In a decisive move, Kaspersky Lab has decided to withdraw from the BSA, over the insidious Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill. SOPA has already been talked about abundantly, and if you were not following SOPA, you can go through these earlier posts. SOPA is being pushed aggressively by big brands from the software, music and movie industry, and it is a threat to the freedom of the Internet. Kaspersky Labs is a part of BSA, which represents a trade group of the software industry, in favor of SOPA.
The Business Software Alliance is the voice of the world’s commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade, and e-commerce.
The primary source of income for the BSA is the revenue of its member companies. Although BSA counts software giants like Microsoft, Apple and Adobe as its members, the withdrawal of Kaspersky will come as a big blow to BSA. Kaspersky is the world’s leading Antivirus vendor with 14 years of experience in this specific niche, and revenue worth over half a billion dollars.
If things do not change by 1st January next year, Kaspersky Lab will no longer be a part of BSA. Kaspersky Lab has taken this move because it believes that SOPA will hurt innovation as well as consumers. The statement made by BSA (on Kaspersky’s withdrawal) reads,
Kaspersky has not participated in drafting the bill, nor participated in the debate on SOPA, and does not support this initiative.
News of this withdrawal was expected to weaken BSA’s stand on SOPA, but they have given a neutral statement saying,
We are very disappointed to learn that Kaspersky Labs may not renew their membership in BSA; especially given we share many of their concerns over SOPA. Kaspersky has been a valued member of BSA over the past two years, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.
Another reason for Kaspersky’s decision of withdrawal from BSA and SOPA seems to be the way this law puts the Internet in control of American censorship. This is something that concerns Eugene Kaspersky (the CEO of Kaspersky) and many others across the world.