Why SOPA Matters to the International Tech Community Too

SOPA has caused quite a stir in the tech community eliciting such responses from companies as going dark to complete re-directs from home pages of major Internet sites.  While there has been an abundance of coverage on U.S.-based companies responses to the proposed bill, surprisingly, companies based outside of the United States are beginning to chime in as well.  In fact,  cloud-based media technology start-up QVIVO, based in Hong Kong, has been particularly vocal. 


“The United States is a proud global leader on Internet innovation which is why, though I’m not a US citizen, I’ve it’s appropriate to comments on the proposed SOPA H.R. 3261 (the “Stop Online Piracy Act”). and PIPA S. 968 (the “PROTECT IP Act”)  bills and the potential consequences they have on the global technology industry.” says Liam McCallum, QVIVO co-founder and former Electronic Arts executive.  He continues, “Fast growing tech startups that change the world are no longer the exclusive domain of US college dorm rooms and Silicon Valley basements, but they still rely on the United States for a plethora of services that enable ideas to evolve into businesses in a matter of months.”


“The idea for QVIVO wouldn’t have come to fruition so quickly without taping into the ecosystem of infrastructure, services and funding that has been built around the rapid rise of successful tech startups in the US.” reveals McCallum. “Proposed bills such as SOPA and PIPA run the risk of not just slowing down quick moving startups but the continued growth of service providers who support them.”


Many global technology startups, though outside the United States’ jurisdiction, respect and comply with US laws, notably the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. “

Internet companies and content owners are often portrayed at odds with each other when the reality is both industries have achieved enormous success due to the exponential rise of digital media, fast moving trends and new online business models.


Liam McCallum explains, “I’ve sat on both sides of the fence, even within the same company. Copyright holders must reserve the right to protect their intellectual property with the full support of law, but at the same time embrace new business models that keep at pace with modern markets I believe the bills would not only harm innovation but impose unrealistic requirements on law-abiding online businesses that may jeopardize continued operations.”


Though the White House having just recently stated that it is not in support of SOPA, tech companies  – not only in the U.S. but around the world – remain vigilant and vocal as the debate continues.


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