League of Legends developer Riot Games are the latest developer to come out and actively declare their opposition for the controvertial Stop Online Piracy Act.
SOPA is an anti-piracy bill currently due for debate by the House Judicary Committee after congresses winter recess. The bill would allow copyright holders to seek court orders against any site or persons they deem to be practicing or aiding piracy. The bills vaunted aim is to to curb piracy and copyright infringement on the internet.
Critics of the bill fear that the bills incredibly vague wording would leave it open to abuse, destroying much of the user created content found across the web, with content creators fearing immediate legal rebutal. Some of the biggest players in the online world have already announced their opposition to SOPA, including Google, Facebook and Yahoo.
Now Riot Games have joined that opposition, listing their points of contention with the bill:
- Kills streaming. If any single streamer plays copyrighted music (or alt tabs into a movie or other owned content) on their stream, there is a significant risk of the entire streaming service being taken down. In some cases, it could even result in criminal penalties for the streamer.
- Threatens independent content creation. Services we all use to create and share League of Legends related content, such as YouTube, Reddit, DeviantArt, streaming websites such as Own3d and Twitch, and more would be at risk of shutting down or greatly restricting the scope of legitimate content allowed on their sites.
- Attacks our community. Aspects of our service such as the official forums and potentially even in-game chat, could be taken down or have their features reduced based on user behavior.
- Other harmful effects. SOPA/PIPA undermine established intellectual property legislation like the DMCA, raise serious constitutional free speech issues, and could even compromise the basic security infrastructure of the internet.
Riot Games join Epic Games, Trion Worlds and 38 Studios in their outright opposition to the bill. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which many other developers fall under, has come out in support of the bill.
It’s nice to see more game developers come out and oppose SOPA, which could have a devastating effect on the internet as we currently know it if it were to pass. For those of you unawares on the ins and outs of the bill, check out a few of these links to clue yourself up.