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EA, Nintendo, Sony Quietly Withdraw SOPA Support

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:24AM (#38548136) Journal
    There's no way to know if this influenced it but Anonymous threatened Sony on Youtube [youtube.com] (transcript here [playstationlifestyle.net] and a few more specifics here [playstationlifestyle.net]) the other day. Of course, even if that did influence Sony I'm sure the last thing you'd want is to send Anonymous the message that they can push you around so don't bother waiting for admission/explanation.

    Looking at this list, there's far better targets of groups of lawyers and lobbyists that don't do a goddamn thing or sell any tangible product. Not sure why those wouldn't be prioritized by Anonymous but, well, that's crowdsourcing for you. Maybe they identified Sony as the biggest fish that would disrupt the highest number of placated sheep who might actually contact their senator when their opiate flow is disturbed? Nahhhh ...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jones_supa (887896)

      (transcript here [playstationlifestyle.net] and a few more specifics here [playstationlifestyle.net])

      Aggh. Why're people so in love with links that only read "here"? They're not quite informative.

      But hey, happy new year. :)

      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        Because it flows with the sentence it's built into?

        • by tunapez (1161697)

          And until [insert browser of choice here] further obfuscates the navigation bar into oblivion you can sneak a peek at where the link goes before you click it. I, for one, do not blindly dive into water, drive my car or click links without knowing what comes next.
           
          PS: fuck tinyURL and it's ilk. Just bury the long URL under [HERE} [w3schools.com].

          • by jones_supa (887896) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @04:02PM (#38550524)

            There's also the other form where the links are spread over the words such as "There is many tech [engadget.com] web [anandtech.com] sites [tomshardware.com]". :)

            Not a big deal, but people could give it just a little thought in general. It forces you to hover over all the links and makes the page harder to read if it's printed. A good rule of thumb could be that the same text should also work completely without the links around the words.

    • by JavaBear (9872) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:21PM (#38548566)

      Short answer: If Sony had felt threatened by Anonymous, it would only have strengthened their resolve.

      No, IMHO the reason these corporations have withdrawn their support may be twofold, one may just be because they are starting to realize that SOPA may very well backfire on them legally. With SOPA there is no real competition left, and in that environment, what you can do to your competitors, they can do to you just as well.

      However the most recent event, which I think shaped their decision, is the customer reaction to GoDaddy's support for SOPA. That told them that customers are actually willing talking with their wallet, and when they do, it can hurt them.

    • by Technician (215283) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:02PM (#38548904)

      SONY is only one player. I just got off the phone leaving voice mail for some others on the list. Call them. Write them. Let your voice be heard. Give examples. First I told them I understood that piracy of film and music is a problem. I then told them I could shut down Slashdot, Picasa, Photobucket, Makezine, and many anti scam websites, etc for posting photos and text that users shared but did not make. Sites I use to promote my work would be shut down if this passes. Make it clear that the piracy is a problem, but the proposed solution would shut down sites individuals use. We do not need the Internet to become just another TV or radio station for big media. The Internet would be of no use if that happens.

      Slashdot could be shut down for most everything placed in quotes. This is WRONG.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Uhhh...did you ever stop to think that making the net another cable channel was THE POINT there Chuck? never before in our history has people been able to be heard by the masses without kissing the ring, they've owned radio and print and TV for decades but with the tubes and net radio and a bazillion other outlets the gatekeepers of media can't assrape the artist and enslave them like they used to. And BTW enslaved is a VERY perfect word, because despite "artists" like Metalicock thinking their are making t

    • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:08PM (#38548966) Homepage

      Actually, I rather doubt that had anything to do with it at all.

      Sony and its leaders are pretty arrogant. They know any attack is temporary. They might have to stop online sales or the collection of sales/personal data on internet connected servers or things like that, but it wouldn't otherwise faze them.

      No, what I think got to them is the tremendous and mobile public response made against the likes of Go Daddy. I'm ever so proud of our internet. And by internet, I don't mean the network devices, ISPs and other business and government presence. I mean the people who use it. You reading this now are the internet... the 'series of tubes' that you are. :)

      The internet is really coming into its own as a force for public expression and more importantly for change in the public's interest. It's the last chance the world really has for "peaceful revolution" as it were. For a lot of us, we imagine there will be jack-boots marching across the US and small groups of resistance everywhere. It's not that hard to imagine really. But lately, it seems the business interests which pay [read: buy] the government is having its money supply threatened. That's where the real fear comes into play.

