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Nature Publishing Group, Digital Science and Palgrave joint statement on proposed SOPA and PIPA legislation in the US

18th January 2012
By Kaitlin Thaney

The following is a statement that we have issued today together with our sister businesses, Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave.

Nature Publishing Group, Digital Science and Palgrave joint statement on proposed SOPA and PIPA legislation in the U.S. 

Nature Publishing Group (NPG), Digital Science and Palgrave provide a range of publications, information and digital services to a wide variety of customers, including scientists, scholars, teachers and students, as well as members of the public. Our customers are spread across the world, many of them in the U.S. 

We are concerned that the approaches proposed by the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) currently under consideration by the U.S. federal government are likely to create unintended counterproductive effects in many of the communities we serve, and to the functionality of the internet itself. Therefore we do not support SOPA or PIPA.

Our businesses are based on attracting, creating and distributing valuable content. We therefore support appropriate and proportionate initiatives to protect copyright and other forms of intellectual property for the benefit of its creators and society as a whole. In particular, we support actions that effectively target the systematic illegal sharing of copyrighted works. But we do not support approaches that would undermine and put at risk the legitimate activities of our customers and other responsible users. 

As innovative and progressive publishing and technology companies, we seek to enable the open exchange of ideas, especially in scholarly communities, because this is ultimately the main way in which human knowledge is created and disseminated, a process that we exist to support. We believe that the proposed legislation could unintentionally harm this process. In addition, the proposed interference with the infrastructure of the internet risks unintended consequences that could reduce its benefits for everyone.

For these reasons we feel it is important to clearly state our position on the proposed legislation. 

Timo Hannay, Managing Director, Digital Science

Steven Inchcoombe, Managing Director, Nature Publishing Group

Dominic Knight, Managing Director, Palgrave

If you have comments or questions, please contact me, Timo Hannay at t.hannay [at] digital-science [dot] com.

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