Oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
  • Petitioned Members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)

This petition was delivered to:

Members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
President and CEO - Eidos Interactive
Ian Livingstone
Sr. Director of Corporate Communications - Nintendo of America
Beth Llewelyn
Executive VP, Business and Legal Affairs - Electronic Arts
Joel Linzner
President, Interactive Entertainment Business - Microsoft
Don A. Mattrick
Sr. Public Relations Manager - NAMCO Bandai Games America
Job J. Stauffer
President and CEO - Capcom USA
Kazuhiko Abe
Director, Public Relations - Disney Interactive Studios
Kristina Kirk
Sr. PR Manager - Sega of America
Steve Groll
President and CEO - Sony Computer Entertainment America
Jack Tretton
President and CEO - Square Enix North America
Mike Fischer
CEO - Take-Two Interactive
Strauss Zelnick
Executive VP, Business and Legal Affairs - THQ
Edward Kaufman
Executive Director, North America - Ubisoft
Laurent Detoc
President - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Martin Tremblay

Oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

    1. Carlos Matos
    2. Petition by

      Carlos Matos

      Boston, MA

What is the Stop Online Piracy Act?
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R. 3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors.

The bill would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders against websites outside U.S. jurisdiction accused of infringing on copyrights, or of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement.

Why is this bad?
SOPA represents a sweeping, meat-axe approach to curbing digital piracy that would have a dramatic impact on online freedom of speech, user privacy, and web-based businesses.

Because the language contained in the bill is so broad and open-ended, it would expose many legitimate web-based businesses to unprecedented levels of legal liability.

As put by the CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, "The bill attempts a radical restructuring of the laws governing the Internet [...] It would undo the legal safe harbors that have allowed a world-leading Internet industry to flourish over the last decade. It would expose legitimate American businesses and innovators to broad and open-ended liability. The result will be more lawsuits, decreased venture capital investment, and fewer new jobs."

The bill would establish a legal precedent for the banning of sites deemed offending. Even linking to such sites (through a search engine, for example) would be open to legal and financial repercussions -- services such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo among others would be forced to filter the type of content uploaded by users and limit the sharing of information to avoid infringing on SOPA. The end result is that user-generated content and online freedom of speech would be effectively stifled.

What role does the ESA play?
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the "U.S. association exclusively dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies that publish computer and video games for video game consoles, personal computers, and the Internet."

Essentially, it is the lobbying arm of the entertainment software industry. It's members include some of the biggest names in entertainment software -- companies such as Electronic Arts, Microsoft Corp., Nintendo of America Inc., Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc., and Sony Computer Entertainment of America, among others.

Recently the ESA issued a public statement in support of SOPA. A small number of individual members, such as Epic Games and 38 Studios, have voiced their opposition to the bill and taken an active stance against it. However, the vast majority of ESA members have failed to take a stance and thus become implicit supporters of the bill.

As consumers of electronic entertainment products, we represent the constituent base for many of these companies and have a right to voice our opposition to their stance on SOPA. If we can convince enough individual members of the ESA to speak out against this bill, then the ESA would be pressured to reconsider its stance on the matter. This would be a significant step in the fight to protect online freedom of speech, and ensuring that the Internet remains a neutral platform for the sharing of ideas and information.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Game, set, match.

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      In an (unsurprising) move late today, the ESA officially reversed its stance on SOPA/PIPA and dropped support for both bills.

      While this sort of last-minute move is akin to abandoning an irreparable sinking ship, it is nonetheless significant. It means that the ESA has officially distanced itself from the likes of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and other major backers. It means that our impact as gamers and consumers of entertainment software has been felt. While the fight is far from over, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that democracy is in fact, still alive (despite evidence to the contrary).

      I plan to keep this petition open as a means of sending a message to the ESA and its member companies, saying that we are indeed still watching and keeping tabs. Regardless of what future form bills like SOPA and PIPA may take, we will continue to fight tooth and nail to ensure a free and neutral Internet for all.

    2. SOPA/PIPA stopped on their tracks... for now.

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      It's happening. The momentum gathered over the past few weeks, along with YOUR voice and YOUR actions, have succeded in shelving SOPA/PIPA for the time being. I think it goes without saying that every single person involved in this fight, from the small petitioners to the Internet giants, deserve a bit of congratulations for this achievement.

      While celebration is certainly warranted, now is not the time to lay down our guard or pretend like the fight is yet won. It is far from over, in fact. I can guarantee you all that the big money interests behind SOPA and PIPA are already hard at work to find a new, insidious way of legalizing Internet censorship. Whether they try tacking SOPA onto an unrelated bill, or sneaking through the legislation during a quiet month in Congress, they WILL keep trying.

      Call your lawmakers and make it clear that you do not support censorship. Keep the pressure on organizations like the ESA. The only way to beat them is to stay strong, and stay vigilant.

