ECA Action Alert: Help Fight The 'Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012'

March 21, 2012 -

The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued an action alert, a call to arms for gamers everywhere to let their elected officials know that The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012 wasn't acceptable in 2009 and is not acceptable now. Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43) has teamed up with Rep. Frank Wolf (R VA-10) to reintroduce a bill that is very familiar to gamers.

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Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to Label All Games With Warning Labels

March 20, 2012 -

Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a bill on Monday that would require video games to carry a special warning label similar to the kind found on cigarettes. That warning would be:

"WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

The bill is H.R. 4204, or Violence in Video Games Labeling Act. The sponsors say the law is a reaction to increasing evidence that playing violent games can have a serious long-lasting impact on children that should require a health warning to consumers.

Following The Money That Influenced SOPA-PIPA Push

February 7, 2012 -

SaveTheInternet points out some interesting information dug up by Media Matters about where a lot of big media money has gone and why some lawmakers pushed so hard for the passage of SOPA and PIPA. While their analysis can't show that the money was directly related to PIPA and SOPA, it certainly shows the level of influence money has in Washington.

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Anti-Piracy: The Election Year Hot Potato

January 25, 2012 -

This Politico story points out that anti-piracy legislation may be the hottest of hot potatoes in the 2012 election cycle, and while lawmakers promise progress in the not-too-distant future, the likelihood of anything getting through either legislative bodies is highly unlikely.

“Going into an election year, there’s going to be a lot of [reluctance] to do anything that can end up being an unnecessary battle,” a Republican House aide told POLITICO. “It became a political hot potato.”

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Lamar Smith Postpones Action on SOPA 'Indefinitely'

January 20, 2012 -

House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) lead Sponsor Lamar Smith (R-Texas) announced on Friday that he was postponing any further action on the bill.

Smith said he would stop work on the bill until there was wider agreement on a solution to combating piracy. Earlier this week, SOPA was stopped in its tracks by Virginia Republican Representative Eric Cantor, but on Wednesday Smith was defiant, saying that he planned to continue working on the bill in February in a markup committee hearing.

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PIPA Sponsor Working on Amendment to Remove Search

January 19, 2012 -

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."

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SOPA Protest Aftermath

January 19, 2012 -

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.

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Lamar Smith Calls Wikipedia Blackout Protest a 'Publicity Stunt'

January 17, 2012 -

SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) thinks Wikipedia's decision to shut down the U.S. version of its popular site is a stunt to garner attention. Smith continues to say that SOPA will not harm sites like Wikipedia, and will only target foreign websites identified as trafficking in counterfeit goods or copyrighted material. Wikipedia's protest will apply only to the English version of the online encyclopedia and will last for about 24 hours. Wikipedia is the fifth or sixth most visited site in the U.S.

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SOPA Markup Hearings Resume in February

January 17, 2012 -

Public Knowledge let us know that, as many of us expected, markup hearings on the Stop Online Piracy Act will resume in February in the House of Representatives. The announcement was made by lead sponsor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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DNC Chair is a SOPA Supporter

January 17, 2012 -

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.

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White House Questions SOPA, PIPA

January 14, 2012 -

The White House has finally responded to a petition submitted by citizens expressing everything from concern to outright opposition to both SOPA and PIPA. Today the official web site for the White House has a rather lengthy post on these bills. The short story is that it seems like good news for those who oppose these bills in their current forms. From the Whitehouse.gov site:

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House Majority Leader: SOPA Will Not Get Floor Vote Without Some Consensus

January 14, 2012 -

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) brings some good news for those against the Stop Online Piracy Act: he has decided that he won't allow it to come to the floor of the House for a vote unless there is some real consensus on the bill. If this tells us anything it is that the American people have flooded House members with phone calls and emails complaining about this bill and how it is being fast-tracked by some members with power like sponsor Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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Reddit, Rackspace to Testify Before Congress on SOPA

January 10, 2012 -

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has announced that it will listen to a handful of experts on January 18.

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Congressmen Paul Ryan Opposes SOPA, Promises to Vote Against It

January 10, 2012 -

Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan issued a short statement today on his official House website announcing that he strongly opposes the Stop Online Piracy Act and says that if it comes up for a vote on the floor of the House he will vote against it. While some credit a campaign on Reddit to oppose him in his upcoming election bid by supporting his Democratic opponent (which more than likely did have some affect on his decision), chances are he also got an earful from constituents that hate the bill sponsored by Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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Smith Says Reddit SOPA Protestors are 'Not Legitimate or Large in Number'

January 4, 2012 -

Speaking to political publication Roll Call, SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) took shots earlier this week at critics of the bill that has gained as much bi-partisan opposition as it has support.

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Entertainment Industry Pays Over $1.9 Million in Campaign Cash to SOPA Supporters

December 21, 2011 -

Lawmakers that support SOPA can say that they haven't been bought and paid for by special interest groups, but an article on MapLight shows that the 32 sponsors of the bill have received four times more campaign contributions from the entertainment industry than from tech companies that oppose it.

