Sorry, folks. The Entertainment Software Association still supports the enormously flawed Stop Online Piracy Act.
Last week’s announcement that EA, Nintendo, and Sony were pulling their support of SOPA was met with a mixed reaction. On one hand, the fact that such high-profile companies were no longer putting their names behind such a broken piece of legislation was definitely good news. On the other, the Entertainment Software Association (which counts the three amongst its members) is still supporting the bill.
Today, the ESA issued a statement to Joystiq about its support of the law:
“As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection, and do not believe the two are mutually exclusive. Rogue websites – those singularly devoted to profiting from their blatant illegal piracy – restrict demand for legitimate video game products and services, thereby costing jobs. Our industry needs effective remedies to address this specific problem, and we support the House and Senate proposals to achieve this objective. We are mindful of concerns raised about a negative impact on innovation. We look forward to working with the House and Senate, and all interested parties, to find the right balance and define useful remedies to combat willful wrongdoers that do not impede lawful product and business model innovation.”
The fact that the ESA is supporting SOPA is disheartening, but not incredibly surprising. The organization represents a lot of groups that are firmly entrenched in the anti-piracy camp and are desperately trying to stop people from illegally acquiring the content they provide. That said, this is a proposed law where the any pros are severely outweighed by all the cons, to say nothing of the fact that it will “break the internet.” Personally, I find it baffling that an organization that spent so long defending the First Amendment rights of its industry is now backing a bill that would trample all over said rights for other groups.
It should be noted that Mommy’s Best Games, the developer behind Serious Sam: Double D is calling for ESA members to voice their disapproval of SOPA. Hopefully enough people will raise their voices to get the ESA to rethink its position.