TIGA speaks out against US SOPA anti-piracy bill

UK trade association says SOPA and PIPA could damage the games industry

UK games industry trade association TIGA has spoken out against the potential anti-piracy legislation being discussed in the US.

While the US games industry body the ESA has come out in favour of the bill despite many major members like EA, Sony and Nintendo oppose the legislation the UK's TIGA has recognised the potential threat that the SOPA bill presents the industry in its current form.

TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson said: "The worry is that this legislation would expose online games businesses to damaging legal action, while inhibiting innovation and leading to over-caution online. Videogame companies could have to spend time and money analysing the behaviour of their users. TIGA understands the need to clamp down on rogue websites - those which blatantly make money from piracy and therefore restrict the profit margins of developers and digital publishers - but it believes SOPA would be a sledgehammer cracking a nut."

Mark Gerhard CEO of TIGA member and Runescape developer Jagex added: "Jagex is fervently opposed to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act as it will essentially create a national censorship firewall for American internet users. Specifically this could crush the community element of online gaming and could result in a huge lack of freedom of speech, creativity and opinion sharing. Secondary to providing compelling games Jagex provides a social platform for our own community which could be hugely affected, negatively impacting on community sharing, forum activity, even in-game chat."

Today sees major sites like Wikipedia and Reddit engaging a 24-hour blackout in protest against the legislation with many other sites either following suit or engaging in their own form of protest in order to protect free speech on the internet.

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