Firefall Maker Plans SOPA Blackout Protest Jan. 18

January 13, 2012 -

Red 5 Studios, makers of the upcoming MMO shooter Firefall, have come out strongly against SOPA and PIPA, and plan to go dark for one day on January 18 to protest. The company also announced that, because of the Entertainment Software Association’s support for the bills, it has canceled its E3 booth and plans to skip the show. The shutdown will include all of its websites, its community sites for the game, and the Firefall beta.

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Runic Games Opposes SOPA

January 12, 2012 -

Torchlight developer Runic Games has officially come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). In a forum thread asking the company for its position on the anti-piracy bills currently before U.S. lawmakers, a Runic Games representative said the following:

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Make the Media Cover SOPA, PIPA

January 12, 2012 -

In a mailer from advocacy group Free Press they ask the question we have all been asking ourselves for months: Why is the media ignoring the Stop Online Piracy Act? The short answer is that various broadcast and cable networks may have been muzzled by their parent companies. The only network that has mentioned it so far has been Bloomberg, and that coverage consisted of ten minutes - and only because Reddit's CEO brought the issue up on air.

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Reddit Plans SOPA 'Blackout' Protest Jan. 18

January 11, 2012 -

The official Reddit Blog announces a "blackout" of the popular site on January 18th from 8am–8pm EST (1300–0100 UTC) to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. While it would be better if Facebook, Twitter, and Google joined them in this very strong public protest, Reddit understands that it must do what it has to do in order to make a point about these bills. From the site:

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Riot Games Comes Out Against SOPA and PIPA

January 11, 2012 -

League of Legends developer Riot Games let us know that they, have officially announced their opposition to controversial legislation under consideration in Congress: the U.S. House of Representatives’ Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). The company's CEO, Brandon Beck, took to the official forums for the game (which has 11-million-players, for the record) to say that these two bills in their present form are unacceptable:

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Change.org Petition Asks EA to Oppose SOPA

January 10, 2012 -

A new petition on Change.org, which already has over 1,800 signatures, is asking Electronic Arts to publicly come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act. The petition was created by New York University student and gamer Shashank Kasturirangan. The petition is directed at Tammy Levine - VP of Worldwide PR, Joel Linzner VP of Business and Legal Affairs, EA CEO John Riccitiello, and SVP of Corporate Communications Jeff Brown.

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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

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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:

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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|

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MattsworknameEh, I love the new batmobile personally, it's a blast to mess aroudn with. Plus, the game is set in a situation that mroe or less leaves batman with no choice but to go full force. And even then, it still shows him doing all he can to limit casualties.07/01/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenAgreed. Luckily, we don't seem to be in danger of that of late. No one's suggesting, for example, that tanks shouldn't be in video games, only that the tank in Arkham Knight is poorly implemented and out of place from a characterization standpoint.07/01/2015 - 11:27pm
MattsworknameConfederate flag, Relgious organizations, etc etc. Andrew isnt[ wrong, just remember not to let that mentality lead to censorship.07/01/2015 - 11:20pm
Mattsworknamefind offensive or disturbing, and that mindset leads to censorship. It's all well and good to say "This would be better IF", just so long as we remember not to let it slide into "This is offensive, REMOVE IT". IE , the current issues surroundign the07/01/2015 - 11:19pm
MattsworknameAndrew and goth both have points, and to that point, I'll say. Saying somethign is improved by changing something isn't a problem, on that I agree with , but at the same time, on of the issues we have in our society is that we want to simply remove things07/01/2015 - 11:18pm
Andrew EisenSee? Suggestions for improvements that involve taking things away do not mean the work is garbage or performing poorly, critically or commercially.07/01/2015 - 9:29pm
Andrew EisenSkyward Sword is spiff-a-rific but it would be an improved experience if the game didn't explain what each item and rupee was every single time you picked them up!07/01/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenHere's another: De Blob is a ton of fun but it would be improved without motion controls. Incidentally, THQ heard our cries, removed motion controls for the sequel and it was a better game for it!07/01/2015 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenI'll give you an example: Arkham Knight is a ton of fun but the tank sucks and the game would be even better without it.07/01/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWell clearly we're diametrically opposed about that.07/01/2015 - 9:03pm
Andrew EisenNot even remotely true.07/01/2015 - 8:59pm
Goth_SkunkIt is, if the suggestion involves taking something away from a product in order to make it better.07/01/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOffering suggestions for improvement does not mean that the work in question is garbage or not doing fine.07/01/2015 - 8:21pm
Goth_SkunkIf their products were garbage, they wouldn't be as praiseworthy as they are.07/01/2015 - 8:08pm
Goth_SkunkAnd Andrew, I really don't think GRRM or the producers of the Game of Thrones TV show need anyone to tell them what to do to make their products better.They appear to be doing just fine on their own.07/01/2015 - 8:07pm
Goth_SkunkThe only thing not worth talking about, is what shouldn't be talked about.07/01/2015 - 7:47pm
Goth_Skunk@Infophile: It could be a reason, if I were wrong. I'm not.07/01/2015 - 7:44pm
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/steam-players-take-justice-into-their-own-hands-virtua-1715215648 anyone seen this, Steam Players Make Their Own Justice, Virtually Imprison Troll07/01/2015 - 7:17pm
Andrew EisenHeh, just had our (IGN's) journalistic integrity called into question over two typos on one of the Wikis (which are editable by the readers).07/01/2015 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilson@tech this isnt the only stupid tax in recent months though. they were adding a commuter tax as well. if they continue doing crap like this, they will run in to the same issues as Detroit.07/01/2015 - 5:34pm
 

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