Introduced in October, the Stop Online Piracy Act has proven to be a polarizing piece of legislation. And while some of the major players within the game industry have been silent as to their stance on the bill, the Entertainment Software Association believes its passage is in those companies' best interest.
In a statement today, the ESA announced its support for SOPA, saying that the game industry requires effective protection against the illegal acquisition of games and those who facilitate it.
As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection, and do not believe the two are mutually exclusive. Rogue websites--those singularly devoted to profiting from their blatant illegal piracy--restrict demand for legitimate video game products and services, thereby costing jobs. Our industry needs effective remedies to address this specific problem, and we support the House and Senate proposals to achieve this objective.
We are mindful of concerns raised about a negative impact on innovation. We look forward to working with the House and Senate, and all interested parties, to find the right balance and define useful remedies to combat willful wrongdoers that do not impede lawful product and business model innovation.
As it was first proposed, SOPA would allow the US government and copyright holders to request court orders against websites that are believed to be hosting infringing content. Those who do not comply with the order risk having payment services and advertising channels severed, as well as being removed from search engine results and blacklisted by Internet service providers.
Companies that support the bill--including the Motion Picture Association of America and National Football League--argue that it offers necessary protection to content creators. Opponents of the bill, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argue that SOPA infringes upon First Amendment rights and will ultimately deprive the Internet of non-infringing content.
SOPA is also supported by a number of major media corporations, including GameSpot parent company CBS. For more information, check out GameSpot's analysis of the bill.