      Fact is, most of all this 'online piracy' is over things which aren't necessary for life. It's entertainment. There will always be entertainment even if we have to sing and play it for ourselves. (YouTube has proven that well enough I think) If people get pissed off enough to boycott any of them in large numbers for any amount of time, they will not just interrupt cash flow for the short term, people will begin to realize that a world without Sony or Nintendo would be... not so different... not so bad. And believe me -- a Linux based F/OSS console and gaming network would spring up so fast with Google's Android as the core, it would become a huge game changer.

      They can't afford to piss off their customers any longer. THAT's the fear you are witnessing them act on.

      • by Thing 1 (178996) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:58PM (#38549392) Journal

        You reading this now are the internet... the 'series of tubes' that you are. :)

        I like the extrapolation: my body is a series of tubes that allow communication between remote parts of my body. The internet is similar, in that it allows communication between remote parts of the world. I really like the biological metaphor, because it truly is like the world is developing into a new organism. A much larger, much harder-to-destroy organism. (For the karma, it's something like a car as well. ;)

      • And believe me -- a Linux based F/OSS console and gaming network would spring up so fast with Google's Android as the core, it would become a huge game changer.

        Who would make long-form, high-production-value video games for such a platform? Video games distributed as free software and most games on the phone app stores tend to be short-form, the kind of game that has its beginning, middle, and end in 5 to 10 minute plays. But where's the free counterpart to Super Mario Galaxy or Twilight Princess or the single-player campaign of Call of Doody, erm, Duty series?

      • I understand angst. I understand outrage. I understand wanting to "do something about it."

        But Anonymous is a voice without a mission. They and the Occupy protesters expect the world to change policy on a dime just because they've suddenly discovered that the world sucks and the greedy get away with it.

        They can both take a spin. The movement to fight the US DEA's dogmatic persecution of cannabis users and patients began before I was born. It's been a multi-generational battle, with each generation

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bky1701 (979071)
          So what is your suggestion? Maybe you should shut up and stop complaining about people who are doing something, no matter how small. Ultimately, you're part of the problem.
    • by jythie (914043)
      Well, lobbyists and other such groups do not really have a reputation or revenue stream that can be impacted by anonymous, so they would not make sense as targets.
  • by mlauzon (818714) <mlauzon&gmail,com> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:28AM (#38548166) Homepage
    Because Nintendo, Sony, and EA are members of the ESA, and the ESA supports SOPA, means that Nintedo, Sony, and EA support SOPA!
    • by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:30AM (#38548186)
      "No! Not anymore! Really! We like you! Buy our crap!"
    • As do Microsoft and many other ESA members.
      • by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:55AM (#38548358)
        There have been a lot of articles specifically about Microsoft and Apple pushing the ESA to back off SOPA. There may be some dissension in the ranks.
        • Do you mean the business software alliance which supposedly MS and others got them to change their mind but afaik nothing was done in the ESA and I get the impression MS did it more for PR because they went from being nice guys for not supporting SOPA to people being informed they were part of a group that supported it so they did what they had to due to consumer pressure.
        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:01PM (#38548896) Journal

          There have been a lot of articles specifically about Microsoft and Apple pushing the ESA to back off SOPA. There may be some dissension in the ranks.

          Don't know about Apple but you can understand why with MSFT as piracy is their bestest friend! just look at how quick they backed off that reduced functionality mode on Vista when it looked like the pirates would stay on XP, having the number of websites reporting MSFT OSes having no way to distinguish pirate versions from legit gives MSFT higher numbers which helps them sell more copies to OEMs. Can you imagine how quickly someone would invest in Linux to come up with a version that worked for the masses if Windows piracy was ended tomorrow and everyone had to pay retail? Hell Windows 7 is easier to pirate than XP and Vista ever was!

