A new petition asks the Obama Administration to investigate the MPAA and its president Christopher Dodd for comments he has made publicly about paying politicians to do what the trade group representing the entertainment industry want when it comes to legislation. Dodd is a former Senator from Connecticut. Here's the exact wording of the petition:
The Directors Guild of America issued a statement on Friday about SOPA and PIPA - in conjunction with the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
First this collective of Hollywood interest groups attempted to put a happy face on a bad situation:
We missed the statement PIPA sponsor Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) issued late last week about the urgency of passing anti-piracy legislation. Either Leahy doesn't understand the law written by the lobbyist who donated to him, or it is time for him to retire. In his statement Leahy continues to support a fact that has yet to be proven by any kind of study or research: that piracy from overseas web sites cause the entertainment industry to lose jobs.
Sue Gardner, the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation wrote a rather lengthy thank-you note to those in the Internet community that got involved in the blackout of the popular online site. While we can't list every one, we did note her thanks to GamePolitics contributor Dan Rosenthal, and the 1,800 English Wikipedia users who convinced the site to go dark.
At the Southern Republican Debate in South Carolina last night, all four remaining candidates said that they were against PIPA and SOPA. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said that they were against the anti-piracy bills that sparked an Internet protest on Wednesday.
PIPA’s been having a rough day.
After yesterday’s protest, scores of congressmembers have withdrawn their support for the bill, its sponsor is considering editing out the search engine provisions, and now, according to Politico’s unnamed sources, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (pictured) “won't whip Democratic votes” for the much-maligned bill.
Some have said "it will be a cold day in hell when I agree with Glen Beck about any issue." Well, today is the day you put on three sets of thermal underwear because you are about to mostly agree with the man that everyone loves to hate. Yesterday the conservative firebrand spent a good portion of his Internet program deriding PIPA and SOPA and calling listeners to action against it..
Politico reports that Protect IP Act (PIPA) lead sponsor Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) are in discussions to remove the search engine provisions from the bill. Leahy is reportedly working with the Arizona Senator to hammer out a "manager’s amendment" prior to the bill's floor vote scheduled for next Tuesday. A Leahy spokeswoman confirmed with Politico that the two senators have "authorized their staffs to discuss a manager’s amendment."
There has been plenty of talk on how bad bills like SOPA and PIPA are, but no discussion about what can be done about piracy. Piracy is a real problem - but the breadth and depth of that problem has never been accurately documented by the entertainment industry, which use estimates based on lost sales as the basis for their claims.
The trade group representing United Kingdom game developers expressed their concerns about SOPA in a press release issued yesterday. TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson said that the bill worries the UK games industry because they could open them up to damaging legal actions and hurt online games businesses.
Andrew Eisen gives us a visual representation of how gamers felt when they heard the news that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) was supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act. Is this the thanks gamers get from the trade group representing the video game industry after all of their hard work in Brown v. EMA?
We'll let you judge for yourselves. This is probably the best video Andrew has ever made, in my humble opinion. Watch it to you left and be sure to stop by Andrew's YouTube Channel to subscribe.
After just one day of Internet protests and a concerted effort by the Internet community, the mainstream media finally took notice of the war between the entertainment industry and the Internet over SOPA and PIPA. Every broadcast and cable television network - much to their chagrin - was forced to say something about sites like Wikipedia and Reddit going dark, and Google's redacted logo had a huge impact as well. With the increased media attention and a deluge of phone calls and emails from constituents, several lawmakers panicked and withdrew their support from the bill.
Walshy Addresses SOPA/PIPA
By Dave Walsh, ECA Pro Gaming Chapter Pres.
There are still many people out there that don’t know about, or are misinformed regarding two very concerning pieces of legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Protect IP Act (PIPA). The names of these bills sound noble enough, but the effects that they will have if passed will be devastating.
