One of the biggest legislative battles heading into next year is undeniably going to be the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill backed by Hollywood that takes a rather strong stance on policing the internet for copyrighted material. Hundreds of companies from 3M to American Apparel are throwing their support behind the bill, including the domain registration service GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy initially published an op-ed heartily supporting the anti-pirating legislation after it was first announced. The site evenissued a statement to the House committee taking up the legislation to proudly show its support.
Now, let’s step back a second here. Why would American Apparel support SOPA? Their customers are likely way more tech-savvy than the average clothing company’s, and they’d have a lot to lose. But … wait a second, let’s take a look at the list of companies that support SOPA that’s been floating around the internet:
… Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Alliance of Visual Artists (AVA)
Altria Client Services
American Apparel and Footwear Association
American Association of Independent Music (A2IM)
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Federation of Musicians …
Now, here’s the Web site for the American Apparel and Footwear Association, better known as the AAFA. A quick search shows that American Apparel is in fact a member of this organization … along with thousands of other companies. (If the Chamber of Commerce is of any guide, not every member of an industry group supports what the industry group does.) But either way it’s not by any means as direct as the citation would make it seem. American Apparel has made no direct statement for or against SOPA. To put it simply, be careful with allegations, all.