ServInt's Christian Dawson to Represent Hosting on SOPA/PIPA …
(WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) — Web hosting provider ServInt announced this week that its chief operating officer Christian Dawson will appear on a panel at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show that will address the pending copyright infringement legislation the Top Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, currently pending before congress.
Dawson is one of the founders of the Save Hosting Coalition, an organization formed generally to try to give the hosting industry a voice in the development of law that could affect the business, and more specifically to address the development of PIPA and SOPA, and the potential damage they could do to hosting companies.
The Save Hosting organization, which first gathered at HostingCon 2011 in San Diego, California, spent the latter half of the year working to educate and mobilize the hosting community around copyright legislation, including the participation of Dawson and David Snead, another of the group’s founders, in a WHIR webinar back in November, a video of which is available in our webinar archives.
In the last month, the Save Hosting coalition delivered letters opposing SOPA and PIPA, together containing more than 500 signatures from Internet industry executives, to members of congress.
The CES discussion is perhaps most notable for the venue – the show being more widely known as a forum for the examination of gadgetry and consumer tech. That the panel is being held there underscores the mainstream attention the legislation is receiving – a reality that became a hot topic for discussion in the hosting business last week, when web hosting giant Go Daddy reversed its support for SOPA in the wake of a wave of vocal and negative feedback from customers, responding to Go Daddy appearing on a list of companies supporting SOPA.
In a statement regarding the change of stance, Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman said the company had been actively participating in the development of the bill as a way of building consensus, but that it would not support a final product that the Internet community did not support.
Following the Go Daddy flap, quite a few hosting providers voiced their opposition to SOPA, probably as both a means of avoiding any assumptions about their position that might have led to a similar backlash, and of putting their businesses out there as a possible alternative for those customers reported to be leaving Go Daddy, as well as (of course) an honest expression of opposition to the legislation.
The CES session, titled “Infringement, Rogue Websites and Copyright Crackdowns: How to Catch Tuna without Catching Dolphins) will take place at 12:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center, on Tuesday, January 10. It will examine and offer alternatives to the current legislation. Moderated by former US Representative Rick Boucher, it will include as panelists, Jayme White of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden’s office, Ryan Clough from the office of U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren and Casey Rae-Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition. Dawson will represent the Internet industry’s perspective.
“This is a turning point in the history of our industry,” says Dawson, quoted in the press release. “The Internet touches nearly every part of the U.S. economy. Never before has protection from those who wish to illegally exploit the Internet’s power and reach been more important. However, if we act out of fear and do not carefully consider the effects of our actions, we may damage the very engine that has spurred innovation and economic development in the U.S. for the better part of the past two decades. We must not let fear prevent us from developing fair and effective public policy.”