By Matt Bradford
EA, Nintendo, and Sony Electronics have erased their names from an ever-shrinking list of supporters for the US’ Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Despite including themselves in the initial plea to the US Congress back in September 2011, the three gaming giants were recently discovered to have quietly disappeared from the list, which has seen its fair share of defectors since the SOPA debate began.
Sony’s withdrawal is thought to be motivated in part by Anonymous’ most recent threat. That said, it’s more likely Sony chose to back away from a fight that has already crippled pro-SOPA sites like GoDaddy, which was recently “convinced” to change its position on the bill following a boycottfrom its members.
Although Sony Electronics is no longer publicly backing SOPA, its music divisions still appear on the list along with the likes of other high profile companies like BMI, Capitol Records, MCA Records, Marvel Entertainment, and Viacom.
As for EA, a company rep told Joystiq it had never taken an official stance on SOPA, casting doubt on the validity of the original list and/or EA’s short-term memory.
The SOPA bill was introduced in fall of 2011 as a means to give the US Government and private companies the legal means to block sites they believe to be violating copyright laws. The bill was pitched as a way to curb internet piracy and protect rights holders from digital theft, however opponents of the bill – which include heavy hitters like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and PayPal – warn SOPA is too vague in its definition of copyright offenders, therefore making it easier for the government and corporations to censor internet content as they see fit.
An official vote on SOPA has been delayed until a later 2012 date.