Post SOPA might be slightly wishful thinking, because the industries that paid for the bill are not going to back down any time soon. Perhaps they’ve realised they’re at least going to need to be slightly more subtle about wanting control of the internet. (Although as long as Chris Dodd is speaking for the MPAA, subtlety doesn’t look like it’s going to be an option.) They will be back. But there are others about, trying similar. So what’s there to worry about?
Posts Tagged ‘SOPA’
RPS Feature Fighting For Our Internet
With the grace of a recently dumped loser shouting, “Well… I never loved you anyway!” as he starts crying, the Entertainment Software Association have announced they’re no longer supporting SOPA. Which is a bit like announcing you no longer support England in the 1994 World Cup.
We contacted the ESA two weeks ago to ask them about their position, and whether they would consider changing it at least until the bills were rewritten. We were ignored. We also contacted every member of the ESA, and were ignored by the vast majority of them. As were Joystiq. Not exactly impressive. But now both bills are on hiatus and looking pretty wounded, at this point, as reported by Giant Bomb, they’ve crept out from behind their upturned table and issued the statement below.
Look, it’s my day off, and yet here I am. That’s how flipping excited I am to tell you what an INCREDIBLE difference the SOPA/PIPA protest on Wednesday made. One Wednesday the US Congress had 80 members in favour of the bills, with just 31 against. As of yesterday, those figures had changed to 65 in favour, and 101 against. Yes, those numbers don’t add up – a lot more Congresspersons made their minds up. Because of you people, exercising your right to protest and speak out.
And even more exciting (!), Joystiq have just reported that PIPA is now on hold, no longer to be debated in the Senate next Tuesday as planned, because of the “legitimate issues” that were raised by “many”. We made a difference.
RPS Feature The Good News
So yesterday was quiet, right? What came of it? With major sites blacking out, and others giving peculiar nods toward blacking out, there was a great deal of discussion, worldwide. In terms of raising awareness to the frightening dangers of SOPA and PIPA, it was an enormous success, a number of sponsors of the bill rapidly backing out. And this was the internet defending itself, without the help of the wider media. With these bills sponsored and desired by the owners of the television media who own the news outlets, this was always going to be a tough fight. But fight people did, and there have been tangible results. Here’s a few things that changed since the day before yesterday.
After a lot of pestering since the SOPA/PIPA news began to boil over, TIGA – the UK’s trade association that represents the UK games industry – has come out against SOPA (and presumably in turn, PIPA). This is good news, as the developer-representing body is one of the UK equivalents to the US Entertainment Software Association, who Kotaku revealed yesterday are not only supporters of the bill, but had heavily invested in it to the tune of $190,000. And that’s just in the second and third quarters of last year. They’re refusing to say what they’ve spent more recently. But TIGA, who are clearly a far smaller body with an awful lot less money, are not going along with this. In fact, they describe the bills as “inhibiting innovation” and “a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.
From 9am tomorrow morning, Rock, Paper, Shotgun will be blacked out in protest against SOPA and PIPA. The site will be gone, but for a single black page explaining why we’re doing this. And then Thursday morning we’ll be back. If you want to know why SOPA and PIPA are a problem serious enough for us to make a move like this (not a decision that tends to do wonders for your ratings, advertising, etc), read on, and watch the video below.
A flicker of good news. The White House has come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act, recognising that it significantly threatens the freedoms of Americans (and indeed the rest of the world, but they haven’t heard about us yet). This means it’s temporarily shelved, while the discussion continues. Unfortunately, it’s sister act, PIPA, hasn’t gone anywhere. There is still much work to be done. Cheers, PC Gamer.
Expect plenty more of these kinds of updates leading up to next week’s web-wide SOPA protests: it’s an enormously important issue for the future of the internet and everyone who uses it, so we’re giving it our all.
Also declaring themselves strongly against the online culture-trashing folly today are Minecraft-makers Mojang, who intend to make a right old song and dance about SOPA next week, NVIDIA, Trine chaps Frozenbyte, Torchlight devs Runic and retromancers Good Old Games. Positions, statements and assorted protests below.
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Firefall developers Red 5 are going further than simply expressing their denunciation of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in words. On January 18th, the studio will close the Firefall beta and website for 24 hours in a show of protest. More drastically, the developers are also refusing to show the extremely promising free-to-play multiplayer shooter at E3 this year because of the organiser’s support of SOPA. Commendable. More below.
Nival, the publisher and developers behind the Blitkrieg series and King’s Bounty: Legions, have got in touch with us this evening to let us know that they are “anti-SOPA” – the bill currently going through the US Congress that could irreparably harm the internet. They have given us a statement explaining their position, which is below.
Apologies for the initialism-filled title, but for an explanation make sure to read the main post here.
This is to say that we’ve created a permanent page (I’ll link it from the text below the featured boxes at the top) to tell you where each member of the Entertainment Software Association currently stands regarding the censorious and extremely disturbing Stop Online Piracy Act. We’ve contacted all 34 members to find out their position, and will update the page as people get back to us. Please get in touch if you spot any of the companies making comments elsewhere.
RPS Feature Protect Your Internet
You’ve probably heard of SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, by now. It’s the bill that is currently being considered in the US, that on the surface appears to be an attempt to control piracy, but with only the tiniest scrapes reveals a genuinely terrifying, draconian attempt to introduce government censorship of the internet at the behest of unelected corporations. While it initially had the support of a number of big internet players, that has rapidly ceased to be the case, with massive online corps pulling support or having refused it in the first place. From Facebook to Google, AOL to Yahoo, and so many other big players, the bill is being condemned as a threat to free speech, online business, any “safe harbor” protections that the DMCA had left behind, and being so poorly worded that it pretty much outlaws using the internet at all. So why is it the Entertainment Software Association is in support?