On Friday the Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) sent out a PSA to its partners and friends asking them to join them in the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act – two anti-piracy and rogue web site laws that fight illicit copyrights infringement and counterfeit goods at the cost of free speech, fair use and the integrity of the Internet. We posit that free speech will always be a more valuable commodity than the profits of corporations and special interests and should always be protected.
We've posted ECA president Hal Halpin's full appeal below, but I want to personally urge you to join in on this issue, particularly if you run a blog, Tumblr page, or a web site. When people talk about politics they often say "the stakes are high," but like Brown v. EMA, the stakes really are as high as they have ever been when it comes to free speech and the integrity of the Internet. We have to decide if we want access to the Internet the rest of the world enjoys or an Internet like what they have in China and Iran (you know, heavily censored and controlled by the government). Check out Hal Halpin's statement below and thank you for listening:
Last year, we asked that you would consider including our PSA drumming up support for, and awareness about, the important First Amendment case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Brown v EMA/ESA, and many of our partners and friends came to our aid. We were able to garner signatures for a consumer petition, submit an amicus brief, hold a rally, and educate millions of gamers about the importance of their rights."
This year, we're again asking that you consider using any remnant advertising space that may be available to educate consumers about two very concerning pieces of legislation: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). While we certainly respect the rights of creators to protect their works, these bills are so broadly written that they're a threat to the online experience we know today. The politicians who have been debating this legislation have repeatedly stated that they just aren't hearing from their constituents, but are hearing from lobbyists on the other side.
Attached [editor's note: you can download it here], please find a 300×250 PSA intended to drive traffic to http://theeca.com/sopa – with the goal of raising awareness about the matter and the hope of engagement. There, consumers can use our free online advocacy tools to contact their representatives, utilize our letter writing widgets and help spread the word. ECA membership is not required and it is fast, straight-forward, and free to use.
Thank you in advance for your time, support and consideration – it is appreciated.
[Full Disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA Publication.]