The saga surrounding SOPA will be dominating the headlines for a while yet, and today is no different. First of all, and most importantly, the European Parliament has adopted a resolution against SOPA, while also calling for net neutrality to become part of EU law. Second, and this is also interesting, we now have a list of software companies which are against freedom of speech on the web. Unsurprisingly, Apple and Microsoft are on this list. Update: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has spoken out against SOPA. Update II: Tumbler’s anti-SOPA message on their website generated almost 90000 (!) phone calls to representatives. Amazing.
Large software companies like Microsoft and Apple do not openly support SOPA – although Microsoft does openly support Protect IP, its predecessor – but they do support it via a back door. The Business Software Alliance (the RIAA of the software world) strongly supports SOPA, and the BSA consists of some of the largest American software companies – including Apple and Microsoft.
This is war – and as long as these companies keep pumping money in the BSA without publicly distancing themselves from it or without openly opposing SOPA, they support it. So, without further ado, here’s the list of companies supporting curbing free speech, so you can avoid buying their products (I’ve highlighted the more interesting ones):
- Bentley Systems
- Cadence Design Systems
- CNC Software – Mastercam
- Dassault SystÃ¨mes SolidWorks Corporation
- Progress Software
- Rosetta Stone
- Siemens PLM Software, Inc.
- The MathWorks
With that out of the way, the more important news of the day regarding SOPA is that the European Parliament has adopted a resolution against SOPA. Technically, the resolution stresses the importance of – among other things – “the need to protect the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names”. The resolution is directed at the United States, and while SOPA is not mentioned, it’s pretty clear what the European Parliament is referring to.
In addition, the European Parliament also adopted a resolution stating that net neutrality should be part of EU law. True, unconditional net neutrality currently only exists in Chile (first!) and The Netherlands (second!), but if it would be enshrined in EU law, it would become part of many, many more European countries. This is interesting, because, for instance, France has long since discarded freedom on the web. It’ll be interesting to see how Sarkozy’s anti-freedom government deals with EU-imposed net neutrality rules.
All in all, it would seem the opposition against SOPA continues to grow. As I said yesterday, all this illustrates that in the US, the will of the people truly no longer means anything. There is no way to spin this as anything other but a very clear case of US Congress only caring about money, and not about the people. There is nothing good in this law. Absolutely nothing.
Luckily, the people in America know full well what a corrupt mess their Congress really is: Congress’ approval rating is lower than “the US going communist”.