The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has sent out an action alert calling on its members and the general public to take action against the House bill CISPA and its Senate counterpart the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Both are bad news for anyone that uses the Internet because the laws would allow corporations like Facebook and Google to share your Internet habits with government agencies without fear of being sued by you for doing so.
If you want to have a good argument with someone on the Internet today comment on this story, for starters, because for as much as there is love for Diablo III today there's is an equal amount of hate. Some people who have strong opinions on Blizzard’s latest release, have decided to take it to the company by way of Metacritic where they are giving it some pretty lousy user reviews.
Earlier this week the Center for Democracy & Technology sent a letter to the Senate expressing its grave concerns over the cybersecurity bill sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT.) and Susan Collins (R-ME.). The letter was signed by 21 organizations and individuals that see the Senate’s version of CISPA (SECURE IT) as deeply flawed and dangerous to Internet freedom, individual liberty, and privacy.
A new petition is online to protest the release of DLC for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. More specifically protest organizers are urging the CoD community not to download and buy any DLC for the game until Infinity Ward and Activsion fix a number of problems with the core game. So far the petition has 240 signatures, the Twitter feed dedicated to it has 1183 followers and a YouTube video explaining what the protest is all about has been viewed 2400 times.
Over at Business Insider, The DL Show host and new media advocate David Seaman offers four things you can do right now to fight against the "legislative nightmare" that is CISPA.
A handful of TERA European subscribers are quite angry about blood in TERA and they have launched an online petition to complain about the lack thereof in the European version of the massively multiplayer online fantasy RPG world from Frogster.
The petitioners are upset that Frogster decided to cut down the amount of blood that appears in the European version of the game, though - as The Escapist points out - they don't seem to be upset at the other features omitted from the European release like adjustments to the game's classes, the leveling system and more.
UPDATE: Eurogamer has confirmed an even more alarming fact for fans of this release: 24 out of the 53 teams featured in the Euro 2012 expansion are "generic" unlicensed squads.
A spokesperson for the company said it would have been ideal to license all those teams but "the realities of negotiating terms with 53 separate national football associations meant that was impossible to achieve." Here is what they told Eurogamer:
Link, the 2001 sci-fi fantasy book at the center of a lawsuit filed against Ubisoft and GameTrailers, is getting review bombed by angry gamers. Beiswenger, who is also a research engineer that holds over 20 U.S. utility patents, published his novel Link in 2002. The first Assassin's Creed video game was released in 2007. In his lawsuit against Ubisoft and GameTrailers, he alleges that Ubisoft stole core ideas from his book and used them in their games.
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has issued a call to action concerning the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. We've talked about CISPA here, and while it's not quite as overreaching as SOPA, PIPA, or ACTA, the bill is so vague in its language that it could prove to be dangerous if interpreted the wrong way by individuals and groups that don't give two shakes about privacy, Internet freedom and free speech.
Despite being shut down prematurely by the charity it was raising funds for because, they said "people thought they were paying money to change the ending of Mass Effect 3," the Retake Mass Effect 3 Child's Play event was a rousing success. The protest charity drive managed to rake in over $80,000. Despite the assertions of Child's Play, who had asked the Retake people to pull the plug for the aforementioned reason, very few people asked for a refund. In other words, people knew where the money was going to - children.
What inspired From Software and Namco Bandai Games to bring the popular PS3 action RPG Dark Souls to the PC - an online petition - is being used to dissuade them from including a certain feature. Around 12,184 gamers have signed an online petition ("Namco-Bandai and From Software: Release Dark Souls PC Edition without Games for Windows Live") asking both companies to reconsider putting Games For Windows LIVE support into Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition for Windows.
A new message posted on Pastebin and attributed to the hacking group Anonymous promises to shut down the entire internet on March 31. The group says that it will target the 13 root DNS servers that make up the bulk of the servers that give URL names to most of the Internet.
As to why they would want to do this, they say the following:
A group of former Irish GAME employees have been staging on-site protests at a number of now shuttered stores in Ireland and have released a statement explaining why they are so upset with the video games retailer that recently went into administration. The protests are a direct response to GAME and administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers refusing to pay fired employees for the remainder of their contract, holiday pay owed and other compensation owed.
