Kaspersky quits software alliance over SOPA spat

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Kaspersky quits software alliance over SOPA spat

Kaspersky has quit the Business Software Alliance over the group's previous support of the controversial US Stop Online Piracy Act.

If passed, the legislation would allow websites to be blocked and site owners held accountable for user posted content. It has been criticised as an attack on the free internet, but many rights holders continue to support SOPA.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) fights against copyright infringement and counterfeiting on behalf of members such as Microsoft and Apple. The BSA initally supported SOPA, but has since criticised details of the legislation. That wasn't enough for Kaspersky, which has ended its BSA membership.

“Kaspersky is aware of the public controversy and debates sparked by SOPA. Kaspersky is occasionally mentioned in the discussion as a member of the BSA, which supports the SOPA initiative,” the security vendor said in a statement.

“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 statement added.

“Moreover, the company believes that the SOPA initiative might actually be counter-productive for the public interest, and decided to discontinue its membership in the BSA as of 1 January, 2012.”

Mixed messages

The BSA initially completely supported SOPA, but then pulled back with some criticism that the measures could hurt innocent websites.

While the BSA said the bill "needs work", it still generally supports the idea of it. “I believe the bill’s basic goals should be to promote creativity, while deterring bad actors that profit from selling copies of software and other works they do not own," president and CEO Robert Holleyman said in a blog post last month. "BSA firmly believes these goals are compatible and achievable,”

“The idea behind SOPA... is to remove pirates’ ability to profit from their theft. We think that is the right approach as long as it is done with a fine touch.”

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

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