SOPA slows down Cloud computing Adoption

cloud computing sopaThe biggest online protest in the Internet history has just ended – Google, Wikipedia and many other notable sites are on the blackout in the protest to the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), along with the corresponding bill, Protect IP Act (PIPA). The bills, especially SOPA, will disrupt the growth of cloud computing, as well as any other Internet-related industries.

David Linthicum shares his view on InfoWorld regarding SOPA and cloud computing. And what he says is exactly what could slow down cloud computing adoption.

The idea behind SOPA itself is commendable – it’s proposed to fight online piracy. However, the bill has loopholes that can be abused really badly if it passes into a law. It is an US law, but the impact would be simply worldwide as it involves the Internet, where regional boundaries are blurred.

According to David’s explanation, If SOPA becomes a law, the Court can order search engines to remove links to copyright-infringing sites. Domain name registrars would be required to stop directing traffic to those sites, and Internet service provider would also be required to block access to the infringing sites.

And yes, “infringing” categorization can be ambiguous. For example: If your site links to a site that has copyrighted or stolen content on it – intentionally or unintentionally – you could face the same legal impact, that also includes all the “perks”: Your site and domain name could be forced to shut down.

How can SOPA slows down cloud adoption?

It’s pretty straightforward, really. Suppose you bring the whole business or several of your business functions to the cloud, you are exposed to the law, as cloud service providers will operate under the eyes of SOPA. So, if a cloud service provider is forced to comply with SOPA, it could just turn off its services to your business to avoid costly legal problems. Not good.

That is why cloud businesses, such as Rackspace, strongly oppose SOPA.

With such potential business continuity disruption properties, businesses probably need to think twice before adopting the cloud – all “thanks” to SOPA.

To sum it all up, here’s David Linthicum’s take on how cloud computing adoption is threatened by SOPA:

On this issue, cloud providers such as Rackspace,, and Microsoft are between the proverbial rock and a hard place. They’ll be forced to carry out these actions. But as a result — at a time when businesses are moving data and content to the cloud — SOPA would provide a reason not to trust cloud computing providers for fear one day the providers would be legally obliged to turn off the users’ business, without a day in court.

So, what’s your take regarding the impact of SOPA on cloud computing industry? Please share by leaving your comment on this post.

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