Center for Democracy & Technology's Big List: Who is Against SOPA

January 10, 2012 -

Nine-hundred and twenty-eight. That is the magic number of the day because it is the number of experts, trade groups, advocacy groups and technology companies that have officially come out against the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts. The list, which was compiled by The Center for Democracy & Technology features a who's who of technology experts, CEO's and top shelf advocacy groups that thinks these two anti-piracy and counterfeiting laws do more harm than good.

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Video Game Voters Network SOPA Backlash on Facebook

January 10, 2012 -

Maybe the comments on the Video Game Voters Network (the Entertainment Software Association's advocacy group for gamers) Facebook page are purely anecdotal, or represent what Lamar Smith (the Texas Republican Congressman who is to lead sponsor on the Stop  Online Piracy Act) calls a very "vocal minority," but the entire page seems to be inundated with negative comments.

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Android App Helps You Boycott Products Made by SOPA Supporters

January 10, 2012 -

Those that prefer a little activism in their free Android apps will enjoy the new Boycott SOPA app, which enables users to scan barcodes on products and determine if the manufacturer supports SOPA. The App works exactly like any other app that allows you to scan a barcode - but instead it tells you which ones support SOPA, and therefore, which ones you shouldn't buy.

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Chrome Extension Enables SOPA Supporter Web Identification

January 10, 2012 -

If you really want to know who supports SOPA, and you are a Chrome user, then you might want to download this Chrome extension created by Minneapolis developers Andy Baird and Tony Webster.

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Petition to Restore Five PS3 Activations on PSN

January 9, 2012 -

A petition on Change.org asks Sony's Chairman to change the number of devices that can be activated from the current two to the original five on PlayStation Network. According to the creator of the petition, the November 2011 update to the PS3 stopped any activated PS3's beyond the first two from being able to download content from the PlayStation Network.

"This has effectively turned many PS3 consoles into very expensive paper weights!," says the main message on the petition page.

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Reddit Founder Talks SOPA on Bloomberg TV

January 6, 2012 -

Earlier this week Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian took a few minutes to talk to Bloomberg TV about the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. It's an interesting but short interview that brings to bear the main point that tech innovators opposing this bill have been saying: companies like Reddit who rely on user-generated content - would not have been possible had these laws been in effect.

The choice quote of the interview, as pointed out by BetaBeat, is this one:

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Forbes Explains Why the ESA Shouldn't Support SOPA

January 5, 2012 -

Forbes has an excellent editorial up about the ESA's support of the Stop Online Piracy Act that does a great job of explaining - in simple English - how it could affect every day web sites who might not necessarily be engaged in anything but providing content.

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Reddit Responds to Lamar Smith’s Comments on SOPA Opponents

January 5, 2012 -

In a response to a question about the protests over SOPA going on at Reddit, the bill's sponsor Lamar Smith (R-Texas) described the community to political site Roll Call as a "vocal minority" whose complaints about the bill were "unfounded." Reddit users have a simple response for the head of the House Judiciary Committee: Challenge Accepted and Completed.

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MLG Moves One-Hundred Domains From GoDaddy to Namecheap

January 5, 2012 -

Professional game players organization Major League Gaming clearly is against the Stop Online Piracy Act and has made a move to show its disdain for the bill by removing one hundred domains from GoDaddy's care. The company announced yesterday that it will not align itself with companies that support the House anti-piracy bill.

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Capcom Confirms Support of SOPA Through ESA

January 5, 2012 -

A report on Digital Trends confirms that Capcom supports the efforts of the ESA as it relates to the Stop Online Piracy Act, though the confirmation is merely one sentence from a Capcom representative.

When asked about the company's support, Capcom's representative responded in an email saying "The ESA represents us on these matters."

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Report Analyzes GoDaddy's Initial SOPA Support

January 2, 2012 -

A TechieBuzz report points out an interesting fact about GoDaddy's initial support of SOPA; that it may have been done as a way to deal with some problems related to some pending legal action against the company by some major Hollywood trade organizations. The report suggests that GoDaddy might have supported the bill to gain immunity from a court-case against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

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Report: GoDaddy Boycott Fizzling Out

December 30, 2011 -

TechDirt reports that the boycott of GoDaddy over its support for SOPA may be fizzling out. Pointing to data from DailyChanges, TechDirt says that the domain name and hosting service actually gained more customers than it lost. According to this graphic, GoDaddy saw a net gain of 20,748 new domains registered (43,304 new registrations versus 35,907 deletions) yesterday.

