Microsoft and Apple support censorship bill

Companies like Google, Mozilla and Facebook have been speaking out against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), but Apple and Microsoft have obliquely thrown their support behind the legislation. Microsoft, along with Apple, Adobe, and a host of other major companies are part of the Business Software Alliance which supports the bill, VentureBeat reports.

The Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act ('Prevent Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property') was introduced back in May by Sen Patrick Leahy (D), but is currently on indefinite hold. SOPA was introduced to the House on Oct. 26. The bill would force American payment providers, like Visa or PayPal, to cut off transactions with infringing sites, even those that are located overseas.

The Business Software Alliance, made up of tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Dell, stated in a low key press release from back when SOPA was first introduced that they supported the bill. This explains Microsoft's silence on the bill, while other companies are rallying against it. Robert Holleyman, President and CEO of the BSA said that it was “...Important to strike the right balance between two sets of considerations – enabling effective action against online pirates, while ensuring the law does not impede technology innovation or the evolution of software and the internet...”

Due to the drastic changes it would cause in the way users access websites, some experts are afraid that it could do just that, according, ironically enough, to MSNBC. The bills also give federal courts the power to order ISPs, as well as search engines, to block websites that they feel infringe on intellectual property. This would require filtering DNS servers – the servers that match the address that you enter (neowin.net) to the IP (74.204.71.247). The filtered DNS wouldn't be able to connect the address that you enter with the IP you need to connect to the website.

Another problem is deciding what constitutes an infringing website. If every website hosting pirated content were to be blocked, virtually all user-created content portals, from YouTube to Windows Live Skydrive, would be taken down. Even though these sites have legitimate uses and are commercial products, the fact that some users upload pirated content would give the copyright owners justification to have them blocked, if SOPA passes.

It's sad to see Microsoft supporting a bill that is so dangerous to digital freedom, even if the support is coming from an organization that they are part of, rather than them independently. Luckily, even with some high profile support, SOPA has many high profile opponents, too, both in government and the technology industry. Right now, the chances of it becoming law are slim, but the scary truth is that another bill that's just as bad (or worse) will replace it before it's cleared the floor. As soon as one threat to internet freedom is defeated, another rises in its place. There's no time for complacency.

Head over to the Neowin Forums to join the discussion and share your thoughts on SOPA and internet freedom.

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Of course they support it. No one with any sense pays for their software or hardware. It's over priced. Period. If this goes through, Linux will reign supreme. Microsoft will fall, Apple is in process of failing at least until Google absorbs them in five years. Who pays 400 bucks for an OS? I know the iSheep buy white shiny junk because theyre ignorant. Which serves them right. It'll be interesting to see. Microsoft best shut up for now, they're hanging on by a thread in the mobile market thanks to Nokia.

Another reason for Microsoft and Apple to support SOPA is they both see it as an convenient jab at Google. They both, especially Apple, will do whatever it takes -- including destroying the internet -- in order to further their agenda against Google.

It's really sad... I've never had anything against the US but lately I think they've gone way to far...
A while ago I read about how cellphones in the US (and ONLY in the US) have some hidden rootkits installed right from the factory that collects and sends data about almost everything the user does on it's phone to some weird company in the united states... HTC and Samsung phones are confirmed having this US anti-terrorist panic paranoia **** installed...

Hm, well I guess that's ok,... if they wanna live in old stasi style nation that controls every move they make that's their problem. But now they're about to ruin the free internet aswell!!!!!??
Eh, hello there...??? Haven't the madness gone a tiny winy bit too far??? Money can't be that important...?
If companies want to develop software and sell their products to the masses. No way in hell that gives them the right to monitor ANY communication, digital or whatsoever to try preventing their software from being stolen...
If I'd open a little on-demand video webshop just to sell a movie featuring myself having hardcore sex with an orangutan, it would automatically give me the right to start filtering out sites that contains people having sex with monkeys just to prevent a damn theft of intellectual property!?!?

Seriously I don't care about anything anymore... My life is a total mess, my gf just left me and I wouldn't care much if somebody pointed a gun at me... Pull the damn trigger, I don't give a ****! But don't ruin the free internet, one of the greatest innovations of humanity. If this law will become a reality it's the beginning of the end... It's just one giant step in the wrong direction but others will follow and you all know it... They're getting more and more greedy, they got more than enough already, they're afraid of the internet because it gives US, the ordinary people too much power... You can laugh at this if you want but I think most of you have already noticed what is going on.

Well blah blah blah... Time for me to get back in the couch starring at the wall or sleep for a few days I don't know... At least I'm a little happy that this article gave me the chance to feel some anger once again, that's a sign that I'm still alive at least...

Sorry, now you can kill me or whatever... if you're a mod you can delete this reply if you're bored.

ow7iee said,
It's really sad... I've never had anything against the US but lately I think they've gone way to far...
A while ago I read about how cellphones in the US (and ONLY in the US) have some hidden rootkits installed right from the factory that collects and sends data about almost everything the user does on it's phone to some weird company in the united states... HTC and Samsung phones are confirmed having this US anti-terrorist panic paranoia **** installed...

