Red Hat and Facebook protest SOPA and PIPA

Proposed web piracy laws draw more criticism from tech companies

Tags: Facebook IncorporationRed Hat IncorporationUSA
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Red Hat and Facebook protest SOPA and PIPA Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has said the company is opposed to SOPA and PIPA. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  January 19, 2012

Red Hat and Facebook have joined a host of web businesses in speaking out against the proposed US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his first tweet in three years to link to a Facebook post that stated:

"The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can't let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet's development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet."

An open statement from the Red Hat legal team says that the proposed legislation threatens US technology companies at a critical time for economic recovery. The statement says that SOPA and PIPA are over-reaching, and threaten to kill free exchange of information and ideas, and unrealistically restrict online entities.

The statement read: "Our future economic growth depends on our ability to use the Internet to share new ideas and technology. Measures that block the freedom and openness of the Internet also hinder innovation. That poses a threat to the future success of Red Hat and other innovative companies.

"The sponsors of SOPA and PIPA claim that the bills are intended to thwart web piracy. Yet, the bills overreach, and could put a website out of business after a single complaint. Web sites would vanish, and have little recourse, if they were suspected of infringing copyrights or trademarks.

"Even as legislators work to address the problems of 'rogue' web sites, Congress owes us a solution that addresses those concerns without killing the web's economic engine and shutting down the future of innovation. SOPA and PIPA aren't that solution.

"We all need to remain vigilant as work on these bills continues. The momentum has slowed, but supporters of SOPA and PIPA continue to push hard. Opponents should make sure their representatives hear their voices."

The legislation is beginning to lose political support, with six prominent Senators, including the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, who previously supported the bill calling for a delay in consideration of PIPA due to a variety of unresolved, outstanding issues.

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