Sony, Nintendo, EA Games Turn Their Backs On SOPA

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The top three gaming companies have added their names to the growing list of critics opposing the US Government’s SOPA Act

International gaming companies have now shunned the US anti-piracy legislation, SOPA, according to reports.

Sony, Nintendo and Electronic Arts are the latest in the throng of companies withdrawing their support for the Stop Online Piracy Act, after hacktivist group Anonymous threatened to take down Sony’s network in a YouTube video.

Overt censorship?

According to detractors, SOPA is draconian legislation which aims to overtly censor free speech on the Internet through powers which, in its current form, will harm legitimate websites along with the pirate sites it hopes to stop.

Despite widespread opposition to the legislation from the public as well as a growing proportion of companies including non-profits such as Wikipedia along with IT giant Microsoft, the US House Judiciary Committee is barreling ahead with the markup of the bill, claiming that its members consistently voted by a 2-1 margin to defeat the 25 proposed amendments to the bill. According to a statement released recently,the legislation is aimed specifically at sites owned and operated outside the US, and currently beyond its legal reach.

“This much-needed legislation makes it harder for foreign thieves to steal and sell America’s intellectual property. The Stop Online Piracy Act protects the profits, products and jobs that rightly belong to American innovators,” said Lamar Smith, chairman of the  House Judiciary Committee.

The list of official SOPA supporters published on the committee’s website shows where the line has been drawn, with the only organisation related to technology, web or IT on the list being the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), of which Sony, Nintendo and EA Games remain members. Microsoft, which publicly came out against SOPA in November last year, is also a member of the ESA.

Last week, Internet domain registrar GoDaddy turned its back on the bill after a drop of 72,000 registrations was attributed to its support for the act.

Wikipedia has threatened to temporarily shut down the English version of its site in protest, while the NetCoalition companies may also protest if the Bill is passed.

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