Capcom Tries To Tapdance Out Of Its SOPA Support, Blames 'Bad Journalism' For Its Own Statements

from the not-going-to-cut-it dept

Okay, this is just getting ridiculous. Yesterday, we noted that Capcom was one gaming company that was willing to say that it was in agreement with the ESA on SOPA... and since the ESA has made it clear that it supports SOPA, that's pretty clearly a statement that Capcom supports SOPA. I don't see how else you can interpret a claim that "the ESA represents us on these matters." When you say that someone is acting as your representative, then that means they speak for you. So we reported that accurately.

However, Capcom appears to be trying to backtrack its way out of this, by insisting that it's "bad journalism" to point out exactly what the company said:
We've only ever stated that the ESA represents us in legislative matters (again, like every other publisher). We have not stated any stance on our support (or not) for SOPA. Inferring more than that is bad journalism (which seems to be rampant based upon the rereporting of a six word response to inquiry).
As I noted in the original post, this is why it's dangerous (and not particularly smart) to outsource who represents you entirely. It's great to be a member of an organization that can work with you on what's happening legislatively, but you should never, as a company, completely outsource your own opinion on such things. But that's clearly what Capcom said in their original statement. That's not bad journalism, it's a bad decision by Capcom.

And, of course, Capcom doesn't go so far as to make an actual statement on SOPA. Instead, it claims, "We do not have an internal stance on this particular issue and are not planning to." Then perhaps that's what they should have said originally, rather than pointing journalists to the ESA...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    rather than trying to blame 'bad journalism', they ought to blame the person that put out the original statement and have guts enough to make a real statement themselves on SOPA support. if they do support it, dont then be surprised by or start condemning those that boycott their products

     

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  2.  
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    jakerome (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Still makes no sense

    They are a member of ESA, and the membership obviously decides on the ESA stance on SOPA. Did they support or oppose ESA's stance on SOPA? Simple question, why such a complicated answer?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    if youre not against it..

    if you are not openly against sopa at this point, then you are willfully ignorant and I provide you the same condemnation as those that are for sopa.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Still makes no sense

    If they say 'yes we support this', they lose the goodwill of a hell of a lot of fans. If they say 'no we don't' that upsets a whole mess of people in the industry. So instead, they weasel their way out of it by saying 'no comment', which just pisses people off even more.

     

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  5.  
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    Robert (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Avoidance

    That's their only defense, avoidance. They bitch about "misinformation" or "misinterpretation" but won't be clear about their stance for fear of repercussions (from both sides).

    Of course politicians, media pundits, and the SOPA supporters, will go on and on about "bad journalism." Yet no one complains about Fox News for bad journalism?

    It's funny how companies don't want to be labeled "guilty" before given a chance to defend themselves but have no problem doing it to little people.

    Capcom is guilty, they support SOPA until they deny it in writing! You support ESA so yes you support SOPA and are guilty by association. Maybe you should not have "linked" yourself with said "infringing on rights of others" SOPA supporters eh?

     

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  6.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    Simple Mathematics

    Come on Capcom. This is all simple mathematics. In Mathematics, it is possible to draw a single line through two points. Take the following statements:

    1) The ESA supports SOPA.

    2) Capcom refers queries to the ESA for its stance on SOPA.

    With that simple rule of Mathematics, what possible outcome were they expecting? The only outcome people could take from those two statements is that Capcom supports SOPA.

    Dance around the issue all they want, but Mathematics never lies.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    If you support SOPA then the ESA speaks for and represents us in this matter.

    If you don't support SOPA then we have no stance on SOPA, the ESA doesn't represent our opinions.

    It's so much easier to get caught trying to have things both ways today with the Internet, maybe that's why Capcom and many politicians want to strangle the Internet.

     

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  8.  
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    gorehound (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Capcom supports SOPA and that is the position of the ESA.
    So they must be boycotted as should all Companies that support SOPA/PIPA

    SOPA/PIPA = WAR

     

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  9.  
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    Todd, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    Profoundly tone deaf

    These guys seem to be making all of the classic errors of a PR department that doesn't know what the internet is. If they were manufacturing ginsu knives, I could almost understand it. Given the product, it implies either stupidity or malice.

    If you go look at the "official statement" linked in the post, it's a forum discussion that was flaming the company for supporting SOPA/PIPA. Rather than address the issue as humans, they posted a PR gobbledygook message and locked the thread.

    I'm sure, now that they have locked people out of commenting on this issue on their forums, that the problem will now just quietly go away.

     

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  10.  
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    Pips, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    Huh?

    So does the ESA represent them on legislative matters or not? If so, then they, Capcom exclusively, their managers, the owners, support SOPA.

    It is black and white. Period.

     

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  11.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    Boycott this list

    OK, this little addition has been added to the Boycott list

     

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  12.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Boycott this list

    Good list, but Godaddy is on my personal boycott list for all time.

    I also have Ubisoft and Activision/Blizzard now as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    David Poole (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    cop-out

    "At Capcom, we're game makers, not legislators. We do not have an internal stance on this particular issue and are not planning to. We'll get back to making games. Thanks."

    That is the scariest kind of cop-out. "We're not responsible. We're just doing our jobs!"

    EVERYONE is a legislator or at least we have to hold them accountable. Anything less is a cop-out.

     

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  14.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    I realize that outsourcing is popular in corporate america, but I had no idea that corporations were now outsourcing their own opinions.

    "So what's your opinion on the XYZ legislation?"

    "Don't ask me, we've outsourced all legislative opinions to a third party. Ask them."

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: cop-out

    That is the scariest kind of cop-out.


