Moscow-based security firm Kaspersky Lab is leaving a major software trade group to demonstrate its opposition to a Draconian copyright bill.
Last month, BSA CEO Robert Holleyman said he believes that SOPA can promote creativity while deterring "bad actors". Holleyman, however, added that "valid and important questions" remain and outlined a number of needed improvements to the bill. Nevertheless, Kaspersky will withdraw its BSA membership beginning next year.
"Kaspersky Lab would like to clarify that the company did not participate in the elaboration or discussion of the SOPA initiative and does not support it," its statement said. "Moreover, the company believes that the SOPA initiative might actually be counter-productive for the public interest, and decided to discontinue its membership in the BSA as of January 1, 2012." Many tech firms are opposed to SOPA, which would would allow the Justice Department to serve court orders on ISPs, domain name system (DNS) providers, and search engines and ask them to cut off foreign "rogue" Web sites accused of infringing copyrighted material. That action would effectively "disappear" accused sites from the Internet for many users without much in the way of due process or appeal.
Hollywood studios, the recording industry, large content holders and the U.S.Copyright Officeback the measure, arguing that it is needed to curb online piracy. (CNET has an FAQ on how SOPA would affect consumers.)
Yahoo recently quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been a very vocal SOPA supporter. Google and the Consumer Electronics Association are considering doing the same.