    3. Tweet the ESA

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      So here we are. Just mere days after a some of the Internet's biggest players collectively decided to "go black" in protest of SOPA/PIPA. President Obama publicly declared dissatisfaction with the two censorship bills, and all but threatened a full veto. Over 2,500 protesters showed up outside of Senator chuck Schumer's office in New York, closing down half of Third Avenue.

      Momentum is certainly on our side, but the fight is just starting.

      Imagine now, if all 400+ of you tweeted all the ESA member companies who have failed to take a stance against SOPA/PIPA (or who are conveniently hiding behind PR rethoric, like EA) and DEMANDED a response. Not so easy to ignore now, is it?

      Below are Twitter addresses for some of the biggest and most influential ESA members. Write them, and ask why they have failed to take a stance. Remember to be respectful, but don't be afraid to be firm.

      @SQUEX_Members_NA
      @namcobandai
      @Ubisoft
      @THQ
      @PlayStation
      @SEGA
      @Capcom_Unity
      @EA
      @NintendoAmerica
      @Eidos

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. GOOD NEWS!

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      NVIDIA, one of the largest producers of video graphics hardware and a member of ESA, released a statement today denouncing SOPA and effectively distancing itself from the ESA's position! Check out the link below.

      This is really, really great news. So far the only members of the ESA to publicly oppose SOPA have been smaller studios and publishers. NVIDIA is without a doubt one of the ESA's biggest members, and their opposition can only be taken as a sign of good things to come.

      Stay tuned!

    6. Reached 100 signatures
    7. Changes to petition letter + petition targets

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      Hello again. :)

      I have just finished re-writing the petition letter and finalizing a list of petition targets. These 15 companies are the largest (and therefore the most influential) members of the ESA -- they have the most to lose/gain from this bill and their voice will go a long way in swaying the ESA's stance.

      The letter will continue to be a work in progress until the petition reaches at least 2,500 co-signors, at which point I will send out the first batch of letters to the petition targets. The final version will probably be pretty close to this, so read through it and feel free to make comments/suggestions.

      Thanks again to everyone who has signed and helped spread the word!

    8. Reached 50 signatures
    9. If you ever play videogames or post content on the 'net...

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      Hey folks!

      I wanted to share this article I just read by Jennifer Mercurio, VP and General Counsel of the Entertainment Consumers Association. As a representative for electronic media consumers, the ECA is actively opposed to SOPA in its current form. Jennifer's insightful article goes into detail on how SOPA would affect our day to day interactions with the Internet, from hosting content on your blog to posting links on your Facebook wall. Check it out.

    10. Reached 25 signatures
    11. ESA member list

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      Finally, if you're interested in learning more about what the ESA is, including a full list of members, you can check out the link below.

    12. Handy infographic video

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      Fight for the Future also created this very informative 3-minute video on SOPA/Protect IP Act. Check it out here.

    13. Learn more about SOPA

      Carlos Matos
      Petition Organizer

      Hey folks! If you're interested in learning more about the specifics of SOPA but don't have a lot of time, check out this article over at The Next Web.

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Hannah Merchant WALTHAM, MA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I strongly believe that online piracy needs to be stopped. However, SOPA/PIPA is NOT the cure for internet piracy-- what it is the "cure" for is, at best, community websites where people come together for discussion and the production of fanworks (thereby drumming up further interest and brand loyalty for the companies that appear to support SOPA), and at worst, it is the "cure" for free speech of any kind on the internet. Please don't support SOPA/PIPA. It will absolutely not solve problems of internet piracy and safety-- if anything, it will make fans and customers feel betrayed and stepped on, and therefore LESS likely to monetarily support the media they are interested in.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • G. K. RICHLAND, WA
      • almost 3 years ago

      SOPA and PIPA do not protect the rights of copyright owners; the idea that they represent is worse than a disease that can and ultimately will spread to other facets of daily life. Our freedoms that the founding fathers of this great nation fought and died for are in jeopardy.

      SOPA and PIPA are not the answer to fighting piracy. They would fatally damage the free and open Internet as we know it.

      Big Brother would be right around the corner.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • MJ Ramos BOZRAH, CT
      • almost 3 years ago

      Because I want to continue to search for what I want, when I want, how I want and share it with whom I want via the free world wide web.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Duane Aberle TORONTO, CANADA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I'm not stupid. This has nothing to do with piracy. It's all about power. A free and open internet gives full power to the consumer. Big industry doesn't want that.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kay M 2, AZ
      • almost 3 years ago

      The internet must be free! As Americans, this violates our rights to freedom of speech! This is going to make the internet go downhill if SOPA is passed. This also violates privacy! Whoever is trying to pass this is only doing it to accuse people left and right for no big reason. It is actually heartbreaking how much this country is going down hill. We used to be "the land of the free" and now look how that is going. It hardly seems "free" anymore, and our last bit of "freedom" for internet users will be gone. We want to belong of a country we can be proud of, not a country that's going to stalk us online for no just cause. Also, let's see...Big Business vs. People's rights. I think I'm more in favor for people's rights. That is why I am signing today.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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