Skip to main content

ESA Drops SOPA Support; Gamers, Developers Rejoice

It's been a crazy week concerning SOPA and PIPA, ranging from shelved/not shelved to Blackout Day to the launch of League For Gamers to senators dropping support to the Anonymous assault on everyone involved. It's been busy to say the least, and so far the adventurous week has concluded with both SOPA and PIPA shelved... for the time being.

Case closed? Not quite yet. There's an epilogue.

On Friday the Entertainment Software Association said it has dropped its support for SOPA -- conveniently right after the bill was put on indefinite hold earlier that morning. The ESA, which represents a large portion of the video game industry, stated that the most recent version of the legislation had "unintended consequences."

"From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites," the ESA states. "Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry’s creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals."

"Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests," the ESA continues. "As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution."

Earlier this month, the ESA said it was aware of the complaints about the bill, but looked forward to working with the House and Senate to "find the right balance and define useful remedies to combat willful wrongdoers that do not impede lawful product and business model innovation."

But the ESA was caught in a tight spot. On one end, it was defending the very publishers that provides funding, yet many developers under its wing spoke out against its stance, claiming that SOPA and PIPA would stop the free flow of user-generated content, shut down the streaming of games and e-Sports, and could even stifle message boards.

But here we are. SOPA and PIPA are shelved for now, and the ESA has stepped out of the picture. The battle is long from over, but at least we can enjoy the weekend knowing that the Internet won't come crashing down anytime soon... unless someone ticks off Anonymous again before the day is over.