ESA Drops Support for PIPA, SOPA

The Entertainment Software Association announced that it no longer supports the Stop Online Piracy Act or the Protect IP Act. In a statement released today the trade group representing the video game industry said that it had always intended to support a bill that was balanced and fair.

Of course a simple read-through of either law would indicate that SOPA and PIPA did not take a balanced approach to the internet’s nature of free expression and sharing. In fact it took a draconian approach to enforcement that used the power of the federal government to take down websites without due process. The ESA's statement:

"From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites," the group said in a statement. "Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry's creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals. Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests. As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution."

The ESA was widely criticized by the gaming community for being hypocritical on the issue of free speech – particularly in light of the groundswell of support from gamers in their Supreme Court fight against the state of California (Brown v. EMA). Some publications even called for a boycott of the group’s annual game industry event E3.

We’ll leave the pontifications on motivation and sincerity to our readers. We do want to take this time to applaud the ESA for finally and quite publicly dropping its support for these horrific bills.

Source: Kotaku. Thanks to PHX-Corp for the tip. Image Credit: ESA.

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16 comments

  1. axiomatic says:

    Time for a regime change as far as I'm concerned ESA. You've shown your colors and they are a putrid shade of green.

  2. PHX Corp says:

    It’s not going to matter anyway for me, ESA just backstabbed us over trying to censor the internet. That’s why I’ll only watch E3 to find out when the Wii U will come out and that’s it

  3. Kojiro says:

    Translation:

    "SOPA has been shelved, so we are announcing that we have withdrawn our support so that maybe some sucker will believe we aren't jerks."

  4. Andrew Eisen says:

    "I will no longer buy any games from companies that refused to declare themselves against SOPA while the ESA represented them."

    You could buy them used.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  5. Michael Chandra says:

    Too little too late. I will no longer buy any games from companies that refused to declare themselves against SOPA while the ESA represented them. For the next year or so I'll just stick to Minecraft and my backlog, after that there's Neverwinter and Shadowrun Online. This customer ain't coming back.

  6. MechaTama31 says:

    Sorry, ESA.  This is too late to be meaningful, and we are understandably cynical about your motivation for making this statement.  We don't believe that this statement is honest or sincere.  You've shown your true colors and tried to throw us under a bus.  And now you want to pretend that it was just a mistake and you really had our best interests at heart all along?  Please.

  7. Cecil475 says:

    Just how many reporters had pulled out of E3 so far? I know some had thanks to the video that had been put out about it.

     – W


    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  8. sqlrob says:

    I hope everyone keeps pulling. Make companies understand when you do too little too late, it doesn't make up for things.

     

  9. Papa Midnight says:

    "As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution."

    This screams of disenginuity.

  10. Left4Dead says:

    "Humm…it is popular to hate SOPA/PIPA right now.  We've been looking for a good time to jump ship and we can also come up with a puff piece, I mean, press release that fixes our previous statements to make us look good again to gamers.  Two birds with one stone.

    Next:  Well, that didn't work.  Let's come up with ways to distrac….oh look!  An EAGLE!"


    -- Left4Dead --

  11. E. Zachary Knight says:

    The ESA is a slimy group. They are not pulling their support for these bills because of actual concern. They are pulling support for these bills because:

    1) The entire gaming public had turned against them.

    2) These bills are effectively on life support.

    When these bills to come back from the shadows, I have no doubt that the ESA will be right back in with support for them. They may hesitate to test the waters, but their intentions have been made crystal clear these last few weeks.


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  12. sqlrob says:

    "From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation"

    Quit lying when you spin. If you were committed to balance, you wouldn't have supported these montrosities.

     

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