ESA backs off SOPA

Game industry trade group rescinds support for SOPA and PIPA, says it has concerns for "unintended consequences" related to proposals.

by

Earlier today, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith renounced support for the controversial piece of legislation he created, essentially laying the matter to rest. That move came just days after the House Oversight Committee chairman said that the legislation would not be put to a vote until there was consensus over the issue. While the Entertainment Software Association had been a vocal supporter of SOPA, it pulled an about-face today.

The ESA has withdrawn its support for SOPA and PIPA.

This afternoon, the ESA--the body responsible for putting on the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo--issued a statement saying it no longer supports SOPA or the Senate counterpart, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

"From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites. Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry's creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals," reads a line from the statement.

"Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests. As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution."

The ESA now joins President Obama, as well as a string of gaming entities that have expressed ill feelings toward SOPA and PIPA. These companies include Epic Games, Bungie Studios, Riot Games, Runic Games, Mojang, Red 5 Studios, and others.

Companies that supported SOPA--including the National Football League (NFL) and GameSpot parent company CBS--argued that it offered necessary protection to content creators. Opponents of the bill, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argued that SOPA infringed upon First Amendment rights and would ultimately deprive the Internet of non-infringing content.

Discussion

123 comments
garrysempire
garrysempire

maybe ESA want to support ACTA... WE-ARE-WATCHING-YOU ESA!

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

too late, we already know you're a bunch of corporate wh0res ESA

ShipwreckX
ShipwreckX

@Suikogaiden, its because most people do not know how to fight it, its easy tho and most people do not fight in till its to late.

Spacerac
Spacerac

@warhawk-geeby type ": roll :" without the spaces and without the quotes. and I shall second your sentiment. :roll:

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

If there was a rolly-eyed emoticon I'd totally use that right now.

Yamaneko22
Yamaneko22

Better late than never, but too bad ESA nobody will trust you anymore. Btw Hi Kongiku ;3

AltoShadow13
AltoShadow13

Based on the comments here its safe to say there to late on there sudden change of heart. The Karma's already on there backs, now they have to live with it.

kuda001
kuda001

It's a little too late for that ESA.

jollybest1
jollybest1

"remember, remember the 5 th of novemeber/the Gunpowder Treason and Plot,/I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot./Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent to blow up King and Parliament".......and so on

Phazor58
Phazor58

@saucex4 Actually, the OPEN Act appears to be much more lenient and would likely be more effective. It appears to simply issue a cease and desist warning to the companies that provide funding for the website (and presumably further action if nothing is done...though I didn't read about it in extreme detail). The bill actually has the support of Google, Facebook, etc. The real thing to be looking at is ACTA which was passed in an international treaty back in 2007. However, the treaty has not actually been approved yet by the Senate. So we still have some time to scrutinize it further and make our voices heard. Poland's government approved it today, to much anger within that country (and elsewhere).

Verhoven
Verhoven

November 2012 is just around the corner. Our American brothers, you know what to do............vote them out of office! The only thing a corrupt politico is most afraid of is, well being rendered irrelevant/ falling the high pedestal of power! Play and enjoy the games we all love but take your time in the upcoming election and scrutinize the candidates. From President, Senator and Congressman. Don't give a d@mn if its Obama(remember, Hollywood which bankrolled SOPA/PIPA is also bankrolling his royal chosen oneness). Don't trust the Hollywood elites who try to go environmental on us, they're also behind SOPA/PIPA. I'm against piracy(I only buy/download original games/software......I'm that kind of a martyr) because piracy lessens the incentive to develop games but I'm also for sharing info and I'll be d@mn to hell if I let just a select few tell me what I can and cannot access for a fee!

saucex4
saucex4

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

saucex4
saucex4

Unfortunately, yet another bill called OPEN has appeared. This bill is more restrictive in terms of scope; however, it lacks clear definition, one of the problems SOPA/PIPA had. Whoever is American, go read the bill @ http://keepthewebopen.com/ and comment on the bill. At the very least they provide a good platform for you to voice your opinion. So go voice it! >_

blueheart100
blueheart100

Keep an eye out for any bills like sopa and pipa. They lost round 2. but will be back for more.

santinegrete
santinegrete

I remember reading about how E3 will be no more in the next few years of this constantly changing gaming medium. The article didn't enlist the causes exactly because it was to pretentious (adding about the death of retail, and single player, etc)... but seems it hit at least one point by accident. I were a chief dev I wouldn't support E3 or assist to it for some time.

Hellswrath99
Hellswrath99

The ESA backed out too late on this one. The only reason they backed out at all was because it was very clear the bill does not have the support to pass, even if it is modified. Knowing that a new, more restricted bill will be needed under a different name (to avoid the stigma that now plagues SOPA), they are pulling out and making a statement that tries to make it appear as though they didn't support the disastrous power the bill would grant. It isn't like they couldn't read between the lines before everyone and their sister was screaming that this bill was unadulterated BS. They just chose to only back out when it was sure it wouldn't pass and that in order to try and salvage the situation, they would need to pretend they didn't support the very flaw that caused the bill's failure: too much unregulated power given to big business over internet content. Make no mistake, the ESA fully supports that kind of power being given. However, they now know they will have to go about it in another way. TLDR: ESA is a greedy child that got their hand caught in the cookie jar and now that they know they can't have their cookie from sneaking, are going to now try and find other ways to get their cookie.

jamyskis
jamyskis

What's that ESA? The heat of the negative publicity getting too much for you? The ESA's credibility is now in tatters, and it'll take a lot more to repair it than dressing up this half-arsed withdrawal from a bill they know is doomed anyway as some attempt at appearing righteous.

