ESA Spends $190k to Lobby Lawmakers about PIPA

What level of commitment does the Entertainment Software Association have in the anti-piracy bills before lawmakers? About $190,000's worth according to a Kotaku report.

In the spring and summer of last year, the trade group representing the interactive entertainment industry paid two lobbying firms a total of $190,000 to lobby about PIPA and some other issues. The data comes from lobbying records for the second and third quarter of 2011.

The ESA paid the Smith-Free Group $60,000 between April 1 and June 30 for "discussions relating to online infringements of intellectual property" (Protect IP Act) and other issues important to the group. The same group was also paid $50,000 in the summer for issues related to education, energy and tax policy.

The ESA paid the Franklin Square Group $40,000 in the spring and an additional $40,000 in the summer to lobby for issues including the immigration policy (for highly-skilled workers) and for PIPA.

While the filings do not show what the ESA's position was on PIPA or other issues, it did show that it flexed its muscles with its checkbook. The trade group has publicly stated its position on SOPA: it believes the bill is a good thing, so it's doubtful that they would be fighting against PIPA…

Disclosure on the winter period for lobbying has not been released yet.

Update: As Andrew Eisen points out, the ESA does support PIPA. It said recently that it supports both the "Senate and House bills," meaning it supports all of the above – except OPEN, of course…

Source: Kotaku. Image Credit: ESA

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