The group says that it will continue their protests until PwC amends its decision. The full statement can be found below:
Update: A post over at Penny Arcade explains why Child's Play wanted the charity dis-associated from the movement. Apparently some people donating to it thought they were paying for BioWare to change the ending of the game. This is a pretty good reason for them to be forceful about the campaign being shut down.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s campaign to crowd fund a billboard in SOPA lead sponsor Congressman Lamar Smith’s (R-Texas) district has hit its goal of $15,000. The billboard will offer Smith a simple message: "Don’t Mess With the Internet." They used the Crowdtilt crowd funding service to fund the billboard idea.
Have you heard?
Some gamers don’t like Mass Effect 3’s selection of endings and are petitioning Bioware to release new and better ones as DLC.
While some may disagree with a group of gamers who have created a petition asking for alternate endings for Mass Effect 3, it's a little easier to like those that support it because they have managed to raise $37,533.12 for the Child's Play charity through a ChipIn donation drive. Organizers of the charity drive and the petition explained their reasoning for raising funds for Child's Play:
People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch (a left-wing publication that assails religious and right-wing groups and individuals) reports that the Florida Family Association (a right-wing faith-based family advocacy group that champions "family values") and the American Decency Association (a faith-based organization with pretty much the same mission statement) are calling on its
Spain passed the anti-piracy "Sinde Law" late last year, and with it going into effect this week opponents of the law (that allows for the government to block allegedly infringing sites based on complaints from copyright holders), are mobilized to cause confusion to its enforcers. The group Hackivistas and artist Eme Navarro (a staunch critic of the law and a member of the music rights group SGAE) have come up with a unique way of protesting that will test how the new law is used.
In a recent interview with Politico, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said that the protests last month against SOPA proved that democracy can still work if enough people get involved.
"It’s motivating because this was a decentralized movement. Lots of people with great ideas started contributing and it started to get momentum," Ohanian added. "This idea went viral. It’s powerful when you think we’ve now hit this critical mass. We can get a message out there that actually affects politicians."
A protest against Valve for its lack of information on Valve's "lack of information" regarding Half-Life 2: Episode 3 seems to have missed its mark slightly. The protest - which had the support of 30,00 players who pledged that they would play Half-Life 2 on Steam over the weekend - saw only half of those players playing over the weekend. They increased the usual amount of players playing Half-Life 2 by about 10,000.
We missed this the other day, but the White House has finally responded to an online petition asking that MPAA CEO and former Connecticut Senator (D) Chris Dodd be investigated for his comments about giving money to lawmakers in return for favorable results.
"This industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake," Dodd told Fox News on Jan. 19. "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."
The Entertainment Consumer Association has issued an action alert, a call to arms to let lawmakers in Canada know that C-11, an act to amend the Copyright Act, must remove a provision that makes "jailbreaking" illegal. While the amendment to existing copyright law in Canada isn't as strict or over reaching as SOPA and PIPA, it does contain some questionable provisions that could hurt consumers.
While some politicians in Poland believe that signing the ACTA treaty was a smart idea - even in the midst of actual protesting in the streets (some put the number of protesters at 20,000 people), some have sided with the public. The picture to your left - found on TechDirt - shows that some politicians in the country have some sense. Today a whole gaggle of politicians donned famed Guy Fawkes masks in the Parliament to protest the vote.
Electric Playground recently caught up with Hal Halpin, President and founder of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), to talk about the online battle to stop the passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Halpin talks about how the online protest last week slowed down the momentum of both SOPA and PIPA, and why these bills aren't quite dead yet.
Check out the video to your left.
[Full Disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]
Last month, musician Dan Bull rapped his thoughts about SOPA in a YouTube video called SOPA Cabana (you should watch it. It’s really well done). This video went viral and racked up over a million views. As it happens, it was through this video that most people discovered Dan’s second album, Face, which he offered for free on Megaupload.
Yeah, I think you see where this is going.