On January 18 at 8:00 am ET GamePolitics and other ECA-owned websites will go dark in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Acts. We are proud to stand with an estimated 7,000 web sites and organizations to show our opposition to the government’s efforts to curtail free speech and innovation in the name of protecting the interests of corporations and lobbyists. We feel that there are better ways to fight online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods without comprising innovation, free speech, and the integrity of the Internet.
Zachary Cohn dropped us a note to let us know about a parody of the song "American Pie" called "The Day the Lolcats Died." The parody video was created by Cohn and his partners-in-crime over at Laugh Pong to protest SOPA and PIPA. Cohn calls it "entertaining and light, but with a clear call to action." We agree. Be sure to look for a special cameo from someone very familiar. You can check out the video to you left.
Raw Story announced that it will go dark tomorrow in protest of SOPA and PIPA. The site, which describes itself as "a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media," claims a reach of 1.6 million unique readers per month. In a post explaining why it was going dark, the site said that, while the "news doesn't stop," if Congress passes either SOPA or PIPA "your access to it could."
Firefall developer Red 5 has been so inspired by the level of support and good will towards it for its planned SOPA/PIPA protest tomorrow that it has made them think that there needs to be more advocacy for gamers and game makers. With that in mind, they have launched League for Gamers, an advocacy group that will fight against government and corporate efforts to stifle the free speech and creativity of gamers.
Craigslist has added a section to its About Page dedicated to fighting against the Stop Online Piracy Action and Protect IP Act worth taking a look at. The page offers an exhaustive list of resources and points out efforts from the ECA, EFF, OpenCongress, and more. It also features its opposition prominently on its front page. The page also includes a rant which calls out Monster Cable as just one example of why it opposes both SOPA and PIPA:
I don't know if SOPA or PIPA will have an impact on the presidential election, but it is disconcerting to note that the person serving as the spokesperson of the Democratic party is listed as a supporter of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D- representing Florida's 20th District) is the current chair of the Democratic National Committee and is listed as a supporter of SOPA at ProPublica.org.
PHP.net will reportedly go dark tomorrow to protest SOPA and PIPA. PHP.net is the official home of PHP, the widely-used general-purpose and open source scripting language. According to this Reddit thread, the site will redirect to www.php.net/index-sopa.php, which offers the following message to visitors:
When asked if his company would go dark like Wikipedia on January 18 to protest SOPA and PIPA, Twitter CEO Costolo said on a tweet the idea would be silly.
"That's just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish," Costolo said.
Some criticism of that short statement followed, but Costolo explained it a little better in a subsequent tweet.
"..point was relative to shutting down our real-time global platform to protest/inform US congressional debate on a topic."
What level of commitment does the Entertainment Software Association have in the anti-piracy bills before lawmakers? About $190,000's worth according to a Kotaku report.
Wikipedia joins Reddit in a protest on January 18 to show that it is strongly against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced that the site will go dark for 24 hours on Wednesday. Only the U.S. version of the site will go down during the protest, Wales said.
"Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! #sopa," Jimmy Wales wrote on his twitter feed.
Bungie, the company who made a game series you might be vaguely familiar with (Halo) has come out publicly against SOPA. The company posted a statement on its official site highlighting its strong opinion about the anti-piracy and rogue web site bills being considered by lawmakers in Washington.
Earlier this month Major League Gaming announced that it opposed SOPA and moved its one-hundred domains off of GoDaddy for its initial support of the anti-piracy bill currently before the House of Representatives. Today the professional gaming league announced that it will join other companies by going dark on January 18 in protest of the bill.
From the official MLG site:
Earlier today Red 5 Studios announced that all services and websites related to its MMO Firefall would go dark on January 18, joining Reddit in its very public protest against SOPA and PIPA. Mojang studio head Markus Persson said that they will join in on that protest as well.
He announced via Twitter that Minecraft.net and Mojang.com will be taken offline on January 18 in protest of the anti-piracy bills being pushed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Persson did not say how long the blackout would last.