Microsoft Is Trying To Kill That Online Censorship Bill

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The world’s top tech companies are backing away from a bill that could encourage censorship online thanks to prodding from Microsoft, according to a report by Cnet. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), which consists of companies like Adobe, Microsoft and Apple, voiced concerns over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and said the bill “needs work,” even though it originally supported it. That’s because Microsoft intervened, according to Cnet:

While the wording of SOPA hasn’t changed over the last four weeks, the politics have. A person familiar with the situation told CNET that BSA’s volte-face came after Microsoft and, to a lesser extent, other members of the trade association had reviewed the bill and informed Holleyman of their displeasure.

It’s possible that Microsoft is reluctant to oppose SOPA publicly because it would jeopardize its relationship with Smith, the influential chairman of the House Judiciary committee, which oversees copyright law. Microsoft declined to respond to a query from early yesterday, with a representative saying only that we are “unable to accommodate your request.”

SOPA, along with the PROTECT IP act in the Senate, give content-producing companies the right to order a take down for a website that they believe is infringing on a copyright. If you even host links to content that infringes on a copyright, you have to take it down.

If not, the copyright owner can request that the infringing site has its advertising and transaction revenue cut off. Or it can request that a domain name — like — be blacklisted and rendered inaccessible.