Internet giants place full-page anti-SOPA ad in NYT

Congress may not want to hear from opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act at today's hearing, but that hasn't stopped a broad coalition of (often fierce) competitors representing the Internet's giants from placing an ad in today's NYT, signed by Google, Facebook, Mozilla, Zynga, eBay, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL.

We support the bills’ stated goals—providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign “rogue” websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new and uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites. We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation’s cybersecurity. We cannot support these bills as written and ask that you consider more targeted ways to combat foreign “rogue” websites dedicated to copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism that has made the Internet such an important driver of economic growth and job creation.

One issue merits special attention. We are very concerned that the bills as written would seriously (DMCA) to provide a safe harbor for Internet companies that act in good faith to remove infringing content from their sites. Since their enactment in 1998, the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions for online service providers have been a cornerstone of the U.S. Internet and technology industry’s growth and jeopardize a foundational structure that has worked for content owners and Internet companies alike information lawfully online.

We stand together to protect innovation (PDF)


      1. Any such music would most likely be copyrighted, and therefore couldn’t be used for this purpose. :p

    1. Oh, it’s economy vs economy in the public sector ring. Hollywood vs. Google might be a good showdown title…

  1. So not only does big business own congress but it is the wrong kind of big business, if any corporation is going to have undue influence on the government i would want it to be Google, they seem to have some sense of ethics, unlike the entertainment industry apparently.

    1. You obviously never read that short story about when Google takes over the TSA

      edit: I know it’s online but I can’t remember the name or the author.

    1. Apple? but they are one of unethical ‘entertainment’ companies and would benefit greatly when the US start pulling down thousands of media/content websites.

  2. It’s fantastic that we’ve actually got some large corporations with opposing interests in this matter. Maybe, if their respective lobbies butt heads hard enough to cancel each other out, the small waves the public makes can actually decide an issue for once?

  3. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

    It’s a little behind schedule, but 1984 seems to have finally arrived…..

    1. It’s government. They’ve taken quite a bit longer to implement it, but they’re finally getting there. Next step: an exhaustive list of words we can use and what they really mean.

  4. Of course the government wants the ability to block internet websites.

    The internet offers the organizational mechanisms to take down entire governments!

    They’re scared to death!!!

    1. No crap, look at Occupy Wallstreet, and even more so the protests in Egypt, Syria, and other middle east countries that toppled whole governments. We’re on the verge of a new kind of internet-fueled democracy hybrid because of people standing up for their rights, or what they deem should be their inalienable rights, and fighting for their freedom. Facebook and Twitter are going to revolutionize the world over the next 10 years.. 

  5. I am sure that someone with better historical knowledge than me could write a great study about how the last 150 years or so of American history is in fact the story of how robber barons strove to control the Congress and then the country. By the time they are done the USA could be a police state that will make the late eastern bloc countries look like amateurs.

  6. It is a shame for a country like US where everything is privatised to a few corporations. Maybe US of A should stop electing their President, let the top 50 corporations choose among their CEOs to run the country and among their board members as congressmen. One thing I’m very certain,  while the evil corporations are milking dry the American public and the congressmen fill their election coffers with corporate bribery, other countries will move on. Who care about American copyright? 

  7. Today at BoingBoing I learned of 2 new “internet giants”, Zynga and LinkedIn.

    Thanks BoingBoing.

  8. Zynga’s pretty big and getting bigger – they’ve filed for a $1 billion IPO.  Not a fan, though.  They got there in part by engaging in a number of potentially questionable practices (some of their early games were straight rips from competitors, some of the advertising they’ve done in the past is borderline fraudulent/scammy, they put pressure on employees to give up pre-IPO shares or face termination, their games are arguably designed to extract money from vulnerable / addictive personality types…)

    Edit: Reading some more, apparently their expected valuation post-IPO is actually $20 billion. It’s probably fair to call them an ‘internet giant’.

  9. Zynga seems like the ‘Triumph the insult comic dog’ of the group: just add “for me to poop on” to the end and it makes total sense.

  10. So a bunch of companies, most with haunting ethical questions over them or quietly forgotten behind them, have gathered to oppose a somewhat draconian law. They’re doing this because they favor the current, slightly-less-draconian law, which gives large media companies more tools to bully individuals with little recourse. This is because the new law will give large media companies more tools to bully them. They have nothing but praise for the law in place that protects them but hurts people.

    Don’t be fooled, folks. These guys don’t care about you, they’re protecting their respective bottom lines. If what they’re doing is good, it’s only incidental – don’t praise them for it. Likely as not, next time they’ll be lobbying for something that’ll hurt you.

    1. As my telepathic skills are not highly developed, and IMHO results trump intentions every time, I’m entirely comfortable with praising a corporation when they do the right thing…even if the little paranoid voice in my head thinks they may be doing it for the wrong reasons or have not always acted as I would have had them do. And maybe, just maybe, praising them when they do good instead of condemning them even when they do do good will influence them to do good more often.

  11. I wonder how the Occupy Wall Street protesters will react…they may choose either free speech or no lobbyists.

  12. Just thinking: would it be illegal for a marketing office not in USA to start offering services where they’d plant “illegal (in USA) links” to a site and report it straight away to the cencors? F.e.x if the marketing office was in Russia would there be anyway for USA to make them stop?

    1. Technically, I guess they’d be guilty of “using a service hosted on US soil for purposes illegal there”, or whatever the exact phrase they use to (try to) extradite random foreigners is.  I doubt Russia would comply, mind you – but given enough diplomatic pressure they might still shut them down.

  13. Why not just claim the internet is a vegetable … that seems to work if you want things done in the US

  14. Microsoft and Apple aren’t Internet companies — they “missed the boat” as far as the Internet is concerned. That reality isn’t likely to change, if it hasn’t by now — and they know it.

    So it’s no wonder that they would support legislation that threatens technology companies like Google, eBay and Facebook – companies that did get the Internet, and are literally synonymous with it. I suspect that in their minds, any hurt they can put on the successful Internet players might level the playing field a little for them.


    Seriously, never EVER EVER EVER use jpeg for text. Every time you do, 32 baby seals are clubbed.

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