Kaspersky says Stop Online Piracy Act is against the public interest and quits BSA to emphasise its point
Kaspersky Labs has announced that it will be parting company with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) as of 1 January, 2012.
The security research company will be withdrawing its membership from the group due to a fundamental difference of opinion; namely that the BSA supports the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Kaspersky Labs does not – either in its current form, or any other.
Not in my name
At the request of its members, the BSA recently criticised the potential law’s current draft. According to a recent blog post by BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman, the legislation requires some fine tuning, but the organisation agrees with SOPA in principle.
This is not Kaspersky’s view. In a statement the company said that it is aware of the public controversy and the debates sparked by the legislation, adding that, despite being “occasionally mentioned in the discussion as a member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which supports the SOPA initiative, Kaspersky Lab would like to clarify that the company did not participate in the elaboration or discussion of the SOPA initiative and does not support it”.
The company added that it believes that the SOPA initiative might actually be counter-productive for the public interest, and therefore took the decision to “discontinue its membership in the BSA as of January 1, 2012″.
BSA vice president of Government Relations, Katherine McGuire said the organisation was “disappointed to learn that Kaspersky Labs may not renew their membership in BSA, especially given we share many of their concerns over SOPA. Kaspersky has been a valued member of BSA over the past two years, and we look forward to working with them again in the future”.
Kaspersky is not the only company to have reservations about this legislation, with many other organisations, companies and individuals coming out against what some commentators on Twitter consider to be a fight between Hollywood (the movie industry) and the Geeks (advocates of rights protection by software, if at all, and not legislation).