ESA Spends Big Bucks on PIPA-Related Lobbying

ESA Spends Big Bucks on PIPA-Related Lobbying

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The Entertainment Software Association spent up to $190,000 lobbying the U.S. government on behalf of the PROTECT IP Act over a six-month period in 2011.

SOPA is on hold for the moment, brought low by White House opposition to the bill, but its Senate-based cousin, the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act - who comes up with this stuff, anyway?) is still in the pipe and slated to go before the Senate later this month. Much like SOPA, PIPA isn't exactly the most popular legislation on the internet, yet one of the driving forces behind it is the Entertainment Software Association, which represents the videogame industry in all matters legislative and judicial. And it wasn't afraid to put its money where its mouth is, either, sinking roughly $190,000 into lobbying efforts over the spring and summer of 2011.

Between April 1 and June 30, the ESA paid the Smith-Free Group $60,000 for PIPA-related "discussions relating to online infringements of intellectual property" and then another $50,000 more for similar work done between July 1 and September 30. A second lobbying firm, the Franklin Square Group, received a total of $80,000 over the same period for a number of lobbying efforts including some related to PIPA.

The records don't indicate where the ESA planted its flag but it has made no secret of the fact that it's a firm supporter of both SOPA and PIPA. Given that it spends more than a million dollars per quarter on various game-related lobbying efforts, it's not as though the ESA is throwing everything it's got into the breach, but the fact that it's giving any support at all to legislation so potentially damaging, and which a significant portion of its membership is against, is a little disquieting.

The ESA has not yet commented on the report.

Source: Kotaku

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Apparently these silly and completely bat shit crazy notions just won't go quietly into the good night.....

Hopefully this will be squashed and we can all pretend this never happened.

I think I saw on RPS or somewhere that SOPA was being used to sneak PIPA by without as much publicity. Don't quote me on that, though.

Anyways, could someone tell me what the difference between SOPA and PIPA is exactly?

(I'd also like to throw it in that in Swedish "Sopa" actually means "rubbish" or "trash")

Spy_Guy:
I think I saw on RPS or somewhere that SOPA was being used to sneak PIPA by without as much publicity. Don't quote me on that, though.

Anyways, could someone tell me what the difference between SOPA and PIPA is exactly?

(I'd also like to throw it in that in Swedish "Sopa" actually means "rubbish" or "trash")

This might help:

http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/11/sopa-protectip.html

And this too:

http://www.quora.com/Stop-Online-Piracy-Act-SOPA-1/Whats-the-difference-between-SOPA-and-PIPA

$190k isn't "big bucks" in lobbyist land. That is hardly making an effort.

Spy_Guy:
I think I saw on RPS or somewhere that SOPA was being used to sneak PIPA by without as much publicity. Don't quote me on that, though.

Anyways, could someone tell me what the difference between SOPA and PIPA is exactly?

(I'd also like to throw it in that in Swedish "Sopa" actually means "rubbish" or "trash")

SOPA in Portuguese means "Soup", heh.

Who are the ESA after all? If such major companies like EA, Sony and Nintendo pulled their support, what major is still supporting it, so ESA still going strong?

$190,000 is just a drop in the pond compared to the amount of money they'll lose if the SOPA/PIPA tag-team pass.

I ordered a boycott of ESA members a few weeks back and it still is not here.
*flags down the waitress*

It's hard to believe that people are celebrating SOPA's (most probably temporary) shelving when this is still out there, and looking pretty likely to pass. True, any victory is better than none, but this is up for a hearing pretty soon (the 24th is what I've heard; please correct me if I'm wrong). We can't let down our guards. I've called my representatives once regarding this, and I'm going to do it again - we need to vote everyone who's supported these terrible bills out of office.

He He, for a moment I thought they meant ESA as in European Space Agency... that would've been random xD

I'm a firm supporter of this bill.

Bill folds.

Now I'm a firm supporter of this similar bill.

I get the feeling that SOPA was meant to go down.

Andy Chalk:
but the fact that it's giving any support at all to legislation so potentially damaging, and which a significant portion of its membership is against, is a little disquieting.

Not really. The big guns like Sony and the others who are also members of the RIAA and MPAA through other subsidiaries are very pro-SOPA. The ESA is no different than those: An acronym that can hurt people and be the bad guy while the company giving the marching orders hides from the bad press.

Why don't they just call it what it is, bribes.

The_root_of_all_evil:

I get the feeling that SOPA was meant to go down.

So do I. Really, two unpopular bills with so many similarities? IT's looking more and more as though SOPA had been meant to be the bullet shield for PIPA.

Make crazy bill, everyone rages and it goes down while PIPA hides behind it.
This just shows why bills like SOPA and PIPA have even a chance. Money. At the hearing for SOPA, the congressmen who supporting SOPA the most, had no idea what they were talking about. They just stubbornly supported it the whole time because that keeps the companies happy and their pockets full.

I don't know a whole lot about politics, but in this case how is lobbying different from bribery?

It's not different.. at all. "lobbyists" just bribe politicians with fancy stuff in the name of corporation, to get the interests of the corporation to become the law.
Happens everywhere.
How do you think it became pretty much illegal to sell natural vegetables in the EU? It's because the big companies who produce chemically enriched vegetables without any taste spent money on dinners and cars and services for politicians and called it "lobby". Same goes for video games, or any other media and any other corporation, really..

the big fluffeh:
It's not different.. at all. "lobbyists" just bribe politicians with fancy stuff in the name of corporation, to get the interests of the corporation to become the law.
Happens everywhere.

You seem to suffer from the delusion that politicians would make decissions concerning how the country is run.
In truth, we elect them to entertain us with their mishaps and their speeches while somebody far behind the curtains pulls the strings.

The ESA promoting SOPipA (Coincidence ? I think not) while the individual companies try to backpaddle as hard ast they can isn't too surprising. Companies like sony or nintendo WANT those bills to pass.
Their executives and shareholders have had kinky wet dreams about a world where they only have to call their laywers to completly WRECK those little pesky upstarts that cut into their profits.
But now that the masses have smelled the shyte hitting the fan, they have to distanace themselfs as far as they can from SOPipA to avoid the rage of the nerds.
They'll still support ESA's actions to get it passed because it serves their needs.
Not everyone is aware of the relation between the individual companies and the ESA, and as soon as little Timmy Facebookadict reads "Sony backs down from sopa" he thinks that Sony REALLY backed down from sopa.
Poor little Timmy just doesn't know how a charade is played...

NightmareWarden:
I don't know a whole lot about politics, but in this case how is lobbying different from bribery?

It's a synonym really.

I love how the ESA can ask gamers on the net to support them through the Videogame Voters Network to have games protected under the First Amendment and then turn around and stab them all in the back with this SOPA/PIPA bullshit.

i find it funny how we say that countries like say, russia, are corrupt like hell, but us? no, we are not corrupt, we just have a lot of "lobby groups" which is completely different that corruption.

just strikes me as odd....

"Democracy" at work, ladies and gentleman.
If at first you don't succeed, try again with a similar (but different) bill.
So...who wants some Fascism in a Can?

NightmareWarden:
I don't know a whole lot about politics, but in this case how is lobbying different from bribery?

No real difference, although the politicians themselves would argue about the semantics. It basically comes down to buying a vote. Which is why it pays to investigate who you vote for and who else is in that particular person's party. Some accept bribes all the time, others are more clean.

Well a great thing to do is simply keep your wallet away from the ESA and their main income machine: the E3.

Some interesting people have put together this video: http://youtu.be/pHOZcHkvkvs

 

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