Following public threats of a revenge attack by numerous online groups, including the Anonymous collective, games industry titans Sony,EA and Nintendo have withdrawn their support for the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
News of the big-threes' back-track broke after their names disappeared from the updated list of supporters for the bill. Despite the loss of the three, the Entertainment Software Association - of which all three are members - has remained on the list of supporters. Also, despite several of its other departments dropping their support, the Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Music Nashville divisions have also all remained on the supporters list.
Designed to combat online piracy, since being announced the SOPA bill has come under wide-spread criticism, with numerous groups voicing concerns about the new powers the act could grant U.S. law enforcement. A common concern is the suggestion that the act will allow police to arrest, fine and potentially jail individuals for seemingly minor offences, such as uploading a copyrighted video onto YouTube.
Threats of possible "retribution" against companies supporting the bill arose after the Anonymous collective - a hacktivist group responsible for cyber attacks against numerous governments, law enforcement agencies and private companies - voiced its support for the "OpBlackOut"website defacement campaign. More recently the group reiterated its threat, promising to target Sony's network.
Since news of Sony's change of heart broke, Anonymous issued a statement via Twitter indicating it will call off the attack. "Sony and Nintendo drop SOPA support amid Anonymous threats bit.ly/uqQwbB Truce BattleForInternet," read AnonymousIRC's tweet.