The Video Game Industry Joins The Lawsuit To Save Net Neutrality

from the with-Mario's-help dept

The Electronic Software Association (ESA) has decided to take a break from making up piracy statistics to actually do something useful.

The group, which represents video game publishers ranging from EA to Nintendo, has filed a motion to intervene (pdf) in the looming case against the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules at the behest of consumers. Numerous consumer advocacy firms, several companies including Vimeo and Mozilla, and 23 State attorneys general have filed suit against the FCC, arguing it ignored the public interest, experts, and objective data when it rushed to kill popular net neutrality rules at the telecom industry's behest.

In a statement posted to its website, the ESA states it felt the need to lend a hand to ensure that ISPs don't use their last-mile monopolies to hamstring innovative and disruptive new games or gaming-related services:

"The internet drives innovation, fuels our 21st century economy, and helps create the jobs of tomorrow—especially for the connected world of interactive entertainment. Consumers deserve rules of the road that prevent blocking, throttling, and other restrictive conduct – and enable the great online experiences that bring meaning and value to all parts of our country. ESA will make that case in the months ahead on behalf of America’s gamers and game makers."

In the full filing, the ESA says its members are concerned that with no rules in place, ISPs may "take actions that could jeopardize the fast, reliable, and low latency connections that are critical to the video game industry." In Canada, that manifested a few years back when Rogers decided to throttle all BitTorrent activity, hampering the then BitTorrent-based World of Warcraft upgrade client. As with every other sector, there's valid worry that ISPs will strike paid prioritization or zero rating deals with the deepest-pocketed companies, putting smaller services and companies at a disadvantage.

The lawsuits against the FCC comes as more than half the states in the union have now proposed their own, state-level net neutrality protections. Large ISPs, meanwhile, have threatened to sue any state that dare try and protect consumer welfare. The lawsuits, which should fully kick off after the FCC finalizes publication of the repeal (expected late this month), should be chock full of insight into some notably bizarre behavior by the Trump FCC as it tripped over itself to pander to the telecom industry.

Filed Under: fcc, net neutrality, video games
Companies: esa, mozilla, vimeo

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2018 @ 11:42am

    Re: Title II advocates have gotten too arrogant

    Everyone is for NN

    Then what is your problem?

    In the history of improper data discrimination in the US, there really only stands one big instance that all people consider improper and that is Madison River's VOIP block

    Perhaps you need a history lesson? Comcast blocked P2P traffic, AT&T blocked any VoIP service other than theirs, Verizon blocked tethering, and there are more.

    which could be handled under new proposed rules

    How? Because the proposed rules are no rules.

    Title II advocates have gotten too arrogant in believing their way is the only way

    This is not true. It is currently the most expedient way to stop things from getting worse than they already are. TD and other supporters of NN have all publicly and multiple times stated the best way forward would be to have Congress enshrine strong NN rules in law and for either Congress or the FCC to pass local loop unbundling laws/regulation.

    The problem is Congress is too far paid off to pass any NN rules worth anything, as evidenced by the garbage NN bills currently being considered. So, until we can get Congress convinced otherwise, the best way is to use Title II to behave until that happens. Saying that NN and T2 advocates think it is the only way shows a complete lack of ignorance regarding the whole thing.

    Title II creates more regulatory uncertainty

    No more so than not having any rules in place and I'd argue there's less uncertainty. After all, how do you play a game without rules?

    since what's improper isn't entirely agreed upon

    That is also not currently decided either and having no rules won't change that.

    I feel people tend to demonize the benefactors

    If you are talking about Pai and/or ISPs then you really don't get it. Lots of smart people have suggested lots of good ideas and Pai ignored every single one of them in favor of giving ISPs free reign to do whatever they want.

    this leads to strong bias of internet history that's slanted and not real realistic.

    I would double check my history if I were you. As I pointed out above, you've got your history wrong yourself. And Pai has been caught lying and deliberately ignoring history himself. Facts and history are on the side of NN and Title II supporters. I would take a serious look back if I were you.

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