Reddit co-founder: Anti-piracy bill will ‘obliterate an entire tech industry’

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, January 5, 2012 15:30 EDT
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Reddit.com co-founder Alexis Ohanian speaks to Bloomberg Television's Margaret Brennan on Jan. 4, 2012. Image: Screengrab via Bloomberg Television.
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Speaking to Bloomberg Television this week, Reddit.com co-founder Alexis Ohanian warned that the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, which aim to shut down websites connected to copyright infringement, could “obliterate an entire tech industry” if their current provisions become law.

Ohanian explained that Reddit, one of the Internet’s most popular social media forums, “simply could not have happened, and that goes for any user-generated website,” if either bill had been enacted years ago.

“Under these laws, they simply would have been shut down before a few weeks had gone by by, and all this innovation we love and enjoy just would have never happened, not to mention all of the jobs,” he added, calling the proposals, “frankly, not sustainable at all.”

“The worry is that, in creating this legislation about something they frankly don’t understand, Congress is going to obliterate an entire tech industry here in the U.S. as collateral damage,” Ohanian said. “And I just simply think that more government intervention is not the answer here.”

Previously, one of Reddit’s managers has said that if either bill passes, they would be forced to shut down because they cannot police such a high volume of content for links to websites that the U.S. had banned. In response, Reddit’s users staged a boycott of the domain registrar GoDaddy.com that resulted in tens of thousands of customers canceling their accounts. GoDaddy has since dropped its support for the bills.

This video is from Bloomberg Television, broadcast Jan. 4, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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