EFF Applauds Passage of The Innovation Act in the House

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a statement today praising the House of Representatives passing a bill to deal with patent trolling. The bill, the Innovation Act, was supported by a majority of House members, winning passage by a vote of 323-89. All that's left is for the Senate to take up the bill, which it plans to do before the end of the year.

While the EFF applauds the House's efforts, it also notes that the Innovation Act is by no means a perfect bill:

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ECA Action Alert: Say No to Massachusetts Video Game Research Bill

November 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has put out a special call for action specific to residents of Massachusetts, where a state senator has proposed that violent video games and video games in general should be studied by a panel (put together by the Senate) to determine if they cause real-world violence.

The bill is called S 168 and is the brainchild (we use the term loosely in this case) of State Senator William Brownsberger (D).

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Sen. Rockefeller Attempts to Amend Cybersecurity Bill to NDAA 2014

November 22, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee has attached his cybersecurity bill (S.1353) as an amendment to next year’s National Defense Authorization Act. If the amendment manages to survive the approval process Sen. Rockefeller’s Cybersecurity Act of 2013 may finally become law. S.1353, was unanimously approved by the Commerce Committee in July but has been stalled since then.

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State Senator Pushing for Independent Investigation into 38 Studios

November 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

State Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown) is putting forth legislation today to renew his push to create an independent commission to investigate Rhode Island's investment in 38 Studios, which ultimately left the state on the hook for $100 million after Curt Schilling's game studio went bankrupt in 2012. Hodgson promises to create a bipartisan coalition to bring the bill to a vote early in the 2014 General Assembly session.

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Massachusetts State Senator Proposes Study on Violent Video Games

November 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A Massachusetts state senator is pushing legislation that would study video games and their possible link to violent crime. Sen. William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) has proposed legislation (S 168) to create a special commission to investigate the influence of violent video games and to find if there is a connection with real world violence.

"As a legislator, I don’t know the answer to this question," Brownsberger said during a hearing on the bill Wednesday before the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

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Senator Wants to See an End to Patent Trolling Demand Letters

November 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) convened a meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee this week, with the goal of ending the practice by patent trolls using demand letters to extort funds from individuals and companies, according to a lengthy report in Ars Technica. The meeting brings four key personalities in patent reform to Capitol Hill to pick their brains on how to go about accomplishing such a lofty goal.

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High Voltage Software Seeks Tax Incentives Amidst Illinois Legislature Pension Shortfall Fight

November 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Buried in a story about a number of companies seeking incentives from the Illinois state legislature being held up by a veto by Governor Pat Quinn over a lack of pension reform, High Voltage Software's name popped up. Apparently Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates (a northwestern suburb of Chicago) Democrat, is pushing incentives legislation for the company, which is headquartered in his district.

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EFF Warns: Sen. Feinstein's 'NSA Reform Bill' Codifies Agency's Spying Activities

November 1, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is warning the public that the "reform bill" being pushed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.) does nothing to curtail the questionable surveillance activities of the National Security Agency; in fact the watchdog group says that the new bill entrenches many of the practices the NSA is engaging in already.

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Sen. Jay Rockefeller Urges Caution in Implementing New FAA Rules on PEDs During Flights

October 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who serves as the chairman of the Senate committee that oversees transportation issues, released a statement today cautioning the use of iPads and other tablet devices on U.S. flights. Rockefeller warned that having access to the Internet and entertainment during flights could impact safety.

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FAA Lifts Ban on Portable Electronic Devices During Flights

October 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Aviation Administration has decided that passengers can now use Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight. The agency recently reviewed the long-standing ban on the use of devices during take-off and landing, but found that there was no scientific evidence to back up claims that such devices interfered with aircraft electronics and communication systems.

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EFF Praises Congress for Taking Aim at Patent Trolls with the 'Innovation Act of 2013'

October 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a statement today praising Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and other lawmakers that have backed a bipartisan effort to combat the nefarious practice of patent trolling. Rep. Goodlatte has introduced the Innovation Act of 2013 (PDF), a bill that puts limits on the ability to use patents to troll companies and the public. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps.

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NSA Head: We Need CISPA

October 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The battle over the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is far from over and lawmakers and leaders in the government's various security agencies are pushing hard to get legislation in the Senate passed. Earlier this year the House of Representatives passed CISPA with the hopes of the Senate putting together a bill of its own. At the time the Senate let that hot potato cool by saying that it had no plans to pursue such legislation.

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GOG.com Offers Furloughed Government Workers Free Games

October 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

GOG.com is offering its condolences to government workers affected by the current government shutdown and doing the only thing it can to lift spirits: host a sale. First, the site that offers DRM-free games says that it will give free games to anyone who is currently at home due to the government shutdown, which has temporarily furloughed federal employees at national parks and who work for non-essential services in the country as Republicans and Democrats feud over particulars of the budget and the looming debt ceiling crisis that could see the U.S.

