The Entertainment Software Association today announced its support for the proposed "Stop Online Piracy Act," a highly contentious bill that would allow the U.S. government and copyright holders to seek court orders against any website that hosts copyright-infringing material.
While companies like Nintendo, Sony, and EA reportedly revoked their initial support
for SOPA, these companies are still part of the ESA trade association, meaning that as long as the ESA supports the legislation, its members technically support it by association.
The ESA's list of members
includes many of the biggest industry players, including Nintendo, Sony, Electronic Arts, Konami, Capcom, and much more.
Outspoken indie developer Nathan Fouts, whose work includes Serious Sam Double D
and Weapon of Choice
, criticized the ESA
, noting that "as long as the ESA is still listed [as a supporter], the game industry as a whole is supporting SOPA."
In its own statement, the ESA said, "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."
In June 2011, the ESA won a landmark case
for the game industry, during which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that video games are protected by the First Amendment, and are thus not to be subjected to government sales regulation.