Kaspersky dumps trade group over SOPA

Security firm Kaspersky Lab says it will withdraw from the Business Software Alliance over a Draconian copyright bill.

Moscow-based security firm Kaspersky Lab is leaving a major software trade group to demonstrate its opposition to a Draconian copyright bill.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, is pro-Grand Prix racing but anti-SOPA
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, is pro-Grand Prix racing but anti-SOPA Kaspersky Lab
"Kaspersky Lab is aware of the public controversy and debates sparked by the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)," the company said in a statement provided to CNET. "Kaspersky Lab is occasionally mentioned in the discussion as a member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which supports the SOPA initiative.

Last month, BSA CEO Robert Holleyman said he believes that SOPA can promote creativity while deterring "bad actors". Holleyman, however, added that "valid and important questions" remain and outlined a number of needed improvements to the bill. Nevertheless, Kaspersky will withdraw its BSA membership beginning next year.

"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," its statement said. "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 January 1, 2012." Many tech firms are opposed to SOPA, which would would allow the Justice Department to serve court orders on ISPs, domain name system (DNS) providers, and search engines and ask them to cut off foreign "rogue" Web sites accused of infringing copyrighted material. That action would effectively "disappear" accused sites from the Internet for many users without much in the way of due process or appeal.

Hollywood studios, the recording industry, large content holders and the U.S.Copyright Officeback the measure, arguing that it is needed to curb online piracy. ( CNET has an FAQ on how SOPA would affect consumers .)

Yahoo recently quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce , which has been a very vocal SOPA supporter. Google and the Consumer Electronics Association are considering doing the same.

About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.

 

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