SOPA dead as ESA pulls support

SOPA dead as ESA pulls support
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 23rd 2012 at 3:03PM

Potential for 'unintended consequences' makes industry trade body drop backing

The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act has been indefinitely postponed by congress.

The oft-criticised bill was delayed on Friday “until there is wider agreement on a solution”, said House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith.

US Industry trade body the Entertainment Software Association has also pulled its support of the controversial SOPA.

It stated concerns over potential unintended consequences from the current bill as reason for dropping its backing.

The ESA said however that it still backed some form of legislation to protect the games industry from piracy.

“From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites,” read a statement from the trade association.

“Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry’s creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals.

“Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests.

“As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution.”

SOPA has continued to lose backing over the past few months from companies such as Nintendo, Sony and EA, whilst websites such as Wikipedia and Reddit staged a day long blackout in protest over the legislation.

Whilst there is a possibility for the bill to return in an amended form, the current form of the legislation seems destined to change as debates continue about how best to tackle piracy.