SOPA and PIPA in its current state threaten the innovation that drives open source projects.
Wednesday in a blog, Red Hat offered its two cents concerning the drama surrounding SOPA (House) and PIPA (Senate). The company points out that now isn't really the time to introduce the bills, as corporations, small independent companies and even the government itself is working hard to rebuild confidence in the American economy. Red Hat -- along with most of America -- worries that these two bills, if passed, could effect jobs and innovation nationwide. Not only could they break the Internet, they could break a fragile economy trying to recover.
"As America's – and the world's – largest and most successful provider of open source solutions and an S&P 500 company, Red Hat is proud to be headquartered in Raleigh," Red Hat said. "Our high-quality, affordable technology solutions are found throughout the mission-critical IT architecture of the financial, defense, transportation, telecommunications and most other industry sectors.
Our success and, increasingly, the economic success of our state is the product of the encouragement of open innovation and collaboration. A vital ingredient of this success involves leveraging the tremendous gains that the Internet has brought through online collaboration, software development and sharing of ideas."
"In a single generation, the Internet has transformed our world to such an extent that it is easy to forget its miraculous properties and take it for granted," Red Hat continues. "It's worth reminding ourselves, though, that 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."
Red Hat hits the nail on the head. The bills would seemingly launch a virtual dictatorship that would allow enforcers to shoot first and ask questions later. However the good news is that there's growing opposition from all corners of the Web. The White House itself has even expressed serious concerns over the language used in the bills that "reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet."
"Six prominent Senators, including the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, who previously supported the bill called for delay in consideration of PIPA due to a variety of unresolved, outstanding issues," Red Hat reports. "On the House side, the Majority Leader has dashed the momentum of SOPA by delaying consideration until consensus is reached. SOPA and PIPA remain on the Congressional agenda, despite these developments. 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 company concludes. "The momentum has slowed, but supporters of SOPA and PIPA continue to push hard. Opponents should make sure their representatives hear their voices."