The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to get the most feathers with the least hissing - Jeane Baptiste Colbert
RUSSIAN SECURITY FIRM Kaspersky Lab has explained why it has taken the decision to leave the Business Software Alliance, and it is down to the BSA's support for the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US.
We reported earlier that the firm's founder, Eugene Kaspersky had tweeted his intention to leave the group, and in response to a question from The INQUIRER he said that it was because it was archaic, and better suited to an older time. He said that again and more in a blog post on his own web site.
"What bothers me is the complete 'Americanization' of this Internet law... The saddest thing is that this law is going to be introduced in the rest of the world due to the actions of associations such as the BSA, which blindly supported SOPA while ignoring any other point of view," said Kaspersky as he railed against the catch-all, kick-in all doors SOPA approach.
The BSA has said that it does not fully support SOPA as it stands, but whatever, Eugene is out the door. "We had to withdraw from this association because we disagree with its decision," he said, as he explained that if the SOPA ship was allowed to leave its dock, so would it take a lot of rats with it.
"If we accept this law, hundreds of thousands of lawyers will suddenly appear out of the woodwork because almost any website can be accused of copyright infringement! This law will lead to major legalized extortion," he added, as he listed the firms and group that support it including the BSA and the RIAA, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the MPAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, which The INQUIRER and others collectively term the MAFIAA.
The ACT applies old school rules to the new ways of doing things, and will not support the artists that it is supposed to, according to Kaspersky. SOPA will fail artists and only support those agencies that have put themselves between them and the people that enjoy their content.
"Today the author and the user/buyer no longer need an old-style middleman! And how many middlemen are there between the blogger and reader? Zero The middlemen have become unnecessary. Now they will have to figure out how to transform their business in order not to disappear in the future - instead attempting to send the Internet business back to the 'vinyl age'," he added.
"Protecting the film/audio/software and other 'intellectual' industry interests by means of SOPA is like taxing e-mail in favor of the State Postal Service, or forcing Skype to charge the same as the phone companies.... This is complete and utter nonsense from the era of the dinosaurs - and we know their brains were the size of a pea."
Kaspersky believes that firms like Apple, with its Itunes service, and Google, which is also entering the music market, are what artists need not "Jurassic" copyright laws.
"The world has changed and the old rules do not work anymore. We need to find new models of creative content distribution," he added.
"Lobbying for a return to Jurassic copyright laws is like giving a blood transfusion to an already dead patient, risking the donor's life. Governments should think about stimulating and developing new business models, rather than protecting old ones." µ
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