Over 100,000 gamers have signed a petition on Change.org urging publisher Electronic Arts to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
Started by Shashank Katsurirangan, a fan of EA's sports games and DICE's Battlefield series, the petition asks for EA to publicly oppose SOPA. While the publisher has stated they do not have a position on the matter, they are a member of the Entertainment Software Association, which currently supports the bill.
"As much as I agree that copyright law needs to be enforced, this legislation represents a blatant trespass of corporate lobbyists upon small businesses, and I cannot support it, nor can I endorse anyone who does," said Shashank.
"As a passionate gamer, I have a lot of respect for independent game designers who share and advertise their games through file and video sharing sites like YouTube and RapidShare. Also, as an amateur musician, my primary outlet for sharing my work is through free media like YouTube. SOPA allows for consumers to be denied access to these sites upon detection of any copyright infringing material, inflicting severe collateral damage upon independent artists and game designers whose only publicity comes from free media sites."
Many gamers, developers and publishers have either outright stated their opposition or backed out of supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill that, while claiming to combat online piracy, may effectively censor the internet in the long run if the current draft goes through the House of Representatives and the Senate, where it has been dubbed the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
"What these gaming fans and concerned internet users across the country have accomplished in just a few days is remarkable," said Change.org Senior Organizer Tim Newman. "As of Wednesday, 100,000 supporters have joined the campaign on Change.org calling on Electronic Arts to stand against internet censorship. Our platform is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it's been incredible to watch these gamers and concerned internet users take a stand."
Riot Games recently spoke out against SOPA, urging gamers to write to their congress reps to voice their objections. Other popular sites such as Reddit have said they'll be going black on January 18 when Congress conducts a hearing on the bill.