Anti-piracy body the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has withdrawn its support for controversial anti-piracy legislation being considered by the US government.
The BSA's opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) follows last week's calls from a large number of technology firms and human rights organisations to stop the plans.
The BSA had originally welcomed SOPA and commended the US government for drawing up plans to combat software piracy and copyright-infringing web sites.
However, now the organisation says the plans need more balance and should contain clearer legal definitions regarding the kinds of site SOPA will target.
As the policy now stands, SOPA has the potential to impact innocent web sites, including those that operate outside of the US.
"Valid and important questions have been raised about the bill. It is intended to get at the worst of the worst offenders. As it now stands, however, it could sweep in more than just truly egregious actors," warned BSA president and chief executive Robert Holleyman in a statement.
"Due process, free speech, and privacy are rights which cannot be compromised. And the security of networks and communications is indispensable to a thriving internet economy."
SOPA authorises the court to order ISPs, search companies and advertising services to take action against copyright-infringing web sites.
ISPs would be required to modify servers to return empty responses for such sites, while search firms would have to filter results and advertising services would be obliged to take revenue away from the site operators.
US hosting companies and publishing platforms like Rackspace, WordPress and Blogger, are also likely to have to comply with the legislation, meaning that companies using their services could also be affected, wherever their location.
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