ESA confirms SOPA commitment

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirmed it will continue supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) despite opposition from a number of its members and the gaming community at large. 

"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,” wrote the ESA in a statement to Joystiq. “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."

SOPA has lost many influential video game supporters since its arrival in September, including Nintendo, EA, and Sony Electronics. However, since many of these same companies comprise ESA's current membership, their withdrawal from the SOPA supporters list has appeared to critics like a safe public relations move, rather than a firm stance against the controversial bill.

The ESA's faith in SOPA—or at least the spirit of SOPA—has also drawn criticism from the industry. In one example, Mommy's Best Games founder Nathan Fouts this week implored ESA members to pressure the association into ditching its SOPA support, posting, “From what I can tell, my company lost plenty of potential sales of our recent game Serious Sam Double D to online piracy. But SOPA is not the answer to fixing piracy problems!

A vote on SOPA was recently delayed until sometime in early 2012. If passed, SOPA will provide the US Government and private corporations with greater authority in the war against online piracy by allowing them to seek swift legal action against websites they believe to be in violation of copyright laws. SOPA opponents argue the bill far too vague in what it classified as copyright violations, and that it would lay the groundwork for greater internet censorship.

Read the (shrinking) list of SOPA supporters link.




  • StoneDreadnaught - January 4, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    The only, ONLY, joy I could derive from this completely idiotic and poorly written bill is if it takes effect. To watch all these companies and developers, big and small, die and/or wither because there won't be FAP's, no streams, no community promos at all. And to watch the really big ones that signed on for this thing go 'Man we really fucked ourselves over with this SOPA thing didn't we?'
  • GenMasterB - January 4, 2012 6:36 p.m.

    Don't all of you understand that we "ALREADY HAVE LAWS IN PLACE"?? Our current laws can do their job fine and follows proper steps before sites can be taken down. We do not need more, just use what we have.
  • ZhugeLiang - January 4, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    What the hell kind of name is "SOPA," eh? How'd a muppet like that pass selection?
  • ParagonT - January 5, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    That made me chuckle a bit.
  • therawski - January 4, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    Good thing our actions have postponed the hearings for a year, they have plenty of time to change their minds.
  • kevin-wong - January 4, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    In all frankness, the ESA can go to hell. We've been betrayed by an organization feigning support for First Amendment protection of our beloved medium, but as it turns out, their support stems only from their commitment to protect their precious profits. The ESA must be purged from the game industry, the ECA has long since backed the interests of independent developers and the true visionaries of this medium, and if we want this medium to survive, we must align with them.
  • festerblatz82 - January 4, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    ^This. The ESA are a bunch of cunts.

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