Day 1: Codero Hosting joins the i2Coalition as founding member to Fight ‘Bad’ Internet Legislation
The following is a guest post from Codero CEO Emil Sayegh about why he joined the i2Coalition. This is cross-posted with permission from Codero’s official blog.
There has been plenty of discussion around both the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation. In short, SOPA and PIPA would require web hosting companies, like Codero, to police websites to stop the communication of potentially copyright-infringing information over the Internet. The legislation was so loose and non-specific that it would have paralyzed the flow of information on the information superhighway and hurt our customers, as well as customers of other hosting companies.
CODERO is a leader in the fight: Codero was one of the first companies to actively voice its opinion, fighting AGAINST the legislation. It is our view that this failed legislation would have crippled the Internet community for a multitude of reasons. And, let’s face it, who isn’t part of the Internet community these days?
SOPA, PIPA and other legislation like them are misguided and really just terrible ideas. The legislation is grounded in misinformation and broad definitions that―unintentionally or not― are open to abuse. This ‘bad’ legislation puts most of the Internet at risk of being blacklisted for potential enabling or facilitating infringement.
Who’s in your Corner? Codero and The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition)
The i2Coalition being announced today is comprised of all the key players representing global and U.S. Internet infrastructure providers and tech firms. Codero is proud to be an i2Coalition founding member. The i2Coalition was formed to prevent misguided legislation from taking root, and it succeeded. Going forward, the i2Coaltion will focus on public policy education and advocacy. Along with others, Codero has chosen to lead the fight against legislation that curtails free speech and places excessive burden on startups and innovators who are key job creators all around the world. If hosting companies are burdened with the regulations proposed by SOPA, PIPA, and similar legislation, it will just make it harder for, start-ups, small and medium business, and enterprises-level organizations to scale their Internet operations. Codero has joined the i2Coalition because it is the right thing to do for our customers and for the Internet community in general.
The promise of the i2 Coalition is not only to fight against ‘bad’ legislation, but also to collaboratively work to draft and promote ‘good’ legislation and to promote the use of the well-functioning laws to fight piracy that are already on the books such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Why PIPA AND SOPA are Flawed – And, why we will continue the fight, and propose amped up education and advocacy! The advocates of SOPA and PIPA were well intentioned – they, like all of us, want to stop the piracy of intellectual property on the Internet. The question is what amount of collateral damage, as measured by key metrics such as additional curtailments on freedom of speech and higher costs of doing business over the internet will have to be extracted from the marketplace if we pass draconian legislation such as SOPA and PIPA.
According to a market research study by Tier1 Research, the Internet infrastructure industry generated and estimated direct and indirect $46 billion in annual revenue in 2010. And they expect 20% growth by 2013, with a trade flow to the United States of $9.2 billion.
These gigantic numbers don’t even count the $100s of billions of dollars that are generated and spent by customers that use these internet infrastructure companies.
The real issue around piracy is not enforcement, but frankly an antiquated old school business model. Certain business models have not kept pace with technology. Evidence from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and others, flat out debunk the myth that adding copyright law and making enforcement stricter is effective IP policy.
Bottom line, SOPA and PIPA pushers need to figure out how to take advantage of the enormous opportunity the Internet enables (commerce, innovation, discovery, free speech, education, community…) versus living in a pre-Internet world.
Through our work with i2C we believe that we can facilitate public policy education and advocacy, and develop market-driven standards that protect the Internet’s free flow of information and commerce while securing individual’s rights.
The silver lining in all this is that misguided legislation led to the idea of the I2 Coalition. Now it is incumbent on us to turn it into a positive force for change and to protect the free flow of information over the Internet while finding even better ways to stop piracy, and other illegal acts. If you agree with our stance or you don’t, let’s keep the conversation going! One thing is for sure, we all need to work together to keep the Internet free. We would love to hear from you, here on this blog, or at [email protected].