          These companies are starting to realize that SOPA is a good way to shoot themselves in the head because the one that is a pirate now ends up being a paying customer later with the knowledge to use their software, just ask adobe with PhotoShop. i bet every Photoshop customer was a one time kid that pirated the thing and by the time they got out into the world the had PS skills which meant more customers for Adobe. Wasn't it Gates that said "If they are gonna pirate i want them to pirate from us"? I know I saw Ballmer a few years ago give an interview where he said flat footed to the effect "I couldn't care less about some kid passing a copy of XP around the dorm room, i care about the boat coming from Manila with pirate copies that are so good i can't tell them apart" because he knew that piracy keeps people using MSFT software!

          I just wish Ballmer wasn't such a dipshit as he had literally tripped over a way to end Windows piracy in the west and let it slip away. That $50 Win 7 HP upgrade which would install on a clean drive frankly was amazing, I saw guys who had NEVER owned a legit Windows suddenly all running legal copies of Windows. Its just a damned shame these companies can't see what Valve saw years ago, which is the trick is not to ruin the web with draconian laws trying to end piracy but to get the pirates switched over into paying users. I'd love to see what kind of money they made off the Xmas sale this year as i bet it was truly insane because by making their service cheap and easy it literally is easier to buy from Steam than pirate anymore. Too bad the others like the MPAA can't seem to catch that clue.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Business Software Alliance (BSA) supports SOPA and of course their biggest supporters and founding members Apple and Microsoft.

      a recent BSA bulletin:


      The Business Software Alliance today commended House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for introducing the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261) to curb the growing rash of software piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft that are being perpetrated by illicit websites.

  • If it was quiet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:28AM (#38548172)
    "EA, Nintendo, Sony Quietly Withdraw SOPA Support"

    If it was quiet, they still support it. They just don't want to lose as many customers.
    • by VMSBIGOT (933292)

      Interesting people have not noticed that Sony Music is still on the list.
      Also, I noticed the National Sheriff's Association is also on the list. Guess my yearly donation will now be going to a better org.

      Now the question I have is that if SOPA passes, how long do you think it will take for every business that supports it to have some sort of infringing material?
      "Oh look Sony, I can tell by the metadata in your websites header image that some intern you hired years ago used a pirated version of Photoshop....

    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Very true. They are still on the wrong side. I only regret I had already been boycotting these industries for years, and so cannot do anything now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:29AM (#38548178)

    They have only reduced their support, rather than fully withdrawn it.

    According to Destructoid [destructoid.com] they are still members of The ESA [theesa.com] which still supports SOPA.

    • by NewWorldDan (899800) <dan@gen-tracker.com> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:47AM (#38548298) Homepage Journal

      Well, of course. They still support it, they just don't want to announce that they support it and all the bad press, gamer retaliatation and vigilante attacks (ie., anonymous) that that implies, so they hide behind an industry trade group.

    • by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:50AM (#38548330)

      Exactly.

      The GoDaddy clusterfuck just taught them to not be stupid enough to connect your company name to it directly.

  • With all the media coverage over online communities like Reddit and Anonymous threatening companies in a very real way.... Maybe 2012 is the year crowdsourcing rebellion is here to stay? Happy New Year Slashdot!
    • Please, most people have no clue what Reddit is, what Slashdot is, and they only know of Anonymous because of the Fox11 report. They know of SOPA because there are commercials urging them to support it, but they have no idea what exactly they are supporting, except that they have been told it will "create jobs." There will be no year of crowdsourcing; more likely, 2012 will be another "year that the Internet became less free as corporations found more ways to monetize it."
  • by wrwetzel (543389) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:40AM (#38548272)
    I suspect that the list of objectors is much longer than that of supporters. It would be good to see that, too. It would be especially good for Congress to see that side-by-side with the list of supporters. Bill
  • Is it me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hilather (1079603) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:57AM (#38548372)
    Or are there only corporations on the list of supporters. Are there no individuals left? Or are they just not worth listing?
  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:13PM (#38548496) Homepage Journal

    I've been puzzling over the corruption caused by business influence on government for awhile.

    Setting it up as a problem in game theory, the tenet "candidate who spends the most money wins the election [opensecrets.org]" makes the outcome a foregone conclusion: elected government officials will be in the pocket of corporations, in all cases.

