The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a nasty, totally broken little power grab of a bill that would effectively end the concept of ‘safe harbor’ that has allowed the internet to grow and thrive over the last ten years by allowing the government to add websites to a DNS blacklist for posting any kind of copyrighted material, fair use or not.
The bill’s so stupid and the outrage over it so deafening that it’s doubtless it will be never make it into law. Too many people are openly angry about it, including Mozilla, 4Chan, Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, AOL, Wikimedia, the ACLU, Twitter and Yahoo!
You know who supports SOPA, though? Apple. In fact, they are writing a check to support it, albeit indirectly. It’s a check iTunes Match might have to cash.
What’s the problem with that? Well, the BSA is strongly in support of SOPA. From a recent BSA bulletin:
The Business Software Alliance today commended House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for introducing the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261) to curb the growing rash of software piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft that are being perpetrated by illicit websites.
Apple’s not the only company, of course. Microsoft, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Dell, Corel, Intel, Intuit, Kaspersky, McAfee and Siemens are some of the other giants who also pay the BSA dues.
Now, it’s important to point out that Apple is only indirectly supporting SOPA, and the usefulness of the BSA as an organization goes much farther than just their tacky support of a terrible bill.
However, what’s bizarre about Apple’s even indirect support of SOPA is that if the bill was enacted, it’s possible that Cupertino could find itself falling afoul of its provisions. After all, Apple just launched iTunes Match, a service that allows users to upload their copyrighted music into the cloud. SOPA could effectively get iTunes Match blacklisted from the internet.
We’re reaching out to Apple for comment about the Stop Online Piracy Act.