Firefall devs plan protest of SOPA, cancel E3 2012 plans
More and more game developers are speaking out about SOPA, an act that would dangerously expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. While the concept of stopping piracy and protecting intellectual property is good, the problem with SOPA is that the terminology is so loose that it threatens many gaming websites and developers.
Firefall developer Red 5 Studios CEO Mark Kern has been the latest to speak out against the bill, notifiying Shacknews that they will be protesting SOPA. Kern confirmed that beginning January 18, Red 5 Studios will shut down Firefall's beta and website for 24 hours.
Kern said the proposed bill would hurt smaller game companies, "who will not have the legal resources or lobbying presence to protect themselves from unwarranted shutdown."
"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," Kern added.
Kern emphasized that Red 5 Studios are not, and will now never be supporters of The ESA. Kern backed up his statement with actions as he cancelled plans to attend E3 2012. In a follow-up email to Shacknews, Kern wrote:
"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.
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.
-- via Mark Kern, Red 5 Studios"