Web Host DreamHost Declares SOPA Bad for the Internet and Doesn’t Change Mind — Not Even Once
LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwire – Dec 27, 2011) – DreamHost, a global full-service web hosting and cloud services company, has today affirmed its deep-seated moral opposition to SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” — a piece of proposed legislation that would take away rights enjoyed by millions of American web hosting customers, make enforcement of copyrights online a nightmare for the web hosting and domain industry, and fundamentally change the way American citizens would be permitted to use the Internet.
DreamHost came to this conclusion after first hearing of the bill in late 2011 and has never wavered in its opposition. SOPA was, and is, a raw deal for free speech on the Internet.
Web sites like YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, and any other sites that rely on user-generated content would be at risk of immediate shutdown should SOPA become law. It would make website owners liable for the content that its users post, impose strict punishments for vague definitions of piracy, and allow rights-holders to demand the immediate shutdown of entire domain names based on mere claims of rights infringement. The overhead needed to police this new law would make inexpensive web hosting a thing of the past.
When DreamHost employees were first told of SOPA and its potentially devastating impact on customers, there was stunned silence, followed by raucous laughter, followed by a very uneasy silence, followed by much shouting.
“So let me get this straight,” questioned Tech Support team leader Oscar Padilla after reading through the proposed legislation. “If a customer has a blog and someone posts a comment on that blog that a large company with influence isn’t happy about, that company can just contact the US Government, who then contacts DreamHost to have their blog shut down?”
“The way it’s written,” explained Robert, the DreamHost Abuse Team Specialist, “Yes.”
“So the complaining company needs to prove its copyright claims to the Government?” pressed Padilla, “Or to DreamHost?”
Taking one forlorn long look across the room, Robert lowered his gaze and said quietly: “Nobody. They answer to nobody. Rights-holders need only claim copyright infringement — they’re not obligated to prove that any actual infringement has taken place. They literally can just file off a form letter to the US government to have content removed. And it’s not enough for us to just remove the contested content — we would need to take entire domains offline or WE could be held liable too.”
“SOPA changes the way the Internet works, and not in a good way,” said DreamHost CEO Simon Anderson. “It undermines the freedom of expression enjoyed by all Americans online, and removes the safe harbor protecting web hosts established by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). SOPA will create uncertainty for American entrepreneurs and stifle innovation, hurting American jobs and investment at exactly the time when the economy needs a boost from small businesses. We’re part of a coalition of leading web and Internet companies asking that Congress do the right thing and reject SOPA. It’s a flawed concept that is not in line with American values.”
DreamHost is a member of the Save Hosting Coalition (www.savehosting.org), a group of web hosts united in their opposition to SOPA and PIPA, a sister bill proposed by the US Senate.
DreamHost is a leading web hosting and cloud services provider with over 300,000 customers and 1.2 million domain names hosted worldwide. The company offers a wide spectrum of web hosting and cloud solutions including traditional Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Dedicated Server Hosting, and Domain Name Registration. DreamHost is the principal sponsor of the Ceph open-source distributed storage system. Please visit https://www.dreamhost.com for more information.
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