ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video Gamers'

November 16, 2011 -

A new article over at TechDirt penned by the Entertainment Consumer Association's Vice President and General Counsel, Jennifer Mercurio, explains why the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP are bad for everyone - especially gamers. Mercurio lays out what this means to everyday internet users when it comes to video performance and fair use in the first paragraph:

"If a pair of bills on Capitol Hill, called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP, pass, you could be fined and thrown in jail for streaming (i.e., 'performing') your video game speed runs or game play. Just as people post cute pictures and videos of themselves, their pets and their kids singing and dancing to copyrighted works, gamers of all ages routinely post pics and stream video of themselves during game play. All of these things have, for the most part, been considered 'fair use' under the law. Tens of thousands of videos currently available online featuring game play from popular games like Call of Duty, Halo, Starcraft and others could be made illegal under these laws."

We recommend you go to TechDirt and read the whole thing but Mercurio lays out all the arguments as to why these poorly worded bills are dangerous to free speech, fair use, and how it takes away due process for those accused of running web sites pegged as trafficking in illegal software or counterfeit products. In other words, these bills give law enforcement the ability to punish those they deem as wrongdoers before they have a chance to fairly defend themselves. This is the basic foundation of our rights - I.E. when we are accused of a crime we are not guilty until proven innocent.

The article concludes with a reminder that the ECA opposes these bills and offers free online tools to help the public let their elected representatives know how they feel about it. Find out more at theeca.com/video_gamers_rights.

Thanks to Uncharted NES for his urgent tip!

[Full Disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]


Comments

Re: ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video ...

I see two big dangers with SOPA, both stemming from a lack of due process.

  1. Larger companies can take down a small competitors website with little more than an accusation.  The lack of revenue and any potential legal costs could easily put a small business under.  And sure there are legal remedies for false accusations.... but that assumes there's something left when the dust settles who can sue the accuser.
  2. Nothing seems to stop a publisher from saying that any negative reviews of their product (particularly games, but also movies, books, etc.) are a violation of copyright and forcing them to be taken down, while leaving up any positive reviews.  Same goes for gameplay videos that show bugs, exploits, what have you.

I have to mostly agree with Google's (and other's) position on this.  Having a law to shut down sites selling counterfeit goods (particularly pharmaceuticals) would not be a bad thing.  Extending that to cover pirated goods seems to be getting sketchy.  And implementing it they way these bills do is just plain wrong.

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video ...

Man, remember the internet? How much fun we had watching review shows and game related stuff... I'm sure gonna miss all that.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video ...

Just a thought but isn't it innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent? I mean isn't it the whole point of this article?

Re: ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video ...

This whole bill is more like "guilty until proven guilty" anyways.

Re: ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video ...

Reread the sentence in question.  He's saying we're not guilty until proven innocent.

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video ...

"until proven innocent" aka, innocent until proven innocent. That's the redundant part.

Re: ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video ...

It'll be f*cking awful for everybody... except a handful of big corps, which seems to be the point. :(

 
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TechnogeekAnd as far as the Card thing went, I basically balanced it out personal guilt-wise by donating an amount equal to the Shadow Complex purchase price to the ACLU.03/05/2015 - 9:44pm
TechnogeekWelp, look like the Gerberghazi crowd is going to have to use Bing now. https://twitter.com/googlecloud/status/57365320825126093003/05/2015 - 9:42pm
Goth_SkunkAhh! I misinterpreted your statement about being left with almost every game in existence. I interpreted it as 'If you boycott games he's been involved with, you're boycotting almost all of them.'03/05/2015 - 9:31pm
Andrew EisenGoth - Card has been involved with only a small handful of games so if one were to boycott games for his involvement, they wouldn't be missing out on many games.03/05/2015 - 9:29pm
Goth_Skunk@Craig: Only if you're not interested in seeing it end.03/05/2015 - 9:27pm
Craig R.Instead of calling people the "anti gamergate faction", you could just call them "sane"03/05/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWhat do you mean 'almost every game in existence'? Card is a writer, not a game developer.03/05/2015 - 9:18pm
Andrew EisenBut I too wonder how many people who cry boycott actually follow through. I vaguely remember a few years ago a bunch of people boycotting one of the CoD games and were all found playing it on Steam.03/05/2015 - 7:53pm
Andrew EisenAn interesting quandary but not equivalent as boycotting games that Card was involved with leaves you with... well, almost every game in existence.03/05/2015 - 7:51pm
MechaTama31I agree that it's silly to avoid buying a game because one person involved with it said some things you disagree with. But I wonder how many of the people calling it silly this time have boycotted games for, say, Orson Scott Card's involvement?03/05/2015 - 7:40pm
PHX Corphttp://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/28274296/officer-injured Officer In Critical Condition Following Shooting Inside North Phila Game Stop03/05/2015 - 6:55pm
WonderkarpThe Shutup was a quick interjection saying "HEY! EVERYBODY SHUT UP AND LOOK AT THIS!" and I got the Critical Condition from a Local news site. I linked TMZ.03/05/2015 - 6:49pm
Andrew EisenThey call me The Jaws of Life.03/05/2015 - 6:48pm
Goth_SkunkThat's terrible. Now that it's been noted, can we return to Andrew's amazing steel-tearing teeth?03/05/2015 - 6:42pm
Andrew EisenWell, sucks that that happened and I'm glad he's alright (nothing in the article you linked says he's in critical condition) but there's no need for anyone to shut up.03/05/2015 - 6:41pm
WonderkarpEVERYBODY SHUT UP! Harrison Ford is in Critical Condition After A Plane Crash!! D: http://www.tmz.com/2015/03/05/harrison-ford-plane-crash-landing-golf-course-santa-monica/03/05/2015 - 6:38pm
Goth_SkunkIt ruined my joke about your billionaire lifestyle affording you state-of-the-art dentistry. I longed to see you fill your mouth with steel-tearing jaws.03/05/2015 - 6:32pm
Andrew EisenYep, typos happen. Even on the invoices I send for my freelance work. Yeah, that's always super embarrassing.03/05/2015 - 6:29pm
Goth_Skunk"Steel" your fr- aww crap you fixed it.03/05/2015 - 6:26pm
Andrew EisenReally? Whatever I say? Okay... I'm a handsome, impressively endowed, billionaire genius with a complete set of He-Man action figures and everyone wants to steal my Fruit Loops!03/05/2015 - 6:18pm
 

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