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The Jimquisition Tackles SOPA

November 23, 2011 -

The latest episode of The Jimquisition on The Escapist tackles Sony, EA and Nintendo's involvement in SOPA and Protect IP - two bills that propose doing horrible things in the name of protecting intellectual property rights, fighting piracy and killing the illicit counterfeit goods markets on the Internet.

Here's the lead in from irrepressible Destructoid editor Jim Sterling - or his The Escapist handlers (we're not sure which):

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EA under Fire in Germany over Origin, Battlefield 3

November 1, 2011 -

Overclock.net has gathered an avalanche of stories related to how Battlefield 3 and Origin are being received in Germany (thanks to Solarian for tip). The short answer is that Germans seem to hate it because of the company's terms of service and what Origin is doing on people's PCs.

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Westboro Baptist Church Promises Protest of Steve Jobs' Funeral

October 6, 2011 -

The Westboro Baptist Church pretends that it supports morality, but it's hard to take anything away from what the group does other than to draw the conclusion that they are in it for publicity and controversy. If you need an example of this, then I refer you a recent tweet by top church member Margie J Phelps. This morning she tweeted via her iPhone that the church planned to protest Apple founder Steve Jobs' funeral:

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Crytek: Ex-Employee Complaints 'Misleading'

September 8, 2011 -

Crysis 2 developer Crytek is on the offensive this week, denying accusations that it mistreats its employees and treats them like "disposable pieces of meat to be discarded at will." A Tumblr blog, "hire and fire Crytek," accused the developer of treating its employees "as disposable pieces of meat to be discarded at will" and described the Frankfurt studio as hostile workplace where management had "unlawfully fired employees" and forced out senior developers who the company thought could be replaced by younger and less-experienced hires.

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New Anonymous Video Promises Continued Fight Against Sony

April 14, 2011 -

While the fight between Sony and George Hotz is over, collective, faceless hacking group Anonymous says that it will not relent in its very public assault on the company for its treatment of consumers who want to share information and explore the depths of the PS3's technological capabilities. The group released a new video yesterday saying that it plans to fight on against Sony online and will still protest Sony Style stores around the world on April 16.

You can watch the latest video to your left. Obviously, Anonymous does not have the kind of massive support it had when it decided to protest Scientology around the world, but protests - even small ones - are not good PR if they are done right and offer the right messaging.

Source: Kotaku

39 comments

Anonymous Taking Sony Fight to the Street

April 11, 2011 -

Hactivist group Anonymous may have targeted Sony's web sites and online services in the past week as a way to protest its legal action against PS3 jailbreaker George "Geohot" Hotz, but soon it will take the fight offline like it did with the Church of Scientology. The group announced that it is staging a 4-hour in-store boycott at Sony stores around world on Saturday, April 16. Over 1,000 people have committed to joining in on the protests through Facebook.

Last Monday, Anonymous launched a DDoS attack on the PlayStation Network (PSN) that made it inaccessible for most of the day. At the same time, an Anonymous offshoot calling itself "SonyRecon" targeted individual Sony employees. But taking down the PSN was not the most popular of decisions; PS3 users complained that the takedown was doing more harm than good to gamers.

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4 chan Attacks May Cause BT, ACS:Law, Legal Troubles

September 29, 2010 -

UK service provider British Telecom and anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law may find themselves in some serious trouble. The BBC reports that BT and the law firm may have breached the Data Protection Act. The law requires that data holders keep personal user information secure at "all times."

Un-encrypted Excel documents were sent in August by BT lawyer Prakash Mistry to Andrew Crossley of ACS:Law. The document was sent in compliance with a court order to turn over names of suspected file-sharers. While BT requested that the personal information be kept securely by ACS:Law, the company sent two un-encrypted documents via email. One document contained information on 413 users suspected of sharing the song "Evacuate the Dance Floor" and the other document contained 130 users who were suspected of sharing pornography - obviously of a commercial nature.

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Does God Hate Nerds More Than Stupid People?

July 16, 2010 -

Kotaku reports that the notorious Westboro Baptist Church (who you may know better as the "God Hates Fags" sign wielding congregation out of Kansas) will be in San Diego next week to protest the "idolatrous worship" taking place at Comic-Con (thanks to Shoutbox user Rodrigo Ybáñez García for the tip!).

The activity will happen on July 22. To get an idea of where this group is coming from you need look no further than comments in its schedule of events section on its web site:

71 comments | Read more

R18+ AU March March Draws 500+ Zombie Participants

March 30, 2010 -

A public demonstration against the lack of an R18+ rating in Australia, which featured marchers dressed as zombies, went off without a hitch—but with plenty of lurching—in Sydney over the weekend.

