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Gandi's Opposition to the SOPA Legislation

Sopa1.jpgOur position at Gandi is that censorship is generally a bad thing. So is piracy, and both need to be fought, but they must be fought by means that both assure accountability and the protection of private data. We support the free flow of Information, since we believe the only way a society can truly be free is when all of it's citizens can know the truth.

Governments need to keep secrets, and companies need to have their intellectual property protected. On this point, we agree with the goals of anti-piracy efforts, both technical and legislative. This goal can only be accomplished, however, with respect for the rule of law and by implementing fair use and due process. These are proven ways to prevent abuse of power.

SOPA presents a challenge to those charged with policing the respect of intellectual property protections, in that it is, at best, vaguely written, and it appears to roll back many of the due process safeguards and safeguards for free speech that US citizens, and those of many other countries, enjoy and have come to expect on the Internet.

SOPA also stocks the armories of law enforcement (in this case, the US attorney general) with a huge pile of anti-piracy virtual weaponry, which is largely indistinguishable from censorship weaponry, such as blacklists and takedown powers. We do not think blacklists are the way to go. They can be abused far too easily by those with political agendas and competitive axes to grind.

SOPA does not seem to us at Gandi to be an ideal solution to the piracy problem. The debatable effectiveness of SOPA aside, it is never a good idea to allow authorities huge powers of information control without also building in due process. SOPA has been criticized by many for removing due process, at least as it is currently written.

For these reasons, Gandi does not support SOPA. We encourage you to not support any business that does, and we welcome your comments and opinions.