UK PC Gaming Site Rock, Paper, Shotgun To Join SOPA Protest By Going Dark Tomorrow
from the not-just-US-'piracy-apologists'-anymore dept
From 9am tomorrow morning, Rock, Paper, Shotgun will be blacked out in protest against SOPA and PIPA. The site will be gone, but for a single black page explaining why we're doing this. And then Thursday morning we'll be back.
Of particular note is the fact that RPS is a UK-based site, but one that recognizes that the threat SOPA and PIPA pose to the internet as we know it expands past national boundaries, much like the internet itself, a fact that seems lost on the legislators behind it.
At RPS we genuinely believe in the astonishing wonder of the internet. An unpredictable, utterly remarkable endeavour of humanity, it has radically changed the world in the 16 or so years that it’s been a part of the average person’s life, and the many years before that when it was going unnoticed. It has challenged everything, shaken entire industries, and created hundreds of thousands of new ones...
SOPA and PIPA seek to destroy all of this, rendering the internet a system controlled by the State and large corporations. The incredible freedom will be taken away, replaced with a system controlled by those with the most money. After a year when the internet has been the foundation of radical changes throughout the world, from those able to network themselves to overthrow their oppressive regimes, to those who have made a mockery of super-injunctions, the incredible means of supporting previously unknown projects through Kickstarter and the like, to the many wonderful pieces of art that have flourished, after that year, and after the year before it, and the one before that, how can anyone sit back and not fight for this precious, precious thing...A tremendous statement from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, boiling down these bills to the underlying motive behind them: protecting favored industries. To see our representatives willing to throw in with their corporate benefactors despite worldwide protest is to see the hollow, hypocritical facade of a corrupted system disintegrate before your eyes.
No, neither Congress nor the Senate will care that RPS is down, but the hundreds of thousands of people who visit RPS every day will. And they can pass that message on. This matters.
RPS should also be commended for its outstanding coverage on SOPA/PIPA. A constantly updated page displaying for/against statements from ESA members (Entertainment Software Association) concerning SOPA has gathered some remarkable information, especially considering the ESA has chosen (much like the BSA did before distancing itself from the legislation) to put its support behind SOPA without consulting its members. Due to RPS's persistance, NVIDIA, Good Old Games, Red 5 (Firefall), Frozenbyte (Trine), Runic Games (Torchlight) and Notch (Minecraft) have all issued statements expressing their opposition to SOPA. Red 5 has gone one further by joining in the protest blackout:
Red 5 Studios is joining Reddit in protest of SOPA by going dark on January 18. We will be taking down our website, community site and Firefall beta for 24 hours on the 18th. We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation. We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry. This bill, and it’s sister bill, Protect IP, will shut down live streaming, shout casting, user generated content and have a chilling effect on game innovation and social media.Notch and his fellow Minecrafters are also mulling their options and planning on joining the blackout, with updates delivered via Notch's Twitter feed.Most of all, it hurts the smaller game companies, who will not have the legal resources or lobbying presence to protect themselves from unwarranted shutdown. We issue a call to all our industry peers, including developers, publishers and game press, to join us in letting the ESA know they do not represent our views on this issue, and strongly oppose SOPA and PIPA.
As RPS points out, the beneficiaries of this legislation and their representatives (who often seem to forget are supposed to be our representatives) won't care. But it should, at the very least, make it clear that opposition to this bill is not limited to a few hundred noisy pirates and a handful of apologists. If this legislation continues to be pushed through, it will be crystal clear who our "representatives" actually represent and no amount of spin will be able to turn that around.