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.
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."
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.
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!”
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.
the (shrinking) list of SOPA supporters link.