Hm, well I guess that's ok,... if they wanna live in old stasi style nation that controls every move they make that's their problem. But now they're about to ruin the free internet aswell!!!!!??
Eh, hello there...??? Haven't the madness gone a tiny winy bit too far??? Money can't be that important...?
If companies want to develop software and sell their products to the masses. No way in hell that gives them the right to monitor ANY communication, digital or whatsoever to try preventing their software from being stolen...
If I'd open a little on-demand video webshop just to sell a movie featuring myself having hardcore sex with an orangutan, it would automatically give me the right to start filtering out sites that contains people having sex with monkeys just to prevent a damn theft of intellectual property!?!?

Seriously I don't care about anything anymore... My life is a total mess, my gf just left me and I wouldn't care much if somebody pointed a gun at me... Pull the damn trigger, I don't give a ****! But don't ruin the free internet, one of the greatest innovations of humanity. If this law will become a reality it's the beginning of the end... It's just one giant step in the wrong direction but others will follow and you all know it... They're getting more and more greedy, they got more than enough already, they're afraid of the internet because it gives US, the ordinary people too much power... You can laugh at this if you want but I think most of you have already noticed what is going on.

Well blah blah blah... Time for me to get back in the couch starring at the wall or sleep for a few days I don't know... At least I'm a little happy that this article gave me the chance to feel some anger once again, that's a sign that I'm still alive at least...

Sorry, now you can kill me or whatever... if you're a mod you can delete this reply if you're bored.

I'm generally ****ed at everything as well. Very little is keeping me going as well. Nothing seems real anymore. Not even skyrim has me excited. I'm not even as excited about vmware stuff as I used to and I was crazy about them. I still love them but even stuff like cloud computing, skyrim, nvidia, music, and food don't satisfy me enough these days.....

it's like we want more to life then just the boring 9-5 crap and money isn't everything to us anymore. I quit giving a **** about money and crap.

Hoping these crap blows over and we get real change. we are tired of this fake ass life.

BSA Members:

Adobe

Apple

Autodesk

AVEVA

AVG

Bentley Systems

CA

Cadence Design Systems

CNC Software - Mastercam

Compuware

Corel

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation

Dell

Intel

Intuit

Kaspersky

McAfee

Microsoft

Minitab

Progress Software

PTC

Quark

Quest

Rosetta Stone

Siemens PLM Software, Inc.

Sybase

Symantec

TechSmith

The MathWorks

AFAIK, Microsoft released a press release earlier this year where they stated that, while they agree with what this bill is attempting to accomplish, there is still a lot more to be done. look @ second last paragraph here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/mic...for-the-protect-ip-act.aspx

"As the PROTECT IP Act moves to the Senate floor, some aspects naturally warrant further consideration to promote fairness and balance. For example, safeguards should be included to ensure that rogue sites are identified clearly and appropriately, and that the responsibilities of companies required to take action to ensure compliance are well defined and their liability appropriately limited. In addition, steps should be taken to ensure that the private right of action is not subject to abuse, and that the new actions and resulting orders do not stifle free speech or the free flow of information."

a quote from the actual ORIGINAL article featured at thenextweb.com where venturebeat took the story from and neowin.net regurgitated it "Microsoft did support the pre-SOPA Protect IP Act, something that SOPA did draw on heavily for its roots. To quote the official page on the House website: “The Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) builds on the Pro IP Act of 2008 and the Senate's Protect IP Act introduced earlier this year.” So we have Microsoft supporting the intellectual ancestor of SOPA, but that's certainly not enough to say that the company supports SOPA outright."

http://thenextweb.com/insider/...rosoft-apple-and-27-others/

Neowin.net please report the right things, don't be douchbags just because u want page views. Don't be a sell out.

ctrl_alt_delete said,
To quote the official page on the House website: “The Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) builds on the Pro IP Act of 2008 and the Senate's Protect IP Act introduced earlier this year.” So we have Microsoft supporting the intellectual ancestor of SOPA, but that's certainly not enough to say that the company supports SOPA outright."

Microsoft and Apple are both part of the BSA, which has officially come out as supporting the bill. By extension, Microsoft is also supporting it. You need to look at their press release: http://www.bsa.org/country/New.../en-10262011-smithbill.aspx

So, piracy occurs over email as well as bit torrent and other systems right? Wonder how Microsoft would feel if someone took Hotmail down with one of these "requests"?

Wait wait wait it's officially called "Stop Online Privacy Act"???? That's pretty arrogant. They really do think they're better than us.

Izlude said,
Wait wait wait it's officially called "Stop Online Privacy Act"???? That's pretty arrogant. They really do think they're better than us.

Piracy, not privacy. Nice try.