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Why SOPA is a Futile Effort for Lawmakers, Special Interest Groups

December 21, 2011 -

A software developer who goes by the nickname of "T Rizk," who thinks Congress will make the wrong decision on the SOPA anti-piracy bill, has decided to create a work-around before the bill ever becomes law. That work-around is a Firefox plug-in that he has named "DeSOPA." It basically unblocks sites like The Pirate Bay by reverting the blocked site back to its raw IP address.

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SOPA Hearings: Greatest Hits for Dec. 16

December 16, 2011 -

If you were smart enough to avoid the committee hearing yesterday (it went on for a very long time), but care that SOPA doesn't pass in the U.S. House, then you should check out these clips put together by California Congressman (R) Daryl Issa's staff. The clips also feature California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO). As you watch these clips taken from yesterday's hearings it is clear which side of this issue is well-informed and which is not interested in the information being presented to them.

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Internet Pioneers Send Letter to Congress Opposing SOPA and PIPA

December 15, 2011 -

Today, a group of 83 Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to members of the United States Congress, voicing their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate. Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP; Jim Gettys, editor of the HTTP/1.1 protocol standards; Paul Vixie, author of BIND, the most widely-used DNS server software; and Elizabeth Feinler, director of the Network Information Center (NIC) at SRI International are just some of the names that have signed this letter.

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SOPA Sponsor Fires Back at Critics

December 14, 2011 -

House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) fired back strongly at critics of SOPA Wednesday, accusing various tech companies and their executives of not understanding the bill. He made a point of singling out Google for its opposition, calling it "self-serving."

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Joke License App Gets Pulled, Senator Celebrates

December 14, 2011 -

It didn't take long for one misinformed and overzealous lawmaker to help get a poor developer's app removed from Apple's store. The app in question, " Driver License," allowed users to create a mock driver's license to entertain and amuse friends. But Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) didn't see the fun in it, and was concerned that it could be used to create a license. Apparently the Senator believed that this program was so sophisticated that a terrorist could download the app and make a fake ID on the fly for some nefarious purpose.

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Writers Guild of America West Expresses Concerns About SOPA to Lawmakers

December 14, 2011 -

It looks like the Writers Guild of America West has some concerns about SOPA. In a recent post on the trade group’s site, they wrote about a recent visit to Washington D.C., where they met with various lawmakers and other trade groups about SOPA and other legislation they think is important such as Net Neutrality and the ATT/T-Mobile merger. From the paragraph about their visit to the House of Representatives (I’ve highlighted the important stuff for emphasis):

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Congressman Jim Himes on SOPA

December 9, 2011 -

While we're likely not going to post every letter we get from readers who receive some sort of response from their elected representatives concerning SOPA and Protect IP, the following response received by ECA president Hal Halpin from congressmen Jim Himes (D- Connecticut’s 4th District) is worth reading - only because it strikes a balance between thinking free speech and rights (like due process and fair use) should be protected with copyright holders' interests.

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Sponsors of the OPEN Act Seek Input from the Public

December 8, 2011 -

As we mentioned last week Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Darrell Issa introduced an alternative bill to SOPA and Protect IP that would put the power of fighting so-called rogue web sites into the hands of the International Trade Commission. The OPEN Act (which stands for Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act) focuses on interrupting the flow of funds to web sites that are proven to be trafficking in counterfeit goods or copyright materials.

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Lawmakers Offer Alternative to SOPA, Protect IP

December 2, 2011 -

While some in the U.S. House and Senate would love to jam SOPA and Protect IP through the legislative process, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have drafted an alternative proposal that would make use of existing trade laws and the International Trade Commission to deal with counterfeit goods, piracy and the "rogue web sites" that deal in those things explicitly. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is circulating a proposal that would use trade laws to battle online piracy as an alternative to the controversial bills currently pending in both chambers of Congress.

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Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

December 1, 2011 -

If you want to know why your favorite senator or congressional representative is supporting Protect IP and SOPA, all you need to do is follow the money. First where is the money coming from? Big media, of course. The Sunlight Foundation does an excellent job of gathering all the info on this topic in one easy post.

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EFF Issues Appeal for Help to Fight Against SOPA and Protect IP

November 23, 2011 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is taking up arms against the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and they want your help to do it. The advocacy that supports internet rights and freedom of speech online says that these new bills are "a threatening sequel to last year's COICA Internet censorship bill" and that this legislation "invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers Internet innovation."

Ron Paul, Nancy Pelosi Voice Opposition to SOPA, Protect IP

November 18, 2011 -

In a strange twist of fate or because of some sort of cosmic alignment of certain planets, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul actually agree on something: they both think that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act, are bad ideas. The latest SOPA opponent is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but Paul has been against it from the start.

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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:

Republican Senate Resolution to Kill FCC Net Neutrality Rules Fails

November 11, 2011 -

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (R-Texas) effort in the Senate to kill the FCC's net neutrality rules has failed. The Senate voted, 46-52, against moving forward with a resolution that would have overturned federal regulations enacted in 2010 that govern anti-competitive behavior online.

"It's time to push back" against federal agencies that are overreaching their authority and enacting burdensome regulations, she argued before the Senate voted on a motion to proceed.

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MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
 

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