ESA Speaks Vaguely About SOPA Support

ESA Speaks Vaguely About SOPA Support

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Even though SOPA is no more, the ESA isn't apologizing for supporting it.

The ESA's support of the widely-hated Stop Online Piracy Act has been quite a source of controversy for the past few weeks. Things really started to go nuts over the past few days, with many folks petitioning gave developers and news groups to boycot E3. Now that SOPA seems to finally, truly, be dead in the water (at least for now), the ESA has issued a statement about the bill, but it's not exactly saying that the legislation was a bad idea.

Here's the statement in full:

"From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites. Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry's creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals. Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests. As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution."

While it may be tempting to read this as the ESA dropping support of SOPA, that's not the case. This statement was clearly worded so it can work with whatever direction the political winds are blowing. The ESA is taking the same sort of stance that SOPA author Lamar Smith is, essentially saying "I won't admit I was wrong, but I recognize that my idea will not go forward as is."

Both the ESA and its individual members have received a high amount of criticism from all sides over the organization's stance on SOPA, as well as how it spent a lot of money to support PIPA. Even Penny Arcade weighed in on the matter, calling out both the ESA for its support and Electronic Arts for its fence-straddling on the issue. While some members have gone on record to stand against the legislation, many developers and publishers have tacitly given approval of the ESA's support by saying nothing at all.

So, for right now, the ESA is done supporting SOPA (since, you know, that bill isn't moving forward), but it looks like it'll probably get behind a similar piece of legislation if when someone else proposes it in the future.

On a related note: Go read today's Critical Miss. You probably need a laugh after this story.

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In other words,


They only regret that they wasted money and that the bills probably aren't going to pass.

Hmm yes. But we all knew they support copyright enforcement legislation in general, so this is no surprise. We are all glad that they have dropped this, because it means people can go to E3 now.

Spud of Doom:
Hmm yes. But we all knew they support copyright enforcement legislation in general, so this is no surprise. We are all glad that they have dropped this, because it means people can go to E3 now.

E3 was still going to happen, and people were still going to cover it. The only way that the show could have failed would have been if ESA members had pulled themselves from the show and given newsgroups nothing to cover.

vansau:

Spud of Doom:
Hmm yes. But we all knew they support copyright enforcement legislation in general, so this is no surprise. We are all glad that they have dropped this, because it means people can go to E3 now.

E3 was still going to happen, and people were still going to cover it. The only way that the show could have failed would have been if ESA members had pulled themselves from the show and given newsgroups nothing to cover.

Yes, I'm aware of this. I never meant to say that the show would have failed, I just mean that now people don't feel like they have a moral obligation to boycott the biggest gaming news event.

I, for one, am still for a EA boycott. Let them learn the true meaning of gamers' frowny faces. :C

We're not supporting this ostensibly dead legislation anymore!

So, you support it completely, and after it's all beaten, you kind of sort of say you didn't support it that much?

Yeah, no. Not falling for this shit.

Zachary Amaranth:
We're not supporting this ostensibly dead legislation anymore!

Well said.

OT: [sarcasm]Thank you ESA for being completely forthright with your opinions and thoughts! I really appreciate your honesty.[/sarcasm]

I know this will probably be thrown back in my face but...

If ESA represent "us", then why are they deciding for "us"?

If Games Publishers, Players, Journalists, Programmers, Artists, Developers and Producers are all part of the ESA, why wasn't something as huge as that put up for referendum?

I'm reasonably sure that 2/3rds, at least, of our group do not want SOPA or PIPA in their current form - and made it quite clear BEFORE they were dropped.

Who does ESA answer to? Because it seems to just be ESA.

And if that's the case, why are publishers supporting them? I can't see that they would pay EA etc. enough to support a independent body.

Can we not, as a group, boycott ESA until they agree to act as our delegated representatives, and not just as profit chasers?

I agree that something does need to be done with places that do handle illegal downloads and such. But their is a difference between targeted attacks and scorched earth tactics.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I know this will probably be thrown back in my face but...

If ESA represent "us", then why are they deciding for "us"?

If Games Publishers, Players, Journalists, Programmers, Artists, Developers and Producers are all part of the ESA, why wasn't something as huge as that put up for referendum?

