A new U.S. bill aimed at websites suspected of illegally distributing copyrighted material now has the support of major video game industry organizations, including Activision and industry trade group, Entertainment Software Association.
The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111s3804is/pdf/BILLS-111s3804is.pdf aims to restrict the operations of “rogue websites” that are “dedicated to infringing activities” such as distributing pirated games, music and other content, or counterfeited materials, goods or services.
The bill says the court could issue a “temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, or an injunction against the domain name” of a rogue site to stop allegedly infringing activity.
Activision and the ESA signed a Gamasutra-obtained letter of support yesterday addressed to the bill’s co-sponsor, Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy.
Other major media companies like Disney, NBC Universal, Newscorp, Time Warner, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America also gave their support.
Chanel, 1-800 Pet Meds, Johnson & Johnson and other companies whose goods are susceptible to counterfeiting signed the letter as well.
The letter of support reads, “Rogue websites – many of which are hosted outside of the U.S. – have become increasingly sophisticated in both design and operation, and often deceive consumers into believing they are legitimate.”
“These sites not only undermine the growth and stability of many industries and the American jobs that they support, but represent a severe health and safety risk to consumers who unwittingly purchase hazardous products.”
“We urge you to continue to work with stakeholders to improve the bill and push for its enactment during the time remaining in the 111th Congress,” the letter added. The 111th Congress ends January 3, 2011.
But there are groups that oppose the bill, such as the digital civil liberties group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which said the act could take hosting sites like RapidShare, DropBox and MediaFire offline, even if they’re not entirely used for piracy. "Under COICA, the Department of Justice (DOJ) could decide that there is ‘too much’ piracy on any of these sites and it is therefore ‘central to their businesses,’ EFF’s website reads .
And EFF fears that websites that advocate piracy or P2P technology could be silenced by the courts, an outcome that "would be fundamentally contradictory to freedom of speech.
This is directly from gamasutra and I wanted to open a discussion on the issue here. This is what Jason Manley said under comments of the thread(I do not know if this is a legitimate post by him or not but it points out some interesting things all in all)
This is a myth. At least when it comes to my own personal experience. For eighteen months I built an anti-piracy effort including the design and creation of digital fingerprint technology for our educational videos on conceptart.org. After fully researching all possible anti-piracy efforts I had to just create my own system, which solved the problem 99.9 percent. My revenue went up eight times over the next six months and settled around three times the revenue I was seeing my company have prior to the anti-piracy.
Piracy kills the value of intellectual property. Period. Marketing schmarketing. When is the last time any of you bought something you pirated (not saying all of you do). Maybe once? Twice? Never? Whatever.
Piracy almost killed two of my businesses and if my anti-piracy company would not have put an end to it, we would have seen the closure of one of the most important creative industry portals, events companies, and educational programs. I was told I could not stop it, and did. I was told piracy helped my business but the numbers don’t lie.
Do I think Rapidshare and other hosting sites are a problem? Yes. #### Rapidshare. That site is one of the biggest problems my company faces and it costs me money every single month to deal with those unscrupulous firms. Shut them down. That is my feeling on the matter. I would love to see them get injunctions. LOVE it.
Those of you who whine about getting laid off or jobs going overseas or the lack of success in the PC games industry etc… Piracy is a big part of it. Sure it helps get the word out, but it gets out to people who just steal the stuff.
I can say that not all people pirating would buy. But I saw many times my sales because piracy was stopped. I also saw more expenses as we manage the shifty people at Rapidshare and others. Did I see the million downloads or 3500 uploads per day per video that were happening with the piracy? No…but did I see enough revenue to keep jobs here in the US, and keep our portal and programs alive? Yes, absolutely.
I am all for any support in putting an end to this garbage. If people want to transfer files they can use their own ftp spaces. Rapidshare can rot in the dump for all I care. Really. And for those of you at struggling developers, shutting down sites like that will mean your jobs are more secure.
I bring this discussion up because this can actually pass A) because this isnt a strong force of no says due to no media coverage B) The general public and communities has no knowledge of this going on unless you inform them. So I wanted to bring this up here to see how we feel about the issue and the etc. I do not want this thread to become a source of ranting and hatred so lets keep this conversation as sane and debating as possible.
PS: the second quote is abit out of context it was directed at previous post discussing how the companies cant stop it and why buy a game for 60 bucks and etc. it can be seen in full view here.