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Republican Senator: CISPA-Like Senate Bill Close to Being Introduced

October 8, 2013 - James Fudge

Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said today that the Senate is "very close" to introducing legislation that would encourage the private sector to share information with federal agencies. A counterpart to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that passed the House in April of this year, the as-of-yet unnamed bill would also provide blanket immunity to corporations that share data so they wouldn't have to worry about getting sued by customers.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Working on CISPA 'Companion' Bill

September 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

While the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) failed to win support from the US Senate earlier this year, not every Senator has given up on passing some sort of legislation related to cybersecurity. This week Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, introduced a bill that is meant to "complement" CISPA and aims to encourage information-sharing between private companies and the government in the name of cybersecurity.

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Lawmakers, NSA Argue For and Against Spying Programs

September 27, 2013 - James Fudge

While lawmakers, feeling the heat from constituents back home (or deeply disturbed by reports on spying well before the public became outraged), consider reforms to U.S. surveillance programs operated by the National Security Agency, NSA Director Keith Alexander is asking the public for help in defending them.

The head of the top spying agency in the country urges citizens to remain stalwart in their support of the program, lest something bad happen to them on the scale of what happened in Kenya earlier this week.

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Report: Government Shutdown Would Not Stop NSA Spying Programs

September 26, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

No matter what side of the issue you are on, the looming government shutdown over raising the debt ceiling in Washington D.C. may shut down some important services but it will never stop the Nation Security Agency's (NSA) spying programs. At least that's what this report in The Hill notes. A government shutdown is imminent on Oct.

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Capitol Hill Focuses On Gun Control, Despite Media's Fascination With Violent Video Games

September 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Despite the national media's fascination with the Washington Navy Yard shooter's violent video gaming habits, lawmakers on Capitol Hill focused on the need to shore up rules on guns in the United States. Democratic lawmakers and anti-gun groups focused their efforts on the push for a vote on background checks legislation, according to Polticio. During that debate there's was very little talk about violent video games.

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South Australian Attorney General Wants to Scrutinize Ratings Classification Board

September 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

South Australia Attorney General John Rau recently told the Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) that the country's new video game classification (R18+, which went into effect in January of this year) rules are not being applied properly to games and the ratings process needs further scrutiny from the country's policy makers.

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StopWatchingUs to Hold D.C. Rally Oct. 26

September 19, 2013 - James Fudge

On October 26 organizers of StopWatchingUs will hold a rally in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of the Patriot Act. StopWatchingUs is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations, individuals, and companies that oppose the unconstitutional mass surveillance being conducted by the National Security Agency. The collective seeks "a full Congressional investigation of America’s surveillance programs, reform to federal surveillance law, and accountability from public officials responsible for hiding this surveillance from lawmakers and the public."

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House GOP Takes Steps Towards Internet Sales Tax

September 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Despite opposition from fellow House members and a majority of constituents, some Republican lawmakers are pushing forward with Internet tax proposals as part of a comprehensive package on the topic similar to the Senate's Marketplace Fairness Act.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 69

September 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

On Episode 69 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the "unique nature" of Valve Software's "family sharing program" for Steam, Fox News and Dr. Keith Ablow making a concerted effort on connecting video game violence with real-world violence, and a whole lot more. Download Episode 69 now: SuperPAC Episode 69 (1 hour, 1 minute) 28 MB.

Poll: 'Likely Voters' Do Not Like the Marketplace Fairness Act

September 13, 2013 - James Fudge

From the "we-could-have-told-you-that-without-a-poll department" comes this story from Politico about the public's opposition to Internet taxes. The polls - conducted for two separate conservative groups - found that most voters oppose federal Internet sales tax legislation and suggested that lawmakers who voted for it could face serious challenges in the 2014 mid-term elections.

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RI Lawmaker Wants Subpoena Power in EDC-38 Studios Deal Review

September 12, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Rhode Island State Representative Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) wants the House Oversight Committee to grant subpoena power to a group of lawmakers looking into the Economic Development Corporation's 2010 deal with 38 Studios. Rep. MacBeth says that she wants to extract documents and compel appearances by key figures in Rhode Island's investment in Curt Schilling's now-bankrupt game development studio.

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Russia's Answer to SOPA Not as Draconian as Expected

August 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

On August 1 Russia began using a new law designed to reduce online copyright infringement. Many called it Russia's version of SOPA, but the system is proving to be less draconian than many had first anticipated. The goal of the new law is to identify and block (at the ISP level) sites online that traffic in copyrighted material online such as movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more. As of this Thursday the system will have been in effect for three weeks, but the results might be considered surprising.

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Oklahoma Game Developers Send Letter to Sen. Coburn for Supporting 'Violent Content Research Act of 2013'

August 12, 2013 -

Oklahoma-based indie developer E. Zachary Knight and a number of other Oklahoma-based game developers have signed onto a letter asking Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) to oppose Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D) Violent Content Research Act of 2013 (S. 134). The letter, which was sent to his office today, urges Sen. Coburn to oppose the bill on the grounds that it is wasteful spending - a topic he has been all too vocal about in the past.