    O RLY? Capcom is a corporation.

    Why should corporations interfere with the political affairs of the citizenry?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Boycott this list

    What did Activision/Blizzard do?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    “Don't ask me, we've outsourced all legislative opinions to a third party. Ask them."

    “Don't ask me. We're a for-profit corporation. We don't get a vote and don't want one neither. Go ask a voter.”

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Boycott this list

    if you guys give me details and maybe even a link, I'll add it to the list.

    I still haven't decided where GoDaddy should go. I know I won't be using them any more, but I think I need a little more before they go back on the official list.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Boycott this list

    Starcraft 2 and Diable 3 both require constant internet connections to play single player. Plus Activision, specifically Kotick, are jerks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re:

    I wish that corporations actually did think this way. If this were true, we wouldn't even have SOPA to be concerned about in the first place. SOPA exists solely because corporations would rather have governments fix their own market and model problems rather than compete in a free market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Boycott this list

    Ubisoft's pro-DRM stance has them on my list. Especially for their constant internet connection DRM.

    As I told AC, Blizzard for the same on SC2 and Diablo 3.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: cop-out

    "Why should corporations interfere with the political affairs of the citizenry?"

    Um, you realize that corporations are "the citizenry" to according to SCOTUS? And corporations have been (and are) already interfering with the political affairs of the citizenry. Do you think SOPA/PIPA materialized out of thin air? They were introduced at the behest of, all together now kids, CORPORATIONS.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    doublespeak

    so how is one supposed to interpret "the ESA represents us in legislative matters", if not by reading it as "we agree with the ESA"? Perhaps they're trying to relate to the American voters themselves - after all, I suppose that the majority of us feel like we aren't being represented by our congressional representatives.

     

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  24.  
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    ClarkeyBalboa (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    They reaffirmed their support of SOPA right at the start:

    "We've only ever stated that the ESA represents us in legislative matters "

    SOPA is a legislative matter. The ESA supports SOPA, therefore CAPCOM supports SOPA. Then saying afterwards that they have no internal stance is meaningless.

     

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  25.  
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    Beta (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Splonge!

    My guess is that SOPA has been recognized within Capcom as such a live wire that even "no comment" is dangerous (as it should be). So they attempted to distance themselves from the whole question, having a minor spokeswoman direct all inquiries to ESA. Digital Trends quite correctly took Capcom at its word: Capcom is in favor of SOPA. Now Capcom is taking fire, and must retreat. Throwing the (unnamed?) spokeswoman under the bus would only draw more attention, so they must unsay what they said, retreat to a weaselly form of "No Comment" (what does "internal stance" mean?), lock down the forums and hope that some other company will make a similar gaffe soon and draw fire from Capcom.

    Refusing to take a stand is one thing, but this kind of duplicity is something else, and I think that as responsible citizens we have a duty to punish companies that behave this way.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

    Re: if youre not against it..

    Screw you. I did not go through the decades of the Vietnam and the Iraq Wars to hear "If you're not with us you're for the enemy" or "If you're not with us you're the enemy" anymore. If you're not against SOPA then, well...you're not against SOPA. Ignorance is a valid reason, and education is a valid response. Condemnation isn't. Even willful ignorance should be acceptable, it's their choice, not yours. Just like your viewpoint is your choice. It's just one that pisses me off.

    Sorry, I was gonna rant harder but lost some steam about halfway through. Anyway, have a nice day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Some Other AC (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Unfortunately, Corporations "vote" with the check book. It is called campaign donations and high spending lobby groups they fund.
    And according to the standard Congress/Senate critter, that is the only "voting" they listen to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Zos (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    Re: if youre not against it..

    damned straight. Part of the problem, or part of the solution. It's the same philosophy i have towards politicians and the war on drugs.

    Not having an opinion is no longer acceptable

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott this list

    I've added Ubisoft and Blizzard to the list, but only the "Just shy" section. I couldn't bring myself to add them to the full boycott list.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott this list

    those arent really single player games anymore.

    sure, they have a solo campaign.. but that's not really what they are selling. its a free perk to those that are buying their shiny multiplayer game.

    You play on their servers, even when playing solo.

    boycotting the company seems silly to me, but thats your choice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott this list

    Why isn't E3 on the boycott list? ESA runs E3, yet no one, including gaming sites that have called ESA out on SOPA/PIPA (Destructoid, Rock Paper Shotgun, etc.) have suggested boycotting E3.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    dcee (profile), Jan 7th, 2012 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott this list

    So, no internet connection, no playing?

     

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  33.  
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    crade (profile), Jan 9th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott this list

    haven't played diable 3, but starcraft2 only requires an internet connection to validate your copy, then allows you to play offline. I have no problem with a game requiring an internet connection if they need the internet connection to support features anyway. Starcraft works great, thats really all I ask, I'm not too hard to please :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2012 @ 10:31am

    That's exactly how I read their response: "the ESA represents us on these matters" in the sense of "the ESA is our proxy on these matters." Which is really the same as saying "our opinion on these matters is that which the ESA presents." Therefore, Capcom said they support SOPA.

    If that's NOT what they meant, they should have been more clear. It actually sounds to me like a lazy PR guy who's getting bit for not actually paying attention to what's going on. The "six word response" was a hand wave, shooing away a nuisance. This is what you get.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    KTP (Rockman Expert), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

    Re:

    I'm playing rockman games on PSP but news about tries to suppport on SOPA take a look in wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_organizations_with_official_stances_on_the_Stop_On line_Piracy_Act

    Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are anti-sopa
    Capcom is not on the list

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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