back to article BSA marks down SOPA: ‘must try harder’

SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is increasingly looking like an orphan: the Business Software Alliance has decided the legislation is looking over-the-top. The BSA has taken a moment away from its anti-software-piracy mission to express concerns at the SOPA’s scope and the proposed processes. “Due process, free speech, and …


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  1. asdf

    as Homer Simpson once said

    Please don't let it be the boy please don't let it be the boy and of course I find out my country the USA government is pushing this.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I don't believe they have the slightest concern about Internet censorship, not for an instant. However something in this has really scared them. I'm betting it's something that affects their bottom line. I'd love to know what it is!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      risk of going offline

      Maybe they are scared that

      1. all it takes is an accusation of copytheft and their own members' sites will fall off DNS.

      2 it's the expansion of US law to cover the entire interweb-thingy.

      3. it will just encourage the adoption of workaround tech that is harder control

      4. it will create more enemies

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "something in this has really scared them"

      open source,

      Arguably, one of the main factors that helped spread Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office is 'piracy'. When someone pirate Windows or Office, Microsoft does lose a sale, but they do gain a 'loyal' customer who will want to continue to use Windows and Office at the workplace and for their next PC. This same pirate will also be more then happy to receive and send documents that are only compatible with Microsoft Office.

      Fighting 'piracy' won't convert those 'pirates' to paying Microsoft customers, it will simply force those pirates into changing what they are loyal to. If Microsoft Office have a very strong anti-piracy technology, it doesn't mean that everyone will start to 'buy' Office, it just mean that 'pirates' (and by extension everyone they know) will simply shift to LibreOffice.

      The 'pirates' of today _might_ be your 'customers' of tomorrow. (some people are also arguing that this also apply to games, today's teen pirates are tomorrows working adult gamers)

      Forgive my EngRish.

  3. Steven Roper


    A *BSA* boss going on in support of due process, privacy and freedom of speech? Come on, El Reg, you seriously don't think we're *that* gullible, do you?

    1. dotdavid


      I reckon El Reg made a mistake; it's not the Business Software Alliance but the Boy Scouts of America who dislike SOPA.

  4. kain preacher

    Sorry for the ,language but that bill must be a real mother fucker . There has to be some thing hidden in there . Either it raises the bar for them or it truly does stop free s peach and stops them from making outlandish comments.

    "domain-blocking proposed by the RIAA and MPAA " ah I wounder if they are worried that it will become so easy to do that they might be hit by this.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you actually believe this? the BSA have been crying for a solution and someone came-up with one, now they are stepping back and trying to say it is not what they wanted? Sorry mate, they _freaking_wanted_this_. If they are worried about something, then they are worried that if they push the "pirates" (and by extension their families and circles) too far, then the "pirate" will shift to "free software" instead of buying some random program to do a single task for them.

    BSA + due process? give me a break. What they are finally realizing is: the entertainment industry isn't the same as the software one. While with one they _might_ increase sales by blocking the free alternative, with the other, the free alternative can't be blocked and it can -in many cases- do a better job then the paid-for solution.

    Forgive my EngRish

  6. Esskay
    Thumb Up

    Slowly losing momentum...

    SOPA is beginning to look like a massive turd being pushed up a hill - they might achieve something at the end of it, but they'll be so covered in shit that no-one will want anything to do with them. And it looks like the first of them are starting to wonder what that smell is...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "BSA has long stood against anything that interferes with the flow of money"

    Fixed that for you.

    Interesting about the security mention...possibly what they want is conflicting with the US's cyber-war thing. BSA has never before given a rat's arse about security, public opinion, human rights or anything else that didn't directly impact their bottom line and I find it a little hard to swallow that they've suddenly developed a conscience at this late stage of the game.

  8. wayward4now

    Maybe someone is insisting they pick up the tab instead of the taxpayers? The whole BSA bunch remind me of the Brain Bug on Planet P in the movie "Starship Troopers", ready and eager to drill someone's brains out. .

  9. steve 124


    I agree with many other posts here. If passed this will escalate piracy technology to encrypted tunneling and other technologies that they can't monitor, can't prosecute, and can't stop without disrupting large amounts of legitimate traffic. Piracy has been around since reel to reel recorders back in the 60s (and probably before that) and it's just part of the price of doing business. Are grocers going to start cavity searching their customers to prevent a few steaks from being shoplifted? No, they are going to cut their losses and mark up the price for everyone else. This is the same reason we have to pay 40$ for a bluray that costs 5$ to make (well, that and the fact these companies are greedy beyond measure and they will price their wares to the penny of what the consumers are willing to pay). These companies need to realize this is like the battle of terror, it's not something that can ever be eradicated and trying to do more than keep it under control is wasting their money. Think about the evolution of file sharing because of their actions: direct downloads to peer to peer, peer to peer went to peer to peer with IP filtering, encrypted peer to peer, private IRC, private IRC SSL, torrents, encrypted torrents (I'm going to stop here since I really don't want to give a heads up to the PTB of what the current state of the art is, but be assured, this won't stop anyone other than casual downloaders. These guys are going to behind the tech curve for file sharing no matter what they do.

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