Since a large group of tech companies protested the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) in conjunction with the House's first hearing on SOPA last week, civil rights advocates have been rooting out the pro-SOPA traitors. The latest two to be named are Nintendo and Sony, identified by Think Progress on Monday as having spent tens of thousands of dollars to support the Senate's similar, stalled bill PROTECT IP. Last week, we learned about a list of companies that evidently tacitly supported the legislation through their membership in the Business Software Association, who after dealing with a vitriolic wave of criticism clarified — some say reversed — their stance on the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA). It's turning into a gnarly debate, that we suspect will continue to compel companies to take a stand on these laws that would effectively allow the government to censor the internet. To reposition an earlier Bush-era idiom used by SOPA's advocates, if you're a tech company that's not actively fighting against SOPA, you must be for it.
Apple, Microsoft and the others on the BSA's list of members provide the industry with a teaching moment. The Apple fanboys freaked out last Friday at the news of BSA's support for the bill, first reported by The Next Web. Last week, a group of Apple and Microsoft competitors, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and others, took a very public stand by publishing an open letter in opposition to the bill as a full page ad in The New York Times. The Atlantic Wire asked Apple and Microsoft to comment on the bill, either in favor or in opposition. Both companies declined to comment.