It's amazing how a little bad reporting turns into a big story. Late last week, we saw a report on Business Insider, by Matt Lynley, claiming that Nintendo, EA and Sony Electronics had dropped support of SOPA
. However, the reporting on this story is highly questionable. It was based on a report from November from Joystiq about how those three companies supported the bill
. But, if you read the actual article on Joystiq, you'll see that it notes that these three companies had not
specifically come out in favor of SOPA, but rather had signed onto a letter from the US Chamber of Commerce (or, rather, its front group, the Global IP Center) which was sent before
SOPA was introduced. While it does urge Congress to support something like
SOPA, it was not a direct endorsement of SOPA itself.
Now, jump forward to last week. A number of lists have been put out listing the companies who supposedly support SOPA -- but many of the lists were made up by combining
two separate lists. One was the official list from the House Judiciary site, which does, in fact, list out companies who have explicitly said they support SOPA. The other... was that letter that the Global IP Center sent. So, here's the problem. It appears that Lynley just checked the list from the House Judiciary Committee... and saw that Sony Electronics, EA and Nintendo were not
on that list... and decided they must have quietly removed themselves from the list.
Here's the problem: those three companies were apparently never
list. They were on the other list.
You can see an older version of the House Judiciary Committee list of SOPA supporters here
. Note that it has GoDaddy on it, as well as all those law firms
who demanded removal from the list. This was the original list that the Judiciary Committee came out with. You know what you'll see? Absolutely no mention of EA, Sony Electronics or Nintendo.
And yet... a ton
of news sites have picked up on the BI story and written their own versions, claiming that those three companies have quietly dropped their SOPA support:
Yet, as far as I can tell, none of these three companies has made any
statement suggesting they've changed their position at all. Perhaps they did change their position, but it's not because they're missing from the House Judiciary list... because they were never on that list as far as we can tell. It's kind of amazing to me that people kept demanding specific statements from GoDaddy to prove they'd really changed their position on SOPA but eagerly accept that these three companies have changed their position. It's really quite amazing to me that so many publications (many well respected) all seemed to key off this one, highly questionable, Business Insider report, which was based on someone who never checked the earlier list, and assumed that it must be accurate.