I'm reasonably sure that 2/3rds, at least, of our group do not want SOPA or PIPA in their current form - and made it quite clear BEFORE they were dropped.

Who does ESA answer to? Because it seems to just be ESA.

And if that's the case, why are publishers supporting them? I can't see that they would pay EA etc. enough to support a independent body.

Can we not, as a group, boycott ESA until they agree to act as our delegated representatives, and not just as profit chasers?

The ESA is only game developers and publishers. Hate to break it to you, but most of "us" aren't members.

vansau:

The ESA is only game developers and publishers. Hate to break it to you, but most of "us" aren't members.

OK then, given condemnation of it by numerous developers/publishers...same question? I can understand EA/Blizzard/UbiSoft being for it; but Valve, Mojang, Team Meat, Media Molecule...

Granted this is probably going to go straight back to "because they can", but why are they being allowed to be in this position - directly breaking their own code of conduct? ("To protect gaming from overreaching(?) legislation")

I say we still do whatever it takes to burn the ESA to the ground. They are just going to try to pull something like this again.

The_root_of_all_evil:

vansau:

The ESA is only game developers and publishers. Hate to break it to you, but most of "us" aren't members.

OK then, given condemnation of it by numerous developers/publishers...same question? I can understand EA/Blizzard/UbiSoft being for it; but Valve, Mojang, Team Meat, Media Molecule...

Granted this is probably going to go straight back to "because they can", but why are they being allowed to be in this position - directly breaking their own code of conduct? ("To protect gaming from overreaching(?) legislation")

...

OK, do me a favor. Go read the Wikipedia page and look at its membership list. Come back here and then we'll start over.

vansau:

OK, do me a favor. Go read the Wikipedia page and look at its membership list. Come back here and then we'll start over.

This bit?

ESA's programs include:

Presenting the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 Media and Business Summit, currently the Electronic Entertainment Expo)
Supporting the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
Combating copyright infringement of software
Combating governmentally imposed video game censorship and regulation

But I think you're trying to point out the membership list - Then basically they're just a representative of a group of interested companies - who isn't doing what they need to.

So...original question...are they just a lobbying shield for the companies still involved? Because that seems to be all they're working towards.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
In other words,


They only regret that they wasted money and that the bills probably aren't going to pass.

http://shadbase.com/dr-claw/

I honestly couldn't not respond to your video.

OT: So, I think we, as a community, should still boycott ESA's events (E3) and ignore them completely. To have only boycotted for this event means nothing if we stop after they released a pathetic statement like that. I say let them fade into obscurity and we'll find a newer, better voice to represent the gaming community.

The_root_of_all_evil:
So...original question...are they just a lobbying shield for the companies still involved? Because that seems to be all they're working towards.

Were they ever anything but that? They're built in the image of the RIAA and MPAA and funded by many of the same entities.

Weird that I haven't seen them say anything about ACTA seeing how it´s another one of these horrific bills, that the ESA would love to support <-<

DrOswald:
I say we still do whatever it takes to burn the ESA to the ground. They are just going to try to pull something like this again.

I agree. These people are just bad. Bad, bad, BAD.

ShaneGunWolf:

DrOswald:
I say we still do whatever it takes to burn the ESA to the ground. They are just going to try to pull something like this again.

I agree. These people are just bad. Bad, bad, BAD.

OK, look. The ESA isn't the devil incarnate. They were a huge part in fighting to protect the rights of game developers and publishers in last year's Supreme Court case. You just have to remember that this is an organization that's composed of, represents and fights for the rights of companies. They don't fight for the rights of their customers; it just so happens that a lot of times the interests of the companies and the customers align.

Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those times.

If we're going to hate on anybody, can't we all just despise Go Daddy?

vansau:

ShaneGunWolf:

DrOswald:
I say we still do whatever it takes to burn the ESA to the ground. They are just going to try to pull something like this again.

I agree. These people are just bad. Bad, bad, BAD.

OK, look. The ESA isn't the devil incarnate. They were a huge part in fighting to protect the rights of game developers and publishers in last year's Supreme Court case. You just have to remember that this is an organization that's composed of, represents and fights for the rights of companies. They don't fight for the rights of their customers; it just so happens that a lot of times the interests of the companies and the customers align.

Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those times.

If we're going to hate on anybody, can't we all just despise Go Daddy?

I agree with this guy. Without the ESA, California's anti-video game law may have not been heard by the Supreme Court, and it would have set a precedent for other states to institute their own laws restricting video games.

It sucks that they also support such assholish measures as SOPA, but they aren't quite as bad as the MPAA/RIAA, because game developers/publishers are a bit more, well, not fucking retarded in wanting to not piss off their constituents too much. Kinda.

What exactly does the ESA do? I know they claim to represent the veiws of the games industry but in this case it was frankly wrong, infact it was more than wrong they were actively lobblying; paying 100s of tousands of dollars, that presumably originated from their memebers, to try and get the bill passed. This is about as far from "Representing the Games industry" as you can get.

So why does the ESA still exist? It obviously has no interest in its own mission statement and obviously seems comfortable to flout the possition of its members. Each invidual memeber came out AGAINST sopa yet the ESA as a body, who many outsoders see AS the games industries main voice, seemed content to fully and fincancially back it.

The ESA is unaccountable and in my veiw can eat several bags of dicks.

vansau:

OK, look. The ESA isn't the devil incarnate. They were a huge part in fighting to protect the rights of game developers and publishers in last year's Supreme Court case. You just have to remember that this is an organization that's composed of, represents and fights for the rights of companies. They don't fight for the rights of their customers; it just so happens that a lot of times the interests of the companies and the customers align.

Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those times.

If we're going to hate on anybody, can't we all just despise Go Daddy?

Wasn't that the EMA? http://www.entmerch.org/ The ESA didn't play that big a part in EMA Vs. Brown (the clue is in the title) it was the EMA who took on the case, not the ESA.

"From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation...

And I stopped taking them seriously right there. They are grossly misrepresenting the community. I'm shocked that those companies that said they weren't supporting SOPA didn't just leave the ESA. If they did that, then I'm sure others on the fence would follow. Might just the kick in the pants that would either make the ESA listen to the people funding them, or make them curl up and cry until they fade away and a new organization is formed in their place.

Scrumpmonkey:

vansau:

OK, look. The ESA isn't the devil incarnate. They were a huge part in fighting to protect the rights of game developers and publishers in last year's Supreme Court case. You just have to remember that this is an organization that's composed of, represents and fights for the rights of companies. They don't fight for the rights of their customers; it just so happens that a lot of times the interests of the companies and the customers align.

Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those times.

If we're going to hate on anybody, can't we all just despise Go Daddy?

Wasn't that the EMA? http://www.entmerch.org/ The ESA didn't play that big a part in EMA Vs. Brown (the clue is in the title) it was the EMA who took on the case, not the ESA.

The full name of the case was called "Edmund G. Brown, Governor of the State of California, and Kamala Harris, Attorney General of the State of California v. Entertainment Merchants Association and Entertainment Software Association"

vansau:
[quote="Scrumpmonkey" post="7.339063.13722311"][quote="vansau" post="7.339063.13721474"]

The full name of the case was called "Edmund G. Brown, Governor of the State of California, and Kamala Harris, Attorney General of the State of California v. Entertainment Merchants Association and Entertainment Software Association"

Try saying that when you're drunk :P

Also, ahhh right that makes more sense. Personally i found the entire case rather confusing not being U.S. based and whole thing being well... so utterly confusing at times.

Spud of Doom:

vansau:

Spud of Doom:
Hmm yes. But we all knew they support copyright enforcement legislation in general, so this is no surprise. We are all glad that they have dropped this, because it means people can go to E3 now.

E3 was still going to happen, and people were still going to cover it. The only way that the show could have failed would have been if ESA members had pulled themselves from the show and given newsgroups nothing to cover.

Yes, I'm aware of this. I never meant to say that the show would have failed, I just mean that now people don't feel like they have a moral obligation to boycott the biggest gaming news event.

so we boycotted something and their plan to rule the world has failed, so we can go and give them our money again so they could try to rule the world again. good thinking.

sitting in the middle and waiting for a good opportunity reminds me more of mafia than of business.

 

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