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SOPA: Firefall, Runic, Destructoid, Minecraft, Bungie decry bill

Friday, 13th January 2012 16:40 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Ahead of a US House Committee discussion on SOPA next week, Firefall studio Red 5 and Destructoid will go offline on Monday for a 24 hour period in protest.

Red 5, speaking in a statement to Shack, said it was pulling the current online beta of the game for 24 hours, adding it was cancelling its appearance at this year’s E3 due to support by organiser ESA for SOPA and sister bill PIPA.

“We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation. We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry,” said E5 CEO Mark Kern.

“This bill, and it’s sister bill, Protect IP, will shut down live streaming, shout casting, user generated content and have a chilling effect on game innovation and social media.”

He went on to add: “We issue a call to all our industry peers, including developers, publishers and game press, to join us in letting the ESA know they do not represent our views on this issue, and strongly oppose SOPA and PIPA.”

Destructoid has also said it’ll take part in the blackout on Monday.

“On January 18th members of the House Committee will be discussing PIPA/SOPA in Washington, D.C. and, like many of our friends, Destructoid will be blacking-out in protest of legislation that would allow DNS and Search Engine Blocking,” said founder Niero Gonzalez.

“If you think this blog post is annoying and not about videogames, wait until you can’t reach our site at all because you won’t have the power to decide what websites you can and cannot reach.”

Meanwhile, Torchlight developer Runic Games has come out and said it’s firmly against SOPA as well.

“We at Runic Games oppose the SOPA/PIPA legislation and we encourage you to do the same,” read a forum topic on the matter on the developer’s forums.

Mojang head Markus Persson has also announced via Twitter that Minecraft.net and Mojang.com will be taken offline on January 18 in protest of the bill.

Nvidia, Bungie, GoG.com have also come out against the bill, with the Halo studio stating it could “cripple the kind of games we love to create.”

Epic, 38 Studios, THQ and MLG are just some of the firms which have previously spoke out against the SOPA bill as it is currently written.

The US senate is expected to vote on the bill and PIPA once it returns from recess on January 24.

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13 Comments

  1. ManWithNoName

    I doubt the efficacy this attitude can bring. Most gamers, i.e. the people who would be affected for this blackout, are already anti-SOPA, so reinforce this position with them would have little effect. If twitter or Facebook did that, maybe we would accomplish something in rising awareness of the problem.

    About Destructoid argument “If you think this blog post is annoying and not about videogames, wait until you can’t reach our site at all because you won’t have the power to decide what websites you can and cannot reach.”, I think they miss a point. People cannot decide, for example, to have a pedophile site or a ‘how to make bombs’ site (at least, they shouldn’t).

    I am against SOPA, but I think the blackout is not the best way to put their instance.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    The direct effect will ammount to absolutely nothing, but with Destructoid and Red 5 enforcing the blackout, it could give some people pause to actually educate themselves on the proposal and decide whether that’s the kind of legislation they want to represent them.

    I think you’re taking a pretty one-dimensional view of what the law actually proposes. Sure, kiddy porn should be banned, a website as much as an actual photograph, but does that mean people shouldn’t be allowed to read Lolita or experience books or art that include pedophile themes? Should Law and Order be cancelled and fined for running an episode that features a child abuser? That doesn’t serve society at all.

    If corporations have a hard enough time refraining from wasting both the public and private sectors time and money with frivolous lawsuits, with the restrictions already in place, I can only imagine the carnage that a law like that would bring with it.

    We can all agree that piracy is bad, and should be fought, but it’s nowhere near bad enough to ever warrant a restiction on peoples basic rights. It’s a malum prohibitum, as opposed to teaching people how to make bombs or abuse children, which are both crimes with potential human victims, and as such the law has to distinguish.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    The scary thing is that some of the politicians have shown such inept understanding of the arguments against SOPA they’re either massive liars or are not taking heed of them – either way it’s fucking scary that elected officials are behaving in such a way.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    @3 It’s the definition of an inside job.

    It’s so obviously a case of lobbyists writing the legislation on behalf of certain companies and passing it to “friendly” politicians to represent.

    What benefit would an honest politician ever see in legislation that essentially leaves it to corporations to be judge, jury and executioner? That’s limiting his own influence.

    Unless he’s getting paid, it makes no sense.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. chriswhaaat

    Reddit is going offline as well but on 1/18

    http://techland.time.com/2012/01/12/sopa-reddit-confirms-january-18-blackout-wikipedia-and-others-may-follow/?iid=tl-main-mostpop1

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/01/11/reddits-sopa-blackout-admirable-but-google-and-facebook-must-follow/

    EDIT:
    So is minecraft.com and mojang.com

    http://venturebeat.com/2012/01/13/minecraft-developer-says-no-sane-person-can-be-for-sopa/

    #5 3 years ago
  6. neon6

    This isn’t going to do anything to stop the bill from passing, but it’s appreciated anyway.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. AJacks92

    Facebook, Google, and Twitter are also going offline. Shit’s about get real.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Edo

    #6 We’ll see about that!

    #8 3 years ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    Wikipedia, Forbes.com reported here http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/01/13/wikipedia-mulls-sopa-blackout-as-other-sites-join-in/, are mulling a blackout, pending result of a vote on action, and the article includes word from the founder on the subject.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Phoenixblight

    @7

    Link to that? I have found no such info supporting that claim.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. HauntaVirus

    Someone tell me how SOPA will negatively effect legit, paying gamers? I’m trying to wrap my head around this.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Talkar

    @11
    Facebook, youtube, twitter, google, any forum(be it the official WoW forum, or a non-official casual community with 5 members), everything where a user can post something, for example a comment, or where there can be links containing anything that might be copyright (let’s play videos for example). All those sites, will be shut down.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    @11 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/opinion/firewall-law-could-infringe-on-free-speech.html

    One example is that any website offering cloud storage for backup etc. would have to screen every single file you upload to make sure it doesn’t contain copyright infringing material, because if it does, that website will leave itself open to being erased from the internet.

    You can imagine the kind of risk that poses for websites like Facebook or Twitter. If you’re a Facebook competitor, all you have to do is compile copyright infringing material (jpegs or videos taken without asking etc.) and find a way to turn that into a big lawsuit. If you don’t think corporations are low enough for that sort of thing, you haven’t been following the news. Facebook could potentially be erased from the internet for Americans without trial, because Facebook would be responsible for the actions of each one of it’s users.

    Best case scenario is a veritable tidalwave of bad faith lawsuits between corporations, leading to major consequences, especially for the big sites based on user content, leading to, at the very least, a society where every interaction you have with internatonal sites open to the US will have every word, picture or video closely monitored.

    Worst case scenario, the pressure to adapt will make the tech industry financially unviable for most companies, especially start ups and innovation-based firms. It’s going to be extremely expensive for them no matter what, at the cost of our rights.

    It doesn’t serve anyone but a few zealous, litigation-happy corporate hawks who feel they have a right to monitor everyone, without respecting the most fundamental civil rights.

    It’s a pretty basic circumvention of all the safeguards that are supposed to ensure due process, and it’s not even close to being just a gamer issue, it’s an issue for anyone using the web.

    #13 3 years ago

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