Canceling my SWTOR Account in Protest of SOPA/PIPA

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:

  • EA
  • Capcom
  • Microsoft (Not anymore)
  • Nintendo
  • Sony
  • Sega
  • THQ
  • Square Enix
  • Take Two
  • Ubisoft
  • Nival

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.

17 Comments

  1. FYI – 38 Studios came out last week with a statement from company founder Curt Schilling stating they were against SOPA. It is posted in their forums and should be taken off the list.

  2. Hey – you may want to post here the names of politicians that support the legislation – particularly in the senate – so gamers in their area can voice their oppinions.

    I emailed both my senators in NH. Jean Shaheen (D) responded agressively defending SOPA and confirmed she was going to vote for it to pass. Kelly Ayotte (R) has yet to respond to my email letter. Neither senator is up for re-election in 2012, but Shaheen is up for re-election in 2014.

  3. While I am against SOPA as well, with your post history regarding SWTOR you cancelling will have little impact. If you were serious you would boycott all games by the companies you listed. Yet I doubt you will. Its a hollow gesture from someone who was obviously never going to sub after the first month of play anyway.

  4. “I will also be boycotting all gaming companies that support the Act”

    As I said, I will be boycotting all those companies listed above. Had I been more aware of SOPA earlier on, I would not have purchased SWTOR to begin with. While I know one purchase won’t make any difference to EA’s bottomline it’s the principle.

  5. Wont it just mean that the big sites will start basing their servers outside America.

    YouTube, Facebook etc will just close down America and up sticks and move.

    Bad for America, but maybe a good thing for wherever they move to?

    OK i know it is just maybe a bit oversimplified but surely its an America problem not going to affect us outside America all that much – unless all our governments decide to follow your lead….. ????

  6. Just better mention I havent watched the whole video yet just the first 10 mins … and havent heard much about this before so based that entire last comment on not knowing all the facts. So please feel free to educate me – until I get a chance to do my homework and watch the entire vid.

  7. “The company also doesn’t actually have to prove they own the copyright.”

    Totally insane. I appreciate your efforts.

  8. @ Xaras unfortunately the US has total control of the DNS root zones which control all of the world’s domains. If a website in China is reported and the webhost does not comply to the takedown, the US can just pull the DNS off the root server and shut the website down that way. Every website in the world is effected by this law.

    This is just the first step to turn the internet into what radio and TV are today. A small group of companies owning everything and the public having no voice.

  9. Looks like this week if EA does not change their position my husband and I will be canceling our subs as well. This is too important to ignore.

  10. I too will be canceling all of my subs today. Like @nefermore says: ” This is too important to ignore. People want to complain about youtube ads? The future of the internet depends on you.

    -clint , North Carolina “Together we stand,together we fight.”

  11. This is just terrible….SOPA is the equivalent of curing a headache with a guillotine. It may stop piracy, but it would shut down our economy and unconstitutionally erode our most basic freedoms in the process.

    I just hope that everyone realizes how important this is and does their part to save the internet & our economy! …here is another good video that explains the consequences of SOPA pretty well:
    http://www.peeje.com/peeje-goes-strike-stop-web-censorship-bills-congress-209/

    1,000s of more websites have joined the force and went dark today, we need EVERYONES help!!!!

  12. @Mike really? — the World Wide Web is actually Americas Web? This is really that powerful a law?

    Didn’t really understand totally what all that meant – but I gather the .co.uk, .nz, .org, etc domains are all controlled by the US and no matter where they are America can shut them down.

    Seriously if they start enforcing their laws on other countries which is what it sounds like your suggesting they are going to have a lot more than cancelled subscriptions – that kind of thing can if escalated start wars.

    — I’ll have to do my research on DNS root servers and stuff get myself up to speed because if thats the case guess I’m gonna have to cancel a few subs too =(

    Seriously I get what they want to do …. I still agree websites have to take responsibility for what they allow people to post and peoples IP’s do need protection – but it does need to be done sensibly.

  13. As you can see above didnt get what all the fuss was about being UK and this being US law …. this article simplified it all and explained why we outside US should care:

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2012/01/what-is-sopa-and-why-should-britain-care/

    On the positive side got this from the Guild wars facebook:

    “We should always be looking for means to combat online piracy in ways that uphold the freedom and fun the Internet has to offer. SOPA does not accomplish this goal, and; therefore, NCsoft does not support the bill in its current state. ~RB”

    and

    “ArenaNet is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NCsoft, as such ArenaNet’s position on SOPA is the same as NCsoft’s. ~RB”

    So after we have all cancelled our existing subs ….. we can still play GW2 when it comes out =)

    As it happens just a quick flit over the net shows there is so much anti Sopa about, and it is so clearly flawed its hard to believe it could get passed.

  14. I cancelled an hour ago.Because of SOPA…and Biowar’s lack of any comprehension or interest in a world class RVR feature.I have 11 days remaining on my sub and I won’t be going into the game again.

    Call oremail your Senator and Congressmen…tell them to kill this bills….NOW.

  15. I help run a content site and we sometimes get DMCA notices from ArenaNet about GW2 leaked info, which we take down. ArenaNet and NCSoft understand how the law works and use it successfully to protect their copyright. Most of the companies that support SOPA are staffed by idiots who are too dumb to understand copyright law on the internet. They just want to be able to bully everyone and get what they want without providing evidence that they’re making a legit claim. There is no legitimate reason to support this law, only bad ones.

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