European Parliament 'opposes' SOPA copyright law in new resolution

The European Parliament has added its voice to the growing weight of opposition to the U.S. SOPA, which could infringe even the most basic of web freedoms.

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution that criticises the use of domain names seizures by U.S. authorities on copyright 'infringing' websites.

The resolution will seek to counteract the measures of the U.S. government's policy on blocking access to websites that link to or contain alleged copyrighted material.

The European Parliament, the lower house for the 27 member states, joins a burgeoning list of organisations, industry partners, academics and governments opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

In the resolution, the European Parliament:

"25. Stresses the need to protect the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names"

It also goes on to highlight the importance of "safeguarding freedom and security" and that this should, "not be met at the cost of sacrificing core principles relating to civil liberties".

U.S. authorities since 2010 have used domain name seizures as a method of taking down websites that appear to or directly facilitate the infringement of copyrighted materials, such as movies and films, software and music.

SOPA will enable the U.S. government and law enforcement to block access to websites on a global scale, not necessarily within the confines of the United States' legal jurisdiction. This not only includes the .com domain, but .net and .org also; domain names used by millions of businesses and organisations outside the United States.

The European Parliament's resolution adds more weight to the collective voice, spurred on this week by a hearing of the SOPA bill, which could force companies even with public stock to lose their domains should a copyright infringement suit be filed.

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