Threats to the web hosting industry (Anti-SOPA and Anti-PIPA)

Dear Hosting Providers,

We believe the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills recently introduced by the U.S. Congress pose severe threats to the hosting industry as a whole and we ask that you take a few moments to understand why.

While created with the good intentions of combating widespread copyright and trademark infringement, cPanel opposes these bills for a number of reasons due to their impending negative impact on hosting providers around the world.

First, these bills will legally destroy the Internet’s basic organizational structures by attacking the domain name system, service providers, financial providers, and hosting providers by inhibiting their ability to generate revenue and access to advertising.  Armed with only a mere accusation of infringement, under the current vague language of these bills a U.S. Attorney can obtain a court order requiring web hosting providers, Internet service providers, financial transaction providers, advertising services, and search engine sites to block access to accused websites. In addition, the bills will:

  • Restrict online free speech.
  • Obstruct the “safe harbor” protections given to website operators by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
  • Block online payment processors and advertising networks from doing business with websites suspected of infringing.
  • Allow for the arbitrary creation of “blacklists” of websites suspected of infringing.
  • Scare investors away from funding Internet startup companies.
  • Potentially criminalize currently legal conduct.

The most troubling aspect of SOPA and PIPA is that they will do little to stop online piracy since most violators will simply open a new website within hours of being shut down.

Congress’ current session will resume soon and hold votes on these bills. If you also agree that SOPA and PIPA are detrimental to the web hosting industry it is important that you take action by contacting members of Congress and voicing your opposition.  Additionally, if you want to help in opposing SOPA and PIPA by being part of a grassroots movement within the web hosting industry, you can find more information at: http://savehosting.org.

To help in this fight, cPanel is donating $5,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been fighting to preserve individuals’ digital rights since 1990. (https://www.eff.org). In addition, for every tweet our hosting providers post with the hash tag #cpanel4antisopa, cPanel will donate an additional $2.50 (up to a total donation to the EFF of $10,000).

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Thank you for your time and effort in combating SOPA and PIPA. More information to assist you may be found below.

Sincerely,

/s/ Nick Koston

J. Nick Koston

CEO of cPanel, Inc.

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Find your Congressmen to e-mail your SOPA and PIPA opposition https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8173

Further Details of SOPA and PIPA 
Christian Dawson from ServInt provides an in-depth explanation of SOPA and PIPA:
http://blog.servint.net/2011/12/16/what-is-sopa-and-pipa/.

What is The SaveHosting.org Coalition about?
According to SaveHosting.org: “The hosting industry in the United States, and the security of private data in general, is under threat. Legislation that is making its way through Congress represents a sea change in the way our government has regulated data in our country. HR 1981 – for instance – would dramatically increase the logging and data retention rules for hosting companies, allowing the government access to the online habits of countless Americans.”

“The hosting industry is made up of small to medium service businesses. So as new bills hit the floor of Congress, such as last year’s net neutrality bills or this year’s PROTECT IP bill, we need to start getting worried – because we have no voice at the table. The SaveHosting.org Coalition is our first step towards trying to change that.”

Posted in: Press Releases