Rhys Wilson, head of the group Aus Gamers Limited which organized the protest, wrote on Facebook, “I want to thank each and every one of you guys for making yesterday easily one of the best days of my life. I haven't heard any complaints from anyone, and I'm more than happy to do this again later in the year, assuming I'm not killed in a freak manure truck accident.”

IT Wire estimated the crowd of gathered ghouls at between 500 and 600 strong, easily surpassing a November 2009 similarly-themed march, which drew around 175 participants.

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Zombie Pro R18+ Rally Planned

March 18, 2010 -

The Facebook group Aus Gamers United is planning a public demonstration against the lack of an R18+ videogame ratings category in Australia which will feature a twist; all the participants will be dressed as zombies.

The same group conducted a similar event last year, but this year’s already looks to be monumentally bigger. The November 2009 march (video here) had 177 confirmed guests, while the new rally, scheduled for March 27, boasts 1,123 confirmed guests. The Epic Zombie March March is scheduled to kick off an Sydney's Hyde Park Fountain at 11:00 AM and run through 4:00 PM.

Urging people to “get your lurch on,” the event's organizer wrote:

…the serious reason we're putting the walk together is for the lack of an R rating for video games we have here in Aus. Someone needs to bring to attention how unfair this is to the gaming Industry and gamers ourselves.  So why not us?

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Ubisoft DRM Scheme Prompts Protest

February 22, 2010 -

Ubisoft recently detailed the specifics of their new DRM scheme, which requires a constant internet connection to merely be able to play the games. Understandably, gamers are upset that a momentary internet connection hiccup can result in losing unsaved game progress mid-session -- even in single-player mode.

Instead of whining about it on the internet, however, game journalist Lewie Procter of SavyGamer is deciding to fight back in the form of a "reverse boycott". In essence, Procter wants people to buy the game en masse, then return the game unopened and untouched at the end of the valid refund period, explaining that they find the game's DRM to be unacceptably restrictive. In theory, the protesters will receive a full cash refund (at Tesco, a UK retailer) and Ubisoft will feel the burn from the retail outlet.

Negative Gamer has already signed on in support of the protest. However, it's unlikely to catch on as well in the US, where many retailers have significant restrictions on refunds for games.

GP: While the intentions are good, I fear that the reverse boycott will ultimately be ineffective. Even if there is an unusually large response, the dollar amount is simply not going to be enough to make Tesco or Ubisoft take notice. But the attempt is far from useless. Negative public backlash has proven helpful, perhaps instrumental, in changing restrictive DRM schemes in the past. Simply bringing attention to the issue could be Procter's greatest success.
 

Dan Rosenthal is a legal analyst for the games industry.

25 comments

PETA Game Draws Attention to Canadian Seal Hunt

December 22, 2009 -

The latest action from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) targets Canada’s annual seal hunt and includes an interactive component.

The game itself is a rather simple Flash-based, embedded diversion that has players control a baby seal around men armed with clubs as it slips down a hill. While this year’s seal hunt has ended, PETA hopes to leverage the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics in order to draw attention to the grizzly hunt with the hopes of eventually stopping it altogether.

The annual hunt sees baby seals bludgeoned in front of their parents, often before they have eaten their first meal claims PETA.  In order to not damage a seal’s pelt, PETA says that many seals are hooked in their eye, cheek or mouth and dragged across the ice, often while still conscious.

PETA’s action campaign sends emails on behalf of the submitter to Canada’s Prime Minister and the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee. PETA also urges a boycott of Canadian maple syrup to further get the point across.


|Thanks Grant|

35 comments

Aussie R18+ Rally Planned

November 20, 2009 -

Brisbane, Australia is the site of a planned rally which hopes to show government authorities just how serious gamers Down Under are about receiving an R18+ videogame rating category.

The rally is planned for December 5th at 11:00 AM in King George Square. Treat Us Like Adults, a website/organization founded by game developer Ethan Watson, is behind the movement. Watson has a personal stake in the lack of an R18+ rating as he wants to “make games that, due to thematic content, would likely be refused classification in his home country.”

Watson also plans to give a speech at the event.

Given that a previously planned, and subsequently postponed, demonstration scheduled for Australia earlier this year was going to feature protestors dressed in cosplay, Watson felt the need to note, “Just keep in mind that if you want this rally to be taken seriously by the public at large, you should probably leave your zombie gear for the Zombie Walk or Supanova.”


Thanks Ryan!

11 comments

Left 4 Dead 2 Boycott Group to Disband

October 14, 2009 -

A group of gamers angry at Valve Software over the development of Left 4 Dead 2 are poised to disband their boycott group.

