ESA Spent $190K on PIPA and SOPA
According to Gamefront, the Entertainment Software Association spent much of its dues last year lobbying for the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The ESA gets its money from dues paid by video game developers and publishers and from E3, controls the ESRB, and usually champions for the rights of video games.
However, in 2011, despite pressure from many of the companies it represents, the ESA spent up to $190,000 to support PIPA and SOPA.
As published before, these acts have the potential to stop any third-party review or news site to use copyrighted elements to create content. In other words, if GameTaffy reviews a game that was not sent from a publisher (Trine 2 was sent from Atlus, so we’re good there), we could be removed from all search-engine results and removed from our host. These acts are best for major corporations, because they can have complete control of what is said over the Internet.
As stated on the GameTaffy.com Show, when companies claim they are against PIPA or SOPA, it is only for good public relations. However, just because Epic Games is against SOPA does not mean that its voice is heard as such.
When these companies stay with the ESA, Congress hears from lobbyists that every developer and publisher supports the acts. To really make a difference, companies need to leave the lobbying privileges, E3, and the ESRB to prove they are really against the acts. Unfortunately, no one has the balls to step out, even temporarily, and make its voice heard.
Anonymous has declared war on the ESA and all the companies represented through the lobby group. However, terrorist attacks are not the answer to the larger problem. If the companies in the ESA are attacked, they will be viewed as a martyr.
Instead, people need to realize that PIPA and SOPA are acts to limit the public’s right to free speech. People will no longer be able to make memes spoofing movies or video games. Aspiring artists will no longer be able to post their (obvious) covers of popular songs on YouTube to get public notice. And review sites will not be allowed to post criticism with the use of visual aids unless content publishers approve of the review.
It seems like an obvious message, but the real way to speak out is to write to your members of Congress and to express your disapproval of PIPA and SOPA. After that, stop buying games from ESA developers and publishers. Instead, look for the indie developer posting his game online without a rating. Then, you’re supporting indie and fighting the threat against free speech.
Unfortunately, GameTaffy is unable to partake in the SOPA Blackout, as we are currently hosted by WordPress.com. However, we commend the sites protesting SOPA through content.