ESA Drops SOPA Support

ESA Drops SOPA Support

The Entertainment Software Association no longer supports the Stop Online Piracy Act, the controversial anti-piracy bill that was shelved earlier in the US House of Representatives after a week of fierce online protests.

“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 video game lobbying group, which is funded by most of the world’s biggest video game publishers, had come under sharp criticism for its refusal to disavow the proposed bills, which critics said would stifle online speech and potentially ruin message boards, video-streaming and even some online games that are rich with user-generated content that might involve unlicensed copyrights.

Earlier this month, the ESA issued a statement that said that “we support the House and Senate proposals” to achieve the objective of battling “rogue websites… devoted to profiting from their blatant illegal piracy.” Those two proposals, SOPA in the House and the Protect IP Act in the Senate, are on indefinite hold this week and are essentially dead.

As Senators, Congresspeople and even some companies flipped their positions from yay to nay on SOPA and PIPA these past couple of weeks, the ESA remained mum. Their presumed continued support led to calls for a press and developer boycott of E3, the huge annual trade event in Los Angeles that is used to show off the biggest and best new video games and systems from Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, EA, Activision and most of the rest of the giants of video games.


    Too late assholes, you supported it up until the last drop.

    • ESA doesn’t make games…
      it does however, run E3, and other news websites were boycotting E3 because of their support of SOPA, which means you should have said

    • F*ck you ESA and your members- think you’ll get our money after you tried to ERASE OUR FREE SPEECH? F*ck you. Not getting anything from me. Your bullshit empty gesture just makes you look worse. Cowardly AND trying to attack our free speech and the internet. Amazing.

  • Oh hooray thanks for finally supporting the cause ESA….

    Oh wait whats that? SOPA was shelved and then pretty much killed off already?…. Hmm… i sense cheap attempt at trying to milk support back now that the bill their supporting is practically DoA at its current form.

    The optimist in me wants to go “hooray! about time!” But the cynical realist in me says this is all a load of horse poopy and the *only* reason they’ve swapped is to minimise the fallout from their SOPA allegiance.

    • Have to agree here.. Even just a quick look is filled with disappointed at the obvious fopar 🙁

      Silly ESA, shoulda pulled out WHILE the decline was imminent!

  • Funny how now SOPA has been beaten back the ESA is suddenly changing its tune. Reminds me of that one cowardly movie character who sides with the enemy because they don’t want to die and then switches sides at the end of the battle when the heroes start winning and yells after the retreating enemy “Yeah! You’d better run!”.

    Of course, I’m still wondering at how the companies registered with ESA could protest SOPA yet still passively remain a part of the ESA. Red 5 Studios were the only ones who actually stood up and tried to do something.

  • And who cares? I’d bet good money that the actions of the ESA have already guaranteed the pirating of many games just out of spite.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!