The Steam Group L4D2 Boycott, comprised of over 41,000 members will close on October 21, 2009 reports VoodooExtreme. The group was angered over what they termed Valve’s abandonment of the original Left 4 Dead game, which they expected more updates and content for, versus Valve’s decision to launch a new version of the game.

Steam user Agent of Chaos said the group had “accomplished everything we can” and added that “Our goal wasn’t to steer people away from L4D2, it was to get Valve’s attention and have them support original L4D. We succeeded and that’s where our mission ends; nothing more or less.”

Another group admin, Steam user Walking_Target stated that “people are unwilling or unable to wait for Valve to follow through in any cohesive way. Valve is at least trying to make things right, there will be speed bumps on the way, however we will get there.”

Labeling the boycott group a success, Walking_Target continued:

As a collective we have done more than achieve a few goals, we have paved the way for Developer-Community relations in the future. No matter what the press or other gamers say, we have made an indelible mark upon the future of this industry. You should all be proud, we certainly are.

Valve flew the leaders of the boycott group out to their offices in September in a bid to make peace.

40 comments

Obama To Mention Xbox in Controversial Speech to Students

September 8, 2009 -

Amid protests and counter-protests, President Barack Obama will deliver a 20-minute speech on the value of education to America's students this morning.

The Back to School event has been banned from some school districts whose managers are apparently being influenced by the squeaky wheels among the anti-Obama crowd.

In any case, the White House has pre-published the text of the Prez's speech. And, once again, Obama will reference video games - specifically the Xbox:

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

 

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

 

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

 

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed...

199 comments

Chinese Gamers Stage Virtual Blockade in Protest of Crappy Remake

September 7, 2009 -

Everyone complains about lousy remakes of favorite games, but activist Chinese gamers did something about it - at least for a little while.

zonaeuropa reports that the online relaunch of Hot Blooded Legend was stopped cold by a mob of avatars that blocked new players from passing through the gates of the game's virtual city. The avatars were controlled by Chinese gamers who were upset that the new game didn't do justice to their beloved original:

Several days ago, Shanda published some screen captures which the players sadly found to include class restrictions and commercial stores... if a player has cash, he can purchase equipment to upgrade without having to go through the trouble to combat monsters ...

The players decided to call for a boycott...  At 2pm, the game opened as scheduled...  At one entrance, more than 40 characters stood still.  They wore cloth dresses and cloth shoes and stood shoulder to shoulder. Other players cannot enter... Meanwhile, several thousand people were blocking the gates of the various cities in the game.

The "counter-attack" [by game admins] came soon... Some players found their screen went black suddenly... Other players were transported by the system administrator far into the wilderness...

While the blockade eventually ran out of steam, the protesters made their point.

Via: boingboing

30 comments

Looking at the Real World Value of Virtual World Protests

August 31, 2009 -

Protests held in virtual spaces such as Second Life have real-world political value, according to international projects lobbysist Max Burns, who pens an op-ed for Foreign Policy in Focus.

Paying particular attention to SL demonstrations against the Iranian government's post-election crackdown against opponents of the Ahmadinejad regime, Burns writes:

The active Iranian protest community in Second Life is more than a curiosity, and downplaying the importance of virtual societies in our political and social lives... understates the power of synthetic worlds in creating viable social movements...

Authoritarian governments that repress real-world demonstrations have difficulty doing the same in the synthetic world. Virtual rallies are so hard to shut off because the mechanics of virtual protest are fluid...

Indeed, the efforts of real-world governments to restrict the Internet usage of virtual protesters appears to strengthen the rallies as the online community responds to what it views as an offense against expression. So, for instance, Second Life's virtual protests continued — and even increased in scale — after real-world Iranians started to mysteriously disappear from the synthetic world...

1 comment

Organizers Expecting Arrests at Army Experience Center Protest

August 25, 2009 -

Organizers of a September 12th protest planned for a video game-filled Army recruiting facility in Philadelphia are apparently expecting some of their group to be arrested.

A message posted yesterday at SHUT DOWN THE ARMY EXPERIENCE CENTER details the somewhat stealthy tactics planned for the demonstration and contains the following:

We’re expecting national television and print coverage this time around, so we want to make sure our presence is formidable...

Meanwhile, folks willing to risk arrest are being asked to begin showing up at the Army Experience Center as early as noon to sample one of the X Box video murder games or one of the killing simulators. It would be excellent to have folks on the inside throughout the day. 

As GamePolitics previously reported, seven protesters were arrested by police during a demonstration at the Army Experience Center on May 2nd.

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NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
 

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