ESA re-affirms SOPA support, mindful of “concerns”

Tuesday, 3rd January 2012 17:48 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

US lobby group ESA has issued a statement re-affirming its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill currently floating around in the US House and Senate, following the removal of EA, Nintendo and Sony from a list of companies which specifically support the move.

Said ESA: “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 statement follows a developing story earlier today, which noted that, despite reports over the holidays that EA, Nintendo and Sony have dropped support for SOPA, the firms have only been removed from a list of official supporters compiled by the House Judiciary Committee and are still members of ESA (via The Raw Story and Blue).

ESA’s anti-piracy stance is similar to that of the movie industry’s MPAA and the music industry’s RIAA.

ESA has a piracy monitoring division, and lobbies Washington representatives each year on behalf of gaming companies that are members of the association. ESA has said previously it supports the bill.

However, not all large tech and gaming firms are completely behind the bill. Back in November, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) which includes members such as Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, requested the bill be altered in a way which would fight copyright infringement without censoring freedom of speech. BSA president Robert Holleyman admitted SOPA needs work and “valid and important questions have been raised” regarding the bill.

Meanwhile, hackivist group Anonymous has said it plans to target Sony over its support of the bill, but intends to do it in a manner that will avoid the public backlash it received over PSNgate last year.



  1. Gekidami

    List of ESA members:
    505 Games
    Crave Entertainment
    Deep Silver
    Disney Interactive Studios
    Eidos Interactive
    Electronic Arts
    Epic Games
    Her Interactive
    Ignition Entertainment
    MTV Games
    Namco Bandai Games
    Nival America
    Playlogic Entertainment
    Sony Computer Entertainment
    Sony Online Entertainment
    SouthPeak Interactive
    Square Enix
    Take-Two Interactive
    Trion World Network
    Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
    Xseed Games

    lol But lets just focus on three of them.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Stephany Nunneley

    The “focus on three of them” is probably because it was “reported” the three had withdrawn backing.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    Did any of them actually state that they were backing out?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    It’s called a rebuttal, it’s a complex thing.

    Looks like Anonymous have a pretty serious Sony-boner – Maybe they’re planning to launch a console?

    RIAA should be one of the most used examples of industry lobbying actually managing to hurt the industry itself. It not only allows the music industry to continue down the road of incompetence without accepting responsibility for their parade of failures in business, it also manages to make them look like greedy scum to the general public.

    I’m kinda hoping that gamers are more aware, to a point where the ESA can be named and shamed into considering their customers before their own online sovereignty.

    At least they don’t represent everyone.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Stephany Nunneley

    No. It was reported out of speculation because as the posts states, their names were removed from a list of official supporters compiled by the House Judiciary Committee.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Gekidami

    So no lies were told, three names just got moved to under their associative umbrella… What exactly is the story here again?

    Look, if you want to point out that these 3 are still for SOPA, fine. But at least have the decency and integrity to point out that the names were moved to a list with over 29 other game publishers on it.

    At worst this is biased, at best half baked.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Stephany Nunneley

    @6 As usual, thanks for your opinion.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Patrick Garratt

    Give it a rest, Geki. Stephany has plenty of “decency and integrity”. You have no excuse to be rude to her.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    @7 – Really? I’ve half a mind to ban him for trolling.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Gekidami

    How exactly am i trolling? By not agreeing with the article? Like i said, there was confusion over what EA, Nintendo, and Sony’s positions on SOPA are, and i agree that it should be addressed, but not by falsehoods like suggesting it was as good as confirmed they dropped out only to return in disguise.

    Its also worth pointing out that ESA does more than just back SOPA, and publishers can be members with them for any number of reasons. Do all of those 33 game publishers support SOPA? I dont know, maybe, “By proxy”, as the source puts it. But wouldnt it actually be better not jump to conclusions? Especially when Microsoft is a ESA member yet is apparently opposed to SOPA, this is clear evidence that a publisher can be a member of the ESA (probably for another service) and not support the bill.

    Conclusions are being jumped to, slow down and actually think about this.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Patrick Garratt

    You’re being abusive. You can make your points without being rude.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Gekidami

    Fair enough, i admit i was brash and i apologise.

    But you cant overlook the fact that Sony, EA & Nintendo have been members with the ESA for years along with the other publishers, and the association does offer multiple services for members like other means of IP protection, IP legal info, the ESA’s consumer surveys, marketplace intelligence, and E3 advantages like being able to pick floor space, presser times & locations and lower prices. Microsoft being a member yet being opposed to SOPA is clear evidence that its members dont all automatically support the bill.

    I think my case is pretty strong, i maintain that not all of the facts have been taken into account here.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Stephany Nunneley

    @12 Fair enough Gek, and we all know the ESA does great things for the industry, but the article is not a sumerization about what it does and does not do – the piracy bit was included because this is what the post is about. If I were writing an article on Joe Johnson supporting a ban on eating meat on Fridays, stating that he also supports underwater basket weaving would be silly to include.

    The only reason EA, Sony, and Nintendo were called attention to, is because it has been reported that they had backed off support of the bill – something none of the firms ever officially announced.

