I was happy to find out today that both Firefall and Reddit.com were going to shutdown their sites, and in Firefalls case its beta testing, on Jan 18th to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act. I decided I must do something as well and will be canceling my SWTOR account after my pre-paid subscription comes to an end regardless of how I feel about the game, unless EA reverses its stance on SOPA. Neutrality is not good enough, EA must publicly state they are against both laws. I will also be boycotting all gaming companies that support the Act which according to Reddit include the following:
- Square Enix
- Take Two
Below is a great video that explains what SOPA is meant to do and what it will actually do. In essence it will allow any company to shutdown any website they “claim” are breaking their copyrights. I put claim in quotes because there is no due process or even a notification given to the website with the violation. The company also doesn’t actually have to prove they own the copyright.
A recent example was when Universal Media Group was able to shutdown MegaUpload because of a free song upload by various artist including P. Diddy, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, and others. The song was to protest SOPA and did not violate any copyrights, however just the request by UMG was enough to shutdown the site. Keep in mind MegaUpload is not some small website like MMOCrunch or many others, it’s the 72nd largest website in the world. Also keep in mind they were able to do this NOW and SOPA or PIPA have not even become laws yet. So just imagine what will start once these laws pass.
SOPA is not only supported by gaming companies, but by the movie and music industry as well, which in the past have had no problem suing 12 year old girls for downloading a song. So shutting down a website will probably mean even less to them. SOPA is the death of internet freedom and creativity and I hope you all will do your own protest or boycott in support of stopping SOPA and PIPA (Protect IP Act).
RockPaperShotgun also has a complete list.