Surely Microsoft and Apple would be very cautious of this with both of their ambitions for their users to store data "in the cloud"?

Apple and Microsoft are also both companies that wish to stay on the good side of their content partners in the media business.

So what? They're a software company! How would you expect anything different from them? They lose billions of dollars a year because of people stealing their products.

I personally don't like the bill because of the powers it gives the US Gov't, but I can certainly see why Microsoft and others support it.

For the record, have we actually seen a press release from MS, Apple, Adobe and others expressing their support?

rojorojo said,

For the record, have we actually seen a press release from MS, Apple, Adobe and others expressing their support?

That would be a PR disaster. They use their puppet companies like BSA in the same way the record labels use the RIAA to take the heat, all the while they sit quietly in the background funding them.

rojorojo said,
They lose billions of dollars a year

No they simply don't make billions of dollars more a year. You are assuming that everyone who pirates windows (or anything else) would otherwise buy it.

I can see VPN going to be the future, and massive of encryption. or the internet going be boring place to be around, who know what will be the outcome of this BS act.

So the companies that actually sell software are against piracy and the companies that don't, don't care. What a surprise.

Let's not forget that Google, Mozilla, & Facebook aren't selling products (at least not to non-businesses, businesses would never think about piracy), what a surprise it would be if they suddenly changed their minds if they were selling one!

Lol, same observation here. Companies unaffected by piracy don't support anti piracy bill while companies that sell their software and are affected by piracy support the bill. Hmmmm..... are obvious things still obvious? lol

Shadrack said,
Lol, same observation here. Companies unaffected by piracy don't support anti piracy bill while companies that sell their software and are affected by piracy support the bill. Hmmmm..... are obvious things still obvious? lol

Google sells music, and apps through Market which is gets (I assume) some proportion of the profits from. Google would looks money if noone bought music and just pirated it, or pirated all the Android market apps.

"It's sad to see Microsoft supporting a bill that is so dangerous to digital freedom". Why are you only calling out Microsoft when your article title mentions apple as well? Is their support of the bill somehow less sad than Microsoft's?

It's obvious that the author is alluding to the fact that, while we expect this sort of abhorrent behavior from Apple, it is unexpected, and ergo "sad", when it comes from Microsoft

greenwizard88 said,
It's obvious that the author is alluding to the fact that, while we expect this sort of abhorrent behavior from Apple, it is unexpected, and ergo "sad", when it comes from Microsoft

Nice try, troll!
Maybe it's because we're on NeoWIN.
(I capitalized the explaining part)

Glassed Silver:ios

greenwizard88 said,
It's obvious that the author is alluding to the fact that, while we expect this sort of abhorrent behavior from Apple, it is unexpected, and ergo "sad", when it comes from Microsoft

Unexpected? Hardly. Microsoft is one of the biggest anti-piracy companies about. Why do you think the RIAA/MPAA, Microsoft, and Apple always play nice with each other? They all have the same goals. Make everything proprietary, locked down, costly, and monopolised.

Glassed Silver said,

Maybe it's because we're on NeoWIN.
(I capitalized the explaining part)

Oh I thought that just meant the site is for winners.

Enron:wp7

Joey S said,

Unexpected? Hardly. Microsoft is one of the biggest anti-piracy companies about. Why do you think the RIAA/MPAA, Microsoft, and Apple always play nice with each other? They all have the same goals. Make everything proprietary, locked down, costly, and monopolised.

wonder why MS has Open Source OS's (2 of them even)
and that MS works more on the Linux kernel then any other company does?

Shadowzz said,

MS works more on the Linux kernel then any other company does?

Really? That's because, firstly, Linux is developed mainly by individuals. And secondly, Microsoft committed code because they were forced to by law and for personal benefit. Not because they were feeling kind.

And please do tell, what are these 2 open source os' that Microsoft has?

MadnessRedx said,

Really? That's because, firstly, Linux is developed mainly by individuals. And secondly, Microsoft committed code because they were forced to by law and for personal benefit. Not because they were feeling kind.

And please do tell, what are these 2 open source os' that Microsoft has?

Well at least 1 of them is just a research project. Kinda pitiful compared to, say Linux-based ones which have god knows how many.
I am somewhat surprised to see MS supporting this, I would have thought a tech company might have the forethought to stop something like this filtering the internet which they rely on.
On the other hand, they are the dungeonmasters behind Xbox live.

Shadowzz said,

wonder why MS has Open Source OS's (2 of them even)

Really, where are these open source OS's you speak of?
Shadowzz said,

and that MS works more on the Linux kernel then any other company does?

Microsoft adds hypervisor code to the Linux kernel to promote its own virtualisation solutions. They only contribute code which directly benefits themselves. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but don't make out that Microsoft is somehow being altruistic in anyway when that's clearly not the case. If Microsoft suddenly dominated the server virtualisation market tomorrow, you wouldn't see any new patches ever again.