    This may be a way out.

    We've bemoaned our inability to influence the political system, but here we see a striking example of the population rising up and affecting specific government actions.

    Public outcry stopped the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, or at least it helped. Similarly, public outcry attempted to hurt Bank of America and GoDaddy over their political beliefs.

    If we can make this work it will give us the fine control over government that we have been missing. We've been able to affect small companies - HBGary [arstechnica.com], Stratfor [nytimes.com], Ocean Marketing [kotaku.com], Sony [arstechnica.com]. (OK, Sony isn't that small, but it was a slice of Sony much smaller than BOA.)

    Future companies may need to think twice before supporting oppressive or corrupt legislation - if only because of the chance that the people will rise up and hurt their bottom line.

    We haven't had an effect on the really big companies yet (BOA), but I'm hoping that this grows to be a worldwide trend. We need to install a healthy dose of respect for public opinion. To put it succinctly, the companies have to fear the possibility of public retribution, both legal and extra-legal.

    This will give us the power to affect legislation, to control the corruption. This will put government back in the hands of the people.

    If we can make this work...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by blahbooboo (839709)

      Setting it up as a problem in game theory, the tenet "candidate who spends the most money wins the election [opensecrets.org]" makes the outcome a foregone conclusion: elected government officials will be in the pocket of corporations, in all cases.

      Another way to see this is that candidate who raised the most money also had the most number of supporters...

      • by webheaded (997188) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:39PM (#38548704) Homepage
        No...the corporate money completely drowns out any individual contributions. I can damn near guarantee that.
        • by Toonol (1057698)
          "Damn near guarantee" in this context seems more like "I don't have proof".

          I'm fairly confident that corporate donations are usually higher than individual, but I wouldn't assert it as a fact unless I had... facts.

          Anyway, I think it's not so terrible. The candidate that is probably going to win, will innately attract more donations by people currying favor. The correlation there may not be causation. Also, there is no corporate donation that isn't, at some point, decided by an individual.
          • Actually, it's not just the "campaign" money, it's the promise of a cushy job afterwards, and also Corps being able to pull favors for you with other congressmen who are already in their pockets. For facts, why just look at FCC members becoming *AA Goons, or just maybe search for lobbyist owns congress [citizensnewsdaily.com].

            Oh, wait... You're looking for donation trails? [opensecrets.org]

            Gee, that wasn't hard now was it? What's that? Oh, you want COLD HARD FACTS... you mean, the info they've paid big bucks to hide very very well? Yeah, k

      • Setting it up as a problem in game theory, the tenet "candidate who spends the most money wins the election [opensecrets.org]" makes the outcome a foregone conclusion: elected government officials will be in the pocket of corporations, in all cases.

        Another way to see this is that candidate who raised the most money also had the most number of supporters...

        Only if contributions to, and spending on behalf, of candidates were limited to private donations with a fairly low cap so that it was actually number of supporters that determined revenue.

        We do not have that situation. Corporations can now spend unlimited sums to promote a candidate. Wall Street firms with thousands of employees making high 6 figures (and up) have methods of bundling 'voluntary' maximum contributions (far above what 90% of Americans could afford) from their employees into huge packages of

    • by Thing 1 (178996)

      Public outcry stopped the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, or at least it helped. Similarly, public outcry attempted to hurt Bank of America and GoDaddy over their political beliefs.

      [...]

      We haven't had an effect on the really big companies yet (BOA), but I'm hoping that this grows to be a worldwide trend.

      I had the following idea a few days ago, regarding the banking issue, and would like to hang it off your post for the world to perhaps use, or if not at least be entertained by.

      The idea stems from fractional reserve banking; the fact that a bank does not have all of the money it would require on-hand if all depositors chose to remove their deposits on the same day.

      It also stems from the Occupy movement.

      So without further ado: Occupy Bank of America. Open an account, deposit a thousand dollars. Do this ove

      • Other people have had this idea over the years.

        Banks are not required to give out cash immediately. In cases where their fractional reserve is in peril, they can delay payouts for some period of time (IIRC it's on the order of 24-48 hours, but this has probably changed over the years).

