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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tech Companies Keep Fighting SOPA

With the new legislation’s due date approaching, tech companies keep struggling to fight against the bill called SOPA by emphasizing the importance of the web to the US economy.

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Media reports show that last week a number of tech companies, including the Consumer Electronics Association and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, penned a letter to a Texas Congressman who introduced the law, a House’s Chairman, and Michigan Congressman, a House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member.

Considering the coming elections and an unemployment rate, which is up to 9 per cent for a while now, the hot topic o the issue is, of course, jobs. So, that’s why the companies’ letter emphasizes exactly how the web assists the governments with creating jobs and therefore contributes to the US GDP. The group pointed at a recent study conducted by McKinsey, which estimated the importance of the web to the economy. The study in question revealed that the web actually contributes to 3.4% of GDP in thirteen developed countries, which had caused around 20% of economic growth there in the past 5 years.

Considering all this, the group of tech companies has penned a letter to ask that Congress proceed deliberately with this bill aimed at the piracy of copyrighted content online. Meanwhile, the firms all agree with the need to address this issue, because if creators of new goods and services find out that their works are stolen, that undoubtedly hurts the country’s economy. In addition, the companies also agreed that changes are necessary in order to overcome the economic crisis. However, the group gently advised the Congress to think twice before passing any bill.

Nevertheless, during the last hearings, the House Judiciary Committee questioned the companies’ commitment to the very cause (that of fighting piracy), and left too little room for discussing the problems that may arise with approval of new anti-piracy legislation. At the same time, a lot of industry experts have already voiced their concerns over the consequences of the law. Now, according to the media reports, if the written letter doesn’t achieve its goal, the plans of the House Oversight Chairman, Darell Issa (R-Calif.), are to introduce some alternative piracy legislation this week.

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