Archive for freedom

Rabidgames supports the war against SOPA and PIPA

Posted in News with tags , , , on January 18, 2012 by Rabidgames

Yeah, wikipedia is gone today. Shame, but it’s for the greater good. And the bigger shame is – most people don’t even know why!

Well, it is against some U.S. legislation that only serves one goal: To censor the internet. Those bills have been given sweet-sounding pet names: SOPA and PIPA.
But what the hell do those names mean?

Let Rabidgames explain (in wikipedia’s own words):

“SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” (“IP” stands for “intellectual property.”) In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet. Detailed information about these bills can be found in the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act articles on Wikipedia, which are available during the blackout.”

Doesn’t sound too bad? After all, who likes pirates anyway?

Well, it’s about more than that. Just watch the following video:

Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it?

Even if parts of it are exaggerated, the bottom line is: Do we really want corporations to control the internet? Do we? Do you?

Today, it’s just the illegal use of music … May Rabidgames remind you: These days, “illegal” means you are not allowed to put a video on youtube when there is some music playing in the background … for some obnoxious reason, even that’s called “copyright infringement”. Pretty Orwellian way of thinking …

Let’s think further: Tomorrow, your internet provider and youtube (or facebook or any other social media site for that matter) will get fines if you put such a video online. Of course, they will make YOU pay that fine, and of course, the poor music industry will hand over a hefty bill to YOU, too. If SOPA and PIPA are successful and become effective laws, it will mean the following: it will be legal to shut down whole websites for one tiny “copyright infringement” (e.g. copy-pasting a song from youtube). What a brave new world.

Imagine what could happen within a week’s time …

And Rabidgames tells you gamers not to be naive, please:
Lawyers within the video games industry will also hunt you down if you upload some amazing things that have just happened in your favourite video game (and don’t you dare to accompany the gameplay with music!). But hey, there’s an upside: It’s a good way to tackle unemployment at least! Who would not want to get paid to scour social media sites for ruthless “pirates” who show off precious copyrighted content for free and for everyone to see?

But it goes beyond piracy and shutting down websites for copyright issues: For some reason, such bills are always introduced with pretty vague phrases – who’s to say such laws won’t be used as a means of censorship to shut down whole websites? Such websites which dare to speak out against miserable working conditions or