire a bunch of government officials to go to peoples house's and watch them while they use the internet to make sure they don't pirate stuff.... we'll call it "poopa"
  • 11 Hide
    freggo , January 19, 2012 7:08 PM
    SOPA, if going thru, is going to backfire on so many levels, it is not going to be funny anymore.
    The moment you start blocking access to foreign websites you know there is going to be a retaliation.
    You block our sites, so we block yours.
    We have a lot to loose in this game and it is all to 'protect' the Limousine and Red Carpet world of poor musicians, Actors and Studios.

    How about for, say, 1 week we do not buy any music and do not go to any movie ?
    That's the kind of blackout that will get the attention of the right people.
  • 3 Hide
    captaincharisma , January 19, 2012 7:17 PM
    freggoSOPA, if going thru, is going to backfire on so many levels, it is not going to be funny anymore.The moment you start blocking access to foreign websites you know there is going to be a retaliation.You block our sites, so we block yours.We have a lot to loose in this game and it is all to 'protect' the Limousine and Red Carpet world of poor musicians, Actors and Studios.How about for, say, 1 week we do not buy any music and do not go to any movie ?That's the kind of blackout that will get the attention of the right people.


    well not going to the movies will be easy considering there are no good movies coming out for months at the most. and don't start with the star wars 3D crap remakes. they are a joke
  • 3 Hide
    bearracuda , January 19, 2012 7:57 PM
    captaincharismawell not going to the movies will be easy considering there are no good movies coming out for months at the most. and don't start with the star wars 3D crap remakes. they are a joke


    Well, that's exactly what he means. Those are exactly the type of movies we'd want to boycott. They're utterly blatant cashcows being put out purely for the sake of lining the studio's pocket. Actors and musicians these days get a PITTANCE compared to the total profit from albums and movies. (Though a Pittance from projects like those are still about 10 times more than the average american makes...) All the money goes to the studio, the publisher, or the record label. Which is why they have no hesitations about shoving more piles of crap down our throat and jacking up the price every time they do it.
  • 3 Hide
    fritters , January 19, 2012 9:09 PM
    I pirated The Thing (2011.) I would never have bought it. I don't know what the ending was because while it was playing on my right monitor, I was playing Terraria on the left one. If it wasn't an option for me to so easily pirate it, I would never have seen it at all.
    There are more alternatives to pirating every movie, album, and video game than just simply buying it all. The whole world doesn't exist to consume what the entertainment industry is selling (though they seem to think so.)
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , January 19, 2012 9:10 PM
    hoof_heartedIf someone makes an infringement complaint, who do they complain to? What kind of proof do they have to provide to substantiate their complaint? Some new govt agency?

    Last read, no proof needed, only a simple complaint.

    hoof_heartedOr is this going to be done more by the "law" approach? Serving subpeonas and such. And I wonder how this would work if you are remoting to a foreign computer outside of US law.

    The law will be enforced by government controlled servers/switches/routers....same way China filters web content.
  • 2 Hide
    mugiebahar , January 19, 2012 10:07 PM
    Microsoft should come out and say publicly they oppose SOPA and PIPA. If they do it I think you"ll hear abig ripple. Hell they owe their sucsses to piracy, and now that they became the big guy they should realize that it "piracy" put them there. Im not saying dont pay for things, heck i buy every lil program, song and everything now as an adult but when your a kid you test boundries and hey down load something you shouldnt have. but what you gonna put kids in jail? MPAA put out good (not rehashed movies) RiAA make good songs and a full cd worth buying( then buying 1 song like what everyone does on itunes now wouldn't have happened) If you make it worth peoples while and cheap enough that it wont kill you to buy it you"ll make your money. Also 15-20 years ago software was very expensive because not everyone had a computer and it took a long time to make. Now with the internet and billions of people having computers, and tools to make software that much easier yoo cannot expect people to pay the same for it. Hell software should look at hardware as the prim example. its dirt cheap and throw away. just like software. 1-2 years and you need a new one. so should be priced as such. price like toilet paper. everyone buys toilet paper almost nobody steals that.
  • -1 Hide
    unther , January 19, 2012 11:05 PM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , January 20, 2012 4:35 AM
    untherhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc


    Don't put up a link without a short explanation what it is about.
    It's just plain uncourteous.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 20, 2012 6:19 AM
    Good luck to you, people! We in Europe are already doomed - our SOPA (called ACTA) was already hideously voted in December.
  • 0 Hide
    unther , January 20, 2012 11:07 AM
    freggoDon't put up a link without a short explanation what it is about.It's just plain uncourteous.

    Sorry about that, the guy is basically going about how CNET a division of CBS had the exclusive right to distribute the file sharing programs that started all this mess in the first place
  • 2 Hide
    ojas , January 20, 2012 11:16 AM
    freggoSOPA, if going thru, is going to backfire on so many levels, it is not going to be funny anymore.The moment you start blocking access to foreign websites you know there is going to be a retaliation.You block our sites, so we block yours.We have a lot to loose in this game and it is all to 'protect' the Limousine and Red Carpet world of poor musicians, Actors and Studios.How about for, say, 1 week we do not buy any music and do not go to any movie ?That's the kind of blackout that will get the attention of the right people.

    I have another idea that builds on yours. If the bills pass, you people could post a chart from Tom's Hardware on the MPAA/RIAA's site, and then Bestofmedia could claim copyright infringement. Ka-boom.
  • 2 Hide
    Northwestern , January 20, 2012 3:44 PM
    freggoSOPA, if going thru, is going to backfire on so many levels, it is not going to be funny anymore.The moment you start blocking access to foreign websites you know there is going to be a retaliation.You block our sites, so we block yours.We have a lot to loose in this game and it is all to 'protect' the Limousine and Red Carpet world of poor musicians, Actors and Studios.How about for, say, 1 week we do not buy any music and do not go to any movie ?That's the kind of blackout that will get the attention of the right people.

    Replace "1 week" in the second to last sentence with "a few years" and you have my stance on this.

    I don't need mind-numbing TV or movies. I can just pick up a book.
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