    It was speculation. Good for Microsoft desite being members of the ESA coming out and saying they don’t support it – fully. But the entire point was that Sony never said they decided not to support it – someone out there in internet land just assumed so because a government official removed company names from the list is all. Which is exactly what was said in the source I sourced and other sites have drawn attention to this very fact as well.

    Now, can we please move on to something else?

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Unlimax

    OH NO ! The entire Internet world will be over .. Say Good-bye for your Freedom … And say hi for your Life .. Again .

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Gekidami

    It really isnt about summarizing what the ESA does and doesnt do but what being a ESA member means and doesnt mean. “EA, Nintendo, and Sony still support SOPA [...]“ Do they? Thats quite a bold assertion with little proof to it other than the fact they havent said outright that they dont any more, maybe someone should just ask what their position on SOPA is now that they’ve been taken off the list as an individual company.
    “[...] albeit in proxy” Going off this reasoning, doesnt that mean that every other ESA member therefore supports SOPA ‘by proxy’ too? I mean, would you agree to this: ‘US declares war on Iraq, Stephany Nunneley as a US resident supports Iraq war by proxy’.?

    See, this is where the problem is; To many assumptions, not enough facts. Theres doubt and that should be clear in the article; Do EA, Nintendo, and Sony really still support SOPA? Do they just happen to be members of a multi service group that does? We just dont know. You may think its not that important but when groups with checkered pasts start making threats, it really isnt the moment to be sketchy on what we really know and what we dont.

    Anyway, this could go on forever, so as you say, lets just move on.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Stephany Nunneley

    @15 Let’s.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Moonwalker1982

    This video(about SOPA) really made me go…WTF?!!!!

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Patrick Garratt

    I’ve edited it to refocus on the new statement.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. TheWulf

    This is hilarious. The thing about SOPA? There’s absolutely no way it’s enforceable, and anyone who works with the Internet infrastructure business will tell you the same. Oh, certainly, it’s going to cause a whole lot of trouble, but that’s all it’ll do. That’s why more smartypants companies like Google are against it.

    What’s worse is that this is the dictation of old, rich men who’ve not the first clue as to how the Internet works. And it doesn’t have anything to do with piracy really, oh no, the motivations are much more insidious: Censorship of all possible competition.

    See, it works like this…

    “Hi, I’m a publisher and I believe that it should be my right to publish all creative works and profit off of it, whilst the creative people involved see next to no profits, because this is The Way of Things and it must never change.

    “Oh, I know that some people are under the delusion that they can self-publish and handle marketing through the Whotubes or whatever they are, but that’s nonsense! Ha. Oh they’re just merely delusional and they’ll come running to us with open arms when we shut their Whotubes down. (Which we can do just by claiming that nasty faux-pirates inhabit it.) They’ll beg us to publish for them, and if they’re doing something that’s competing with what we’re doing… well, without their Whotubes they’ll just disappear quietly into the night.

    “And I am right. So I control the Whotubes! I control the Internets! I control all of the Internets! Also the horizontal and the vertical. And I see yooou. I AM NOT A SENILE OLD MAN.”

    It’s pretty much that.

    Why are these people in power again?

    (Also, is faux too clever a word for any of them to actually use?)

    #19 3 years ago
  20. freedoms_stain

    SOPA is insane. There are already plenty of examples of supposed “Rights Holders” abusing existing tools that allow them to take down content that violates their copyright from a variety of file and video hosting sites, clearly taking down files and videos that they do not hold the rights to (in many cases creative commons or other open licensed material). Now you want to hand them a tool that lets them knock out entire sites based on accusation without evidence?

    But hey, politicians know where their campaign cash comes from, and that’s more important to them than common sense, equality or freedom.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Freek

    Want to watch somebody inteligent say something thoughtfull about the future of computing and stuff like SOPA:

    Watch that instead of the crazy beard guy.

    Or this one

    also verry good.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Moonwalker1982


    That was a very good lecture, but English isn’t my mother language, so i didn’t get all of that. But as for SOPA…by the sound of it, they sound like a bunch of idiots who have no idea.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. ManuOtaku

    “However, not all large tech and gaming firms are completely behind the bill. Back in November, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) which includes members such as Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, requested the bill be altered in a way which would fight copyright infringement without censoring freedom of speech. BSA president Robert Holleyman admitted SOPA needs work and “valid and important questions have been raised” regarding the bill”

    If they are strongly concern about the freedom of speech, and if they wanted the SOPA to be altered in order to protect freedom of speech , they could just leave out ESA and resign, and if they wont do this, at least make a treat saying this, because if the SOPA bill, the one that will be going to the senate to be approve, is without this, or any modifications at all, well theres a possibility that they are indeed supporting this back doors, and not up front, so us common joe will think they are really concern about freedom of speech, when in reality they are not, IMHO

    #23 3 years ago
  24. freedoms_stain

    @22, it’s worse than that, it’s a greedy bunch of idiots with no clue being lead by a bigger, greedier bunch of idiots with no clue.

    #24 3 years ago

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