EFF Warns Americans About the Trade Promotion Authority

August 5, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is warning American citizens that something foul is happening in D.C. related to trade agreements and copyright laws. According to the EFF, U.S. lawmakers want to pass a bill that limits their own ability to improve or remove language in agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Yes, you have read that correctly.

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ECA: Tell Your Senator NOT to Support S. 134

August 5, 2013 -

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) sent out an action alert asking its members to tell the United States Senate that it should NOT support S.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller's Violent Content Research Act Gets Greenlight from Senate Committee, Includes Video Games

July 30, 2013 -

Update: The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued a prepared statement this evening applauding more research, though the group said that it hopes it will be objective scientific research. The trade group representing the video games industry in the United States also said that it looked forward to having an open dialog with Chairman Rockefeller and members of the Committee on this issue.

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Ron Paul: Amash Amendment Adoption Wouldn't Have Halted the Continuation of NSA's Spying Program

July 29, 2013 -

Former Texas Rep. and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul says that an amendment voted down on the floor of the House last week would not have made much of a difference - even if it had survived a floor vote - to stop the NSA from spying on Americans. The amendment, from Republican Michigan Rep. Justin Amash - which was attached to the defense budget - called for the NSA's spying programs to be defunded.

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SeanBI wrote up a post detailing my thoughts on this Mojang/Bukkit stuff, feel free to chime in if you wish. http://goo.gl/OFJJIE08/23/2014 - 12:24am
Matthew Wilsonfirst, that crap is wrong. second, isnt this the 3rd time he has quit?08/22/2014 - 12:11pm
Zenhttp://levelsave.com/phil-fish-polytron-doxxed-phil-fish-quits-gaming-sells-fez-polytron/ , https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bvnhvz5IIAAAVc5.png:large08/22/2014 - 12:03pm
ZenHere are some links to the story and images. http://playeressence.com/polytron-and-phil-fish-hacked-tons-of-personal-info-leaked/ , https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bvnx8sQCIAAwumB.jpg:large , https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bvnj_zmCUAAlYWm.jpg:large08/22/2014 - 12:02pm
ZenSo...Phil Fish was apparently hacked on both his Twitter and the Polytron site along with all of his personal information has been given out in a zip file. He has since closed his Twitter and stated that Polytron and the Fez IP are for sale. He wants out.08/22/2014 - 12:01pm
Papa MidnightThe Verge says the sequel to Flappy Bird is nearly impossible. http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/21/6053297/swing-copters-flappy-bird-sequel08/21/2014 - 12:22pm
SleakerPC-Gamer wrote an article on what's going on with the Minecraft stuff: http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/08/21/minecraft-bukkit-team-lead-tries-to-end-development-but-mojang-steps-in/08/21/2014 - 11:55am
SleakerEVE had a high-profile ban today: http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/08/20/eve-online-lottery-site-somer-blink-shutting-down/#continued08/21/2014 - 10:26am
SleakerBut where have all the Ethics gone?08/21/2014 - 9:08am
Sleaker@EZK - one of the bigger things is that since Mojang has owned Bukkit for 2 years now, people contributing to the project have basically been doing work for them pro-bono. On top of never formalizing support. They hid the fact probably to prevent support08/21/2014 - 9:07am
SleakerIf you've played on a server with mods/plugins, you've almost for sure played on a Bukkit-based server.08/21/2014 - 8:56am
SleakerHere's Bukkit's explanation attempt at shutting down due to EULA changes: http://forums.bukkit.org/threads/bukkit-its-time-to-say.305106/08/21/2014 - 8:55am
SleakerEZK - it's the largest server mod for MC, in actuality without it minecraft for sure would not have been as popular (#1 game now).08/21/2014 - 8:54am
SleakerTo the point that it seems they have completely lost what it means to be for-community, and having transparency. Along with dumping restrictive EULA's onto people.08/21/2014 - 8:53am
E. Zachary KnightWhat is Bukkit and why should I care?08/21/2014 - 8:53am
SleakerMinecraft community exploded again today. Apparently Mojang owns all of Bukkit, and never put out a statement saying as such 2 years ago when they acquired them. I have to say, their transition from indie has been rough.08/21/2014 - 8:52am
james_fudgeThere aren't many left in America08/21/2014 - 1:50am
MechaTama31I sure have. Dorky's barcade in Tacoma, WA.08/20/2014 - 5:56pm
Matthew WilsonI have not been to a arcade in years. I know arcades are still big in japan.08/20/2014 - 5:38pm
Sleaker@AE - Ah no it's called GroundKontrol - I was just referring to it as a Bar-Arcade.08/20/2014 - 4:39pm
 

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