SOPA blackout: JAW, Oddworld, RPS, Gama, SavyGamer protest

Wednesday, 18th January 2012 09:41 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Oddworld developer Just Add Water and the Oddworld website, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Gamasutra and SavyGamer have all blacked out in protest to SOPA this morning.

RPS‘s John Walker announced last night on the site it was to join the protest today, which has seen several big websites, including Wikipedia, Mozilla and Google, take part in some form.

A message now greets users attempting to access the site, along with a video explaining the situation surrounding the SOPA and PIPA acts.

“We’re sorry if this frustrates or angers you. Really. But it’s nothing compared to what could happen were the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act to succeed in the US,” it says on the RPS homepage.

“Under those new rules, a single errant comment left by a reader could see RPS invisible in the United States, removed from search engines, ad revenue frozen, and thus destroyed. And despite Monday’s news that SOPA is temporarily shelved, PIPA is still planned to be rushed through, and just as dangerous.”

Full service will resume tomorrow at 9.00am.

US trade publication Gamasutra has also vowed to go dark from 8.00am PST (4.00pm GMT) until 8pm PST (4.00am GMT), with EIC Kris Graft saying that, while noting the news on Monday that the vote on the SOPA and PIPA bills would be delayed until a consensus is found, both were still a “clumsy attempt” at removing copyright and trademark infringement.

“The bill is still all about internet censorship that’s akin to the kind used in countries like Iran and China. For our non-U.S. readers who think this won’t affect you, think of how much of the internet’s power lies in the U.S., and the kind of precedent this could set for other governments,” he said in a post on the site.

“SOPA is a particular threat to video game companies and their fans who partake in user-generated content, such as mods, videos and screenshots. In general, SOPA would place a chilling effect upon many ways that game companies interact with and foster their communities, and judging how the games industry has been taking its products online and worldwide for years, and positioning games as services, that’s a bad thing.”

Bargain site SavyGamer, headed by IndieGames contributor Lewie Procter, has also gone down in protest. Destructoid had already vowed last week it would also go dark.

On the game development side, the website of UK developer Just Add Water, who’ve been recently working on the Oddworld series including a PS3 release of Stranger’s Wrath, has been also taken as a stand against both SOPA and PIPA. The official Oddworld website has been pulled also in response.




    Tried to wiki ‘Toshiba’ today…

    Looks like I’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    Have you considered joining this, Pat? Your site does have a fair amount of traffic, after all.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. silkvg247

    But if the gaming news sites black out, how will we get news of which sites have blacked out? ;)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    None of the Eurogamer sites have gone down.

    Neither has IGN, can you guess why its not reported anything on SOPA?

    #4 3 years ago
  5. GwynbleiddiuM

    So basically if this goes through IMMA SING YALL SOMETHIN’ LIKE THIS:

    Welcome to the jungle that I already live in
    We don’t have everything you want honey,
    no fun and no games

    In the jungle, welcome to the jungle
    That already brought me to my knnn knne knees, knees
    I watching myself bleed

    Welcome to the jungle it gets worse here every day
    Ya learn to live like an animal in the jungle where we play
    If you hunger for what you see you’ll take it eventually
    You can have everything you want but you better not take it from me

    In the jungle, welcome to the jungle
    Watch it bring you to your knnn knne knees, knees
    I don’t really want to watch you bleed

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight


    Thats simple FOX corp owns IGN.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    Reddit and Wikipedia should’ve gone down in the US as well.

    @6 You mean that corporation whose CEO is publicly accusing Obama of being pro-piracy because he doesn’t want to destroy the internet?

    I guess that explains it :P

    #7 3 years ago
  8. LOLshock94

    @1 Toshiba?
    i lost a friend on that beach

    #8 3 years ago
  9. xino

    the SOPA blackout is bullsh*

    i don’t know why small sites like N4G, XBMC are blacking out, it’s not as if the farking governments would look at their site as part of protester.
    They are just freaking hurting their viewers.#

    Someone tell me the difference between SOPA being approved and not being able to enjoy games and stuff. To SOPA being extended and many websites going blackout everyday to protest?

    NO DIFFERENCE because in the end we get to miss out.

    For a website like Wikipedia, going blackout makes sense because majority of people actually relies on the false news. For other sites, they are just hurting their viewers.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Ireland Michael

    @9 N4G drives hundreds of thousands of hits to websites every single day. There is nothing even remotely “small” about it.

    Most of the blacked out websites offer direct means to contact the government regarding this legislation. Its a collective effort, and it’s one day.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DSB

    @9 All you have to do is go to the blacked out sites to learn about the implications of SOPA passing.

    It won’t directly affect games, unless those games have a social component, in which case they’ll be required to monitor everything that goes on in that social component, or risk being shut down or sued by an American IP holder.

    Considering that corporations are already taking action against things as idiotic as music playing in the background of a YouTube video, or Bethesda suing for the word “Scrolls”, in spite of it never having been the name of one of their games, you can imagine the carnage if they’re allowed to go from simple bullying and already frivolous lawsuits, to actually taking websites down before there’s even a trial.

    Your games won’t be touched, and neither will those pirating it, it’s just a lot of popular sites that’ll either be taken out, sued into oblivion, or faced with outrageous expenses, and having to divert their research and development budgets into actively monitoring every single thing you do on their sites (including the specific content of every single picture you ever uploaded to a site that’s open to people from the US) instead of improving their products in a meaningful way.

    Failure to do so will mean they’re in effect pirates, and subject to both prosecution and DNS blocking.

    Of course, for start-ups, that’s a death sentence. Few new businesses have that kind of money to throw away.

    Also they’re not trying to contact the government, they’re trying to educate their users, which is really a lot more effective in the long run. Politicians tend to become apprehensive once they realize people are watching whatever filthy little deal they’re doing.

    Showing people what the internet might look like if SOPA passes is hardly the worst way to educate them on the subject.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Kabby

    Do it for a week. One day is nothing.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. IL DUCE

    Yeah, there’s no way this SOPA shit is passing…even though some action should be taken to stop piracy

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Ireland Michael

    @11 While I agree with most of what you’re saying, you might want to keep yourself updated. The DNS blocking segment of the bill has been removed.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. DSB

    @14 The technical side of DNS blocking is out, but the censoring element isn’t. Which is really a question of semantics. It’s not as radical in terms of keeping the infrastructure pristine if an ISP blocks it themselves, and it’s still as easily bypassed as DNS blocking, but ultimately the result is basically the same.

    That’s really the nature of SOPA and the legislators behind it. Anything they say seems to be based word by word on the claims made by the MPAA, and nobody really seems to know what they want, or how to achieve it without sabotaging everything for the sake of letting major studios turn the internet into a virtual East Germany.

    Either way, DNS blocking or ISP blocking will obviously hurt the innocent companies that will be struck by the bad faith lawsuits that will follow, but it’s nowhere near as serious as the rest of the bill. Allowing even more ridiculous lawsuits, under threat and ludicrous expense to anyone who lets people interact online, is really what’s going to do irreperable damage to the entire media industry.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. absolutezero

    Hat well and truely eaten :

    #16 3 years ago

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