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Microsoft has long been one of the most ardent proponents of expanding U.S. copyright law. But that enthusiasm doesn't extend to the new Stop Online Piracy Act, which its lobbyists are quietly working to alter, CNET has learned.
It's little surprise that Web-based companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter oppose SOPA, which is designed to make allegedly piratical Web sites virtually disappear from the Internet. They, and many civil liberties and human rights groups, worry that SOPA could jeopardize legitimate Web sites too.
But Redmond's skepticism is notable because unlike the Web companies, Microsoft earns nearly all of its revenue by licensing software--which can, of course, be pirated--and loses money on Bing and its online services division. What's even more telling is that Microsoft had enthusiastically endorsed a narrower version of the copyright bill, called Protect IP, earlier this year.
But Redmond's skepticism is notable