By Lanham Napier
To read our latest on this issue, click here.
In my last blog post on SOPA and PIPA, I explained why Rackspace —along with much of the Internet community — opposes these bills in their current form. They are well-intentioned, but would do more harm than good. Their enforcement provisions could be easily evaded, and they would undermine the security and stability of the Internet.
Since then, I and other Rackers have been working with key lawmakers to fix the bills so that they will (a) actually be effective in fighting online piracy, and (b) avoid disrupting the Internet or imposing unreasonable costs on Internet users and service providers.
We at Rackspace are on the front lines of the battle against copyright infringers and other online criminals. We employ dedicated teams that take enforcement actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as well as our own strict Acceptable Use Policy every day. We agree that better tools are needed for this fight but SOPA and PIPA do not fit the bill.
We have traveled to Washington to discuss SOPA and PIPA with leading lawmakers. We have blogged about our concerns and given interviews to interested journalists. We have discussed the issue with business executives and other leaders in our community. We’re pleased that our efforts, and those of the entire Internet community, are having a positive effect.
Key legislators in both houses of Congress have recently said that they will remove the provisions for blocking of websites through the Domain Name System (DNS), which are among the most-disruptive and troubling features of SOPA and PIPA. The White House has called for a fresh approach to the issue that would hear the concerns and suggestions of all stakeholders, and would balance the fight against online piracy with due process protections and the sound functioning of the Internet.
I had accepted an invitation to testify before Congress this week on the DNS website-blocking provisions, but that hearing has been cancelled, thanks to changes being made in SOPA and PIPA. I and other Rackers are working with key lawmakers on those changes, providing our ideas, and studying the ideas of others.
Some Senators are working to bring PIPA — as written, with the DNS website-blocking provisions in place — to a floor vote, through a cloture motion on January 24th. I encourage you to call or email your Senators and urge them to vote against the cloture motion, and instead work toward an improved anti-piracy bill.
Here’s a convenient link you can use to reach the Senators for your state: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfmrepr
We’re making progress in blocking bad legislation and working toward something better, but we need to keep the pressure on. I’m going to keep making my views known, and I hope you’ll do the same.