        They use the extra time to get a large dollop of cash from the nearest federal reserve branch. The system is set up specifically to prevent a run on the bank, which is what you are suggesting.

        The best you could hope is for the

        • by Thing 1 (178996)

          Other people have had this idea over the years.

          Thanks, and I agree -- it's not an original idea to devise some sort of financial IED to slow down the invaders/occupiers/imperialists/etc.

          I'm not aware of any of these actions being illegal, but you can bet that the establishment will take a very dim view. They will begin by arresting people for trumped up charges (arresting peaceful people in line at the bank for trespassing, or public nuisance), then passing laws which make this behaviour specifically illegal.

          I somewhat like the idea of it becoming harder and harder to both run a bank, and be a customer. I think if the people making the rules had a systemic view, they would instead make the leverage-based business model illegal. Rather than the paying customers' collective actions. Because failure is built in to the system (hence the systemic view is required, because look

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:25PM (#38548602)

    Earlier in the Corey Doctorow thread I suggested closed platforms are our fault. That perhaps we hadn't made the case well enough.

    I think though. We made a victory here.

  • Is this the beginning of the end of SOPA? EA, Sony, Nintendo and others pulling support. Maybe the ESA itself will pull support if enough of its members do. I hear Microsoft and other ESA members are pressuring them to abandon SOPA...

  • So they withdrew public support and will become private supporters.

    The only support that matters to senators is private and the most important to them... money.

    The only think that I can think of that might work is an organized group that publicized what politicians supported and stopped a him from being reelected but in a way that they could take credit. A politicians would listen to them then.

    In this modern era what I would most want to see is direct democracy. We don't really need senators or representati

  • If the government is publishing the list of supporters, shouldn't they publish the list of people who have objected?

    the government site is here:
    http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/issues_RogueWebsites.html [house.gov]

    perhaps nobody has objected?

  • Try, try again (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ja'Achan (827610) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:22PM (#38549068) Homepage
    That's a lot of bad press everyone is getting. Perhaps they should cancel the proposal, and try again in a few months.
    • With a new name. Something like Puppies and Children Protection Act. Or an Omnibus spending act.

      • by Amouth (879122)

        they will just add it as a rider on the next defense funding bill that will be needed for naval exercises in the middle east.

  • Withdrawing support is all fine and good. But companies who don't like SOPA shouldn't just rest at not supporting it. They should be actively against it, and make it clear in public statements, along with why they're against it. Whether they believe in free speech not being infringed (unlikely), don't like that SOPA will break the internet in the long run, or they just say they don't support it because it will cost them money, they need to say so. Any of these reasons are valid, and public awareness would i
    • by lmpeters (892805)

      I explained it to one friend thusly (she's a nerd, but not a computer nerd): "It would, for example, allow Nintendo to sue and possibly shut down Facebook over the photo you posted of your (DIY) Pikachu sweater."

  • Will SOPA affect the usage of the internet for people outside of the USA, but where a recursive DNS query might happen to travel through it (for example, somebody in mexico finding a domain that is based in Canada, or vice versa)?

    It's been suggested that people who utilize DNSSEC can simply ignore SOPA, because SOPA explicitly states that nobody is required to make significant changes to their software or facilities to comply with it. Will organizations that use DNSSEC be later dragged into court for "

  • Kill fucking Zynga.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @03:25PM (#38550158) Homepage

    Checking the list of supporters vs. the legislative agenda of the organization shows some gaps.

    Somebody is making this stuff up.

  • There is definitely a trend in which the product purchased is managed not those who have pride in making a good product, but by those who would go to any lengths possible to take acquire all of ones wealth. Personally, I grow tired of products that remind me of grinning show offs.
  • I'm posting this from the future -- it's already 2012 in this part of the world (woohoo!)

    I wrote my first column for 2012 today and in it I speculate that SOPA, if it's passed into law, might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

    While governments all over the world seek to control, regulate, restrict and constrain the internet so as to protect their own power to impose ideologies on those who elect them to power, I have a feeling that SOPA could be just one step too far and might act as a catalyst

  • I respect a silent withdrawal more than Godaddy's self-congratulatory noisy one.

  • Not a single voter is on that list, therefore there is no credible support so it should be scrapped.

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