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Kaspersky to drop Business Software Alliance membership over SOPA backing

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 06 Dec 2011 17:14 User comments (8)

Kaspersky to drop Business Software Alliance membership over SOPA backing Despite the obvious implications for SOPA to cause problems for tech companies, the Business Software Alliance's criticism of the bill has been muted at best. BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman initially called the introduction of SOPA, "a good step."
After it became clear his view wasn't representative of many BSA members, he revised his position, saying:

The idea behind SOPA, as Chairman Smith explained at last week's hearing, is to remove pirates' ability to profit from their theft. We think that is the right approach as long as it is done with a fine touch.


The BSA's position isn't surprising considering their focus on software piracy, including an annual report which includes claims every bit as ludicrous as the figures spouted by the RIAA and MPAA.

Last year, in a report on the veracity of piracy numbers reported by various trade groups, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said of the BSA's report, "it uses assumptions that have raised concerns among experts we interviewed, including the assumption of a one-to-one rate of substitution."

That focus on piracy, apparently at the expense of any other considerations, is costing the BSA one of their high profile members. Kaspersky Lab will be dropping their membership, effective next January.

Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of the company, wrote a detailed rant on his personal blog explaining his problems with SOPA, and the reason his company can no longer support the BSA. In part, he says:

What bothers me is the complete 'Americanization' of this Internet law. Of course, this is a matter of habit. Any state should, of course, think first of all about its citizens, their interests, protecting its own inventors, developers and manufacturers and about its economy. However, under this law, the interests of non-American authors/creators are not protected at all, while the nationality of the perpetrators is of no importance.

This means that the rights of non-Americans can be infringed however, whenever and wherever you want. But US interests must be respected globally. The 'I don't care' position doesn't work - see the list of DNS servers: all of them are in the US or on very friendly territories. Yes, that's right-the carrot is across the ocean and the stick is there too.

National interests are only part of the problem. The saddest thing is that this law is going to be introduced in the rest of the world due to the actions of associations such as the BSA, which blindly supported SOPA while ignoring any other point of view. We had to withdraw from this association because we disagree with its decision. And this is why.

If we accept this law, hundreds of thousands of lawyers will suddenly appear out of the woodwork because almost any website can be accused of copyright infringement! This law will lead to major legalized extortion. The Internet business faces hard times - look at those who do not want to join SOPA: eBay, Facebook, AOL, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Yahoo, Wikimedia, etc. And the list of SOPA's supporters? Well, there's the aforementioned BSA (including Apple, Microsoft, SAP, Symantec and other software developers - this time without us) and, most importantly, this law is being promoted by:

RIAA - the Recording Industry Association of America,
MPAA - the Motion Picture Association of America.

That's where SOPA stems from!


Additionally, he had detailed comments about the state of copyright in the age of cheap and easy copying:

Protecting the film/audio/software and other 'intellectual' industry interests by means of SOPA is like taxing e-mail in favor of the State Postal Service, or forcing Skype to charge the same as the phone companies. It's like copyright holders, as they have tried to do in Russia, claiming a levy on the sale of every blank DVD or memory stick in case someone uses it to store a film or a song rather than family photos or home movies.

BS? Absolutely! This is complete and utter nonsense from the era of the dinosaurs - and we know their brains were the size of a pea.

At the same time, I do not share the principle 'everything is free to everybody'. Not only do the authors have to eat, they need money to create their products, this intellectual property, which is sometimes a rather cost-based thing (for example, the budgets for film production or software development can amount to tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars).

I believe the things should be arranged so that:

  • Users can quickly find what they want and buy it immediately (iTunes is a good example);
  • It does not violate the interests of the copyright holders
  • As for the middlemen?. Let them SOPA off!


    Kaspersky's post, titled SOPA Dodger, gets into much more detail about his opinion, and is well worth reading.

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    8 user comments

    16.12.2011 20:04

    Hmmm, Might have to switch from Avast to Kapersky...


    Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

    26.12.2011 23:04

    Their firewall isn't too bad so long as it has the proper front-end (Commodo).



    36.12.2011 23:04

    Originally posted by KillerBug:
    Their firewall isn't too bad so long as it has the proper front-end (Comodo).
    Sorry...had to remove an "M".
    This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Dec 2011 @ 23:04


    47.12.2011 1:03

    i have to applaud kaspersky for this !! this is something i will remember when my av/fw need renewing .

    57.12.2011 8:11

    I can only hope more software developers follow suit.
    Jeff


    Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

    67.12.2011 11:15

    Somewhere, somehow, someone in the judicial system has got to see this as a gross misuse of the judicial process & prosecutes the piss out of the RIAA & MPAA (and anyone else involved with helping to promoting its inception) for having wasted the courts time with this.

    Artists & consumers really do need to find a way to finally turn the tables & start extorting the hell out of these two organizations once & for all so we can finally get rid rid of them (or any of their bastard offspring that may shoot up as they start dying off, because you know they'll do that too).

    This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Dec 2011 @ 11:16

    79.12.2011 8:26

    There are issues with Kaspersky as there is with all AV Suites but they do seem to be the best out there of the 20 some I've tested recently.

    I won't pay $17 for a music CD or $30 for a Blu-ray so I rent or barrow when ever I can. I miss the days of $5-12 dollar concerts and $5 albums, $100 concerts and $17 dollar CD's is insane, unless it is for Justin Beaver or Cody whatever. LOL

    89.12.2011 12:07

    Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
    There are issues with Kaspersky as there is with all AV Suites but they do seem to be the best out there of the 20 some I've tested recently.

    I won't pay $17 for a music CD or $30 for a Blu-ray so I rent or barrow when ever I can. I miss the days of $5-12 dollar concerts and $5 albums, $100 concerts and $17 dollar CD's is insane, unless it is for Justin Beaver or Cody whatever. LOL
    LOL so true! I would gladly give my life just to see the Beav!

    I also applaud Kaspersky for this move, and hope that other devs and consumers jump on this band wagon.

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