Apple, Microsoft, and the 27 Other Tech Giants Who Support the Awful Internet Censorship Bill

Illustration for article titled Apple, Microsoft, and the 27 Other Tech Giants Who Support the Awful Internet Censorship Bill

The Next Web's Alex Wilhelm noticed something interesting—after trying to get a comment from Microsoft over the fascist Stop Online Piracy Act, he received silence. So he dug around and found Microsoft isn't alone—here are their pro-censorship allies.

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Microsoft's implied support for SOPA stems from its membership in the Business Software Alliance, a pork chop-fisted, finger-wagging piracy cry baby lobbying firm, whose life's work is ratting our petty piracy and releasing misleading studies. And as Wilhelm points out, the BSA has, shockingly, come out strong in support of SOPA:

The Business Software Alliance today commended House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for introducing the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (H.R. 3261) to curb the growing rash of software piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft that are being perpetrated by illicit websites.

So what other companies pay money to have the BSA speak for them in support of SOPA? Many:

•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

Nevermind the pissant little companies on this list you've never heard of. What's worrisome is the giants, like Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, and Intel. Companies who hypocritically thrive off the open nature of the internet—an internet where it's not a felony to post an animated GIF from a tiny fraction of your favorite film, or record you and a friend lipsyncing Nicki Minaj. The internet has exploded because of these seemingly trivial freedoms—the freedom to mess around and create interesting stuff. Experimentation without fear of federal imprisonment leads to some pretty awesome stuff. Stuff that's then used with the very software and equipment these SOPA backers sell. So it's not just that they're supporting an awful censorship law—these BSA cronies are biting our hands that feed them. [TNW]

DISCUSSION

It appears that not a single commenter actually understands the situation here. THESE ARE NOT PRO-SOPA COMPANIES (necessarily).

This is a list of every Company that is a member of the Business Software Alliance... An organization that far pre-dates SOPA. And here's the truth of it:

***Membership in an organization is not an endorsement of all that organization's views.***

There is an organization called the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) that most theater chains belong to. If NATO made a statement saying that it felt that movies depicting gay people were inappropriate, it would NOT indicate that such a view was held by AMC or Regal or Carmike or Muvico. Some of them might agree, as misguided as that would be, but membership in an organization that has such wrong-headed ideas should not be taken as an endorsement of every stance that organization takes.

Of course, if a member of such an organization DOESN'T agree with the stated position, then it is up to them to distance themselves from that statement by publicly denouncing it.

To be clear, the BSA serves a lot of purposes (quite a few of which are IP related) and none of these companies joined in order that the BSA speak on their behalf regarding SOPA. I'm sure some of them DO share the BSA's view, but it makes no sense to assume that all do, at least until sufficient time has elapsed for them to denounce this position (or fail to).