Monday, February 6, 2012

EUGENE KASPERSKY on SOPA: Back to the Dinosaur Period

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, spoke out against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that has sent the world into an intense debate over the sweeping rights of the United States in its quest to fight digital piracy.

Remaining true to his position against any form of piracy, Kaspersky said in his blog that there should be other forms of regulating content distribution without having to enforce laws that would otherwise protect only a few.

Kaspersky, who earlier pronounced his company’s pull out from the Business Software Alliance (BSA), argued that the SOPA is only protecting the rights of Americans while distancing itself from non-US artists’ rights. Kaspersky warned that putting SOPA into law is essentially an “Americanization” the Internet whereby the US can prosecute anyone regardless of location.

Kaspersky even described BSA, the organization he once supported, as “blindly” supporting SOPA and ignoring other points of view about the rights of others outside the US. He said this has caused him to withdraw Kaspersky Lab from the association.

“Under this law, the interests of non-American authors/creators are not protected at all, while the nationality of the perpetrators is of no importance…. 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,” Kaspersky said.

The outspoken internet security software developer also likened the SOPA to the time of the dinosaurs wherein “Jurassic” old world laws are being forced down on a new world thus preventing progress. “The Internet age has no place for the rudiments of the bygone age of vinyl, which is a far cry from today’s technologies, customer demands and reality in general. Just because this old style of business can’t or won’t change, it is trying to lead the Internet marketplace to any early grave with the help of SOPA and the like.”

“This is complete and utter nonsense from the era of the dinosaurs – and we know their brains were the size of a pea,” he added.

Nevertheless, Kaspersky insisted that he is completely against any form of piracy noting that artists and developers are commercially obligated to earn as this would provide them the financial incentive to develop more and better products. “Not only do the authors have to eat, they need money to create their products, this intellectual property, which is sometimes a rather cost-based thing.”

Instead, Kaspersky said that distribution processes have changed and consumers are now able to acquire songs, movies, and applications using different methods. He cited iTunes as one such distribution method, which allows users to purchase whatever songs and videos they want for a certain cost. He said iTunes also protects the rights of copyright holders.

“Content should be distributed in new ways, that is, low quality content is free --you can take as much as you can eat. Medium quality content should be quick and cheap while high/professional quality should be expensive,” he summed up.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is the world's largest privately-held Internet Security company, providing comprehensive protection against all forms of IT threats such as viruses, spyware, hackers and spam. The company's products provide in-depth computer defense for more than 300 million systems around the globe, including home and mobile users, small and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises. Kaspersky technology is also incorporated inside the products and services of nearly 100 industry-leading IT, networking, communications and applications solution vendors.

For further information about the company, please visit

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