Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sopa Would DESTROY Jobs and the Economy … So Why are Unions Supporting It?

The promoters of the Stop Online Privacy Act (Sopa) are pretending that it would save jobs and help the economy.
But it would actually destroy jobs and hurt the economy.
No one is going to invest in the next Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Reddit, or YouTube if they know that websites can be shut down after a single unsubstantiated copyright complaint.
The only sector of our economy that’s in good shape is web technology (for example, Google is hiring like crazy right now). Sopa would put a huge dent in the web sector and destroy jobs.
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson notes:
Big companies . . . can afford to defend themselves from litigious content companies. But three person startups cannot. And Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were three person startups not so long ago. If they had not had the protection of the safe harbors of the DMCA, they could have been litigated out of business before they even had a chance to grow and develop into the powerhouses they have become. And venture capitalists will think more than twice about putting $3mm of early stage capital into startups if they know that the vast majority of the funds will go to pay lawyers to defend the companies instead of to hire engineers to create and build product.
A group of well-known law professors say:
SOPA is a dangerous bill. It threatens the most vibrant sector of our economy – Internet commerce. It is directly at odds with the United States’ foreign policy of Internet openness, a fact that repressive regimes will seize upon to justify their censorship of the Internet. And it violates the First Amendment.

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