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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Document Sharing Company Against SOPA

Scribd, the largest company engaged into document sharing, is joining the protests against the new US anti-piracy bills SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). They did it by pulling out some of the documents published on their site.

If you don’t know what Scribd is, it is simple to explain – that is the service that allows its users to post documents. Because of the ambiguity of both acts, the firm is afraid that its existence might be threatened if these proposals are passed as laws. Despite the fact that supporters of these strict measures claim that their main target are foreign services facilitating copyright violation, and free speech can’t be tempered with, the bills contain provisions that might allow the Department of Justice to obtain court orders to shut down “notorious” websites.

That’s why those bills worry Scribd and other similar online services. Co-founder of Scribd explained that Congress keeps pushing through the law threatening the future of the web. Indeed, the industry observers are sure that with this legislation passed, domains like Scribd could simply vanish from the Internet. This is the reason for the sites to show their users just what these bills could do to Scribd and other websites. They claim that such bills are a direct attack on the underpinnings of the Internet. As a result, Scribd’s users saw the words fading away just before a pop-up appeared explaining the disappearing act.

Media reports showed that the number of people opposing the anti-piracy act is currently growing, joining not just the Internet community, but also recording musicians who made their career thanks to the file-sharing. For example, Leah Kaufmann, the songwriter of the “Obama Girl” videos, has written an anti-SOPA theme song called “Firewall”.

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