Following Tuesday’s statement from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) which effectively backed the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), more companies have either openly stated their opposition to the bill or expressed serious concerns. SOPA is opposed by tech companies such as Google, Yahoo and Twitter and backed by major copyright holders like Universal, Fox, Disney and Paramount (understandably, as the bill would
SOPA is ostensibly supposed to combat online piracy, but the main thrust of the legislation appears to simply put the power to shut down internet sites in the hands of (unelected) major copyright holders. According to some legal readings of the bill, it may also violate US First Amendment rights. Free speech and online business are being threatened in equal measure.
Epic Games aren’t too keen on all that, and have issued a statement about SOPA through their official forums which reads: “Epic Games supports efforts that would stop overseas websites profiting from pirating our games, but we have to do that in a way that’s compatible with freedom of speech and due process of law.
Thus, we do not support the current version of SOPA.”
The company also states its belief that the ESA is attempting to “work with legislators to refine the bill.”
Elsewhere, Nival (developers and publishers behind Kings Bounty: Legions) has told RockPaperShotgun that they are actively “anti-SOPA”. Their statement reads: “Unfortunately, SOPA could do more harm to Internet freedom than good to fight piracy. We recognize the issues our partners in the online press have with this legislation. We will continue to be anti-piracy but are also anti-SOPA”.
Trion Worlds (developers and publishers of Rift) have also stated their opposition to SOPA, posting on their official forums over December: “We definitely do not support SOPA. We’ll be calling the ESA about this after the holiday weekend.”
Sources: forums.epicgames.com, rockpapershotgun.com, forums.riftgame.com