Barighm
Barighm

They will find a way to pass the bill. Likely as a footnote within some other very popular bill they will hype up.They do it all the time to pass bills nobody likes and to kill bills they didn't like, but the public forced them to accept.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Amen. BEGONE SOPA! I don't want every video I post to the web with a picture of a sports drink in the background being pulled because of some infringement. When I first heard of SOPA the only thing I could think of was that time when a family was sued by Prince for posting a cute video of their baby dancing to one of his song on YouTube. You could barely hear the music,but there wa still a big stink about it. I hence reiterate,BEGONE SOPA!

emperiox
emperiox

@ExtremePhobia Couldn't agree more.

supertom221
supertom221

Good job internet. The only way to win against corporations and trade groups like this would be in the only language these guys know-- MONEY. They obviously knew the massive damage it would cause to E3, one of their greatest sources of income, and thus pulled off their support. This isn't over though, Once things cool down, they might try to pull off something like SOPA again. Keep fighting!!

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@mjc0961 Exactly. I appreciate that the politicians listened to us. People have historically talked about "flip flopping" but this is exactly what SHOULD have happened. In this instance, our political system functioned properly and we came to the correct outcome (the one the people wanted). ESA on the other hand... I can see their stance but I'm not cool with the ESA playing politics. If they believed there was no harm in the SOPA then they didn't have to change their stance because they don't vote for us. If they knew that the bills were shoddy and dangerous but supported it anyway... THEN you might want to change your stance if everyone was suddenly aware of how bad of a bill it was. That's kind of scary and I'm a little bothered that the ESA did that.

fabz_95
fabz_95

Good to know, the less support for SOPA the better.

paxis85
paxis85

"From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites. Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry's creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals," either i'm going crazy or this is the most obvious damage control i've ever seen. what they're saying isn't intrinsically wrong but with prep for E3 probably starting soon they must have realised what the outcry was going to do to their pockets. i guess for once money talks in our favour

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

Yes, this is good news. I try to be a forgiving person and am willing to give the ESA the benefit of the doubt, so now I don't see a good reason to boycott E3, but we should be aware that something like this may happen again.

s_h_a_d_o
s_h_a_d_o

@kca89 Guess that's what they meant by "unintended consequences". :|

kca89
kca89

The ESA clearly switched sides to save face and to save profits at E3. If I was a gaming company that truly was against SOPA from the beginning, I would boycott E3 until further notice and hold a rival summit the same days or around the same days as E3.

jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

I honestly never thought this bill would pass. I wasn't ever really worried, there are too many questions and too many problems with this act that there was no way the usa would impose some crap like this. We're suppose to be the best country, and it's about time these stupid politicians realize it.

SteveTwo
SteveTwo

Wow ESA. You're really sticking to your guns here! Wind blows one way, you're all for it. Wind blows the other way, you're all for it! It must be difficult being an organization that everyone ignores.

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

The only way to fight piracy is to provide better services than piracy does. But still good job and keep on fighting because this is probably just the beginning.

Irsaan
Irsaan

I almost forgot what it was like to read good news on the internet. About damn time, ESA. About damn time.

firehawk998
firehawk998

The only reason ESA decided to know not support this idiotic bill is because of the backlash from gaming fans, devs and most importantly the growing number of people who are willing to boycott E3 as a sign of protest. This just shows that the ESA supported this bill for the money and backed out of it for the potential loss of money, They havent left the bill in good faith and wisdom. Kudos to the people who made the idiotic bills defeat possible :)

JHG6784
JHG6784

keep up the good work everyone the more pressure we put on the idiots in congress/house the more likely they will back or at least make a half decent piece of legislation that isn't a giant power grab by the government to control another industry and freedom

jollybest1
jollybest1

well a lot of people planed to boycott E3 including non US people..........I like it when they are afraid

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

Oh look, its already been postponed so ESA jumps on the bandwagon to look like a good guy. What a turd of an organization.

Spacerac
Spacerac

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Verhoven
Verhoven

To our brothers in the USA, do your part! Use the power, and vote these slime balls out of office! Action and not words!

ffdgh1
ffdgh1

Alright! lets keep the offensive up to kill this crap.

DbzJohno
DbzJohno

These two bills are slowly dieing. Keep up the good work everyone!!!!

cubachino
cubachino

ESA SOPA = Hot Coffee. Watch the documentary. See the true power and influence of corporate america.

Raxyman
Raxyman

Now that near everyone was speaking against it. they back off. They aren't just a-holes, they're cowards.

vader501st
vader501st

Now that the ship is sinking, everyone is jumping off. Goddamn cowards, just remember that what you attemped to do may be forgiven, but never forgotten by those you tried to censor.