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GOG, NVIDIA, Frozenbyte, Notch vs SOPA

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.
Following up yesterday’s welcome about-face by GoG owners CD Projekt regarding their ridiculous and mercifully cancelled plans to track down and sue anyone they decided had pirated their game, GoG have spoken up to say SOPA “will restrict the scope of legitimate content allowed on websites in ways we probably don’t even know yet. A few examples of what might change if SOPA is passed: it could kill streaming of game footage or even game-chat, radically alter how your favorite user-generated content websites–including the GOG.com forums–function, and finally, it may well undermine the basic structure of the Internet.” Additionally, they don’t believe it will counter P2P-based piracy – “it only will have an effect on people who are, by and large, honest consumers.”

Meanwhile, Notch and his team of Minecraft-makers are chewing over ways to join in the protests on Wednesday. It’s still very much in discussion, so keep an eye on Notch’s Twitter to see where he’s at in his thinking, but so far the team have declared that Minecraft.net and Mojang.com will go offline for the day.

Additionally, graphics card giant NVIDIA has thrown its not inconsiderable hat in the ring. They revealed today that they weren’t consulted by the tykes of the ESA about that body’s decision to not fight SOPA, and put their own position as this”we oppose piracy, as it hurts our game-developer partners. However, we do not support SOPA. We don’t believe it is the right solution to the problem. We remain committed to working to address this problem in a constructive and fair manner.”

As for Trine creators Frozenbyte, I’ll let them do their own talking:

Update: and Torchlight devs Runic too. “It is clear that the scope of the proposed legislation would give unnecessarily broad power to large corporations while reducing the rights of individual citizens — and it won’t even stop software piracy. We at Runic Games oppose the SOPA/PIPA legislation and we encourage you to do the same.”

More, no doubt, to come from all over the world wide web in the coming days. Meantime, if you’re American you can help by contacting your spokesperson or representative to politely but firmly tell them why you oppose SOPA.

Our own coverage and list of known pro/anti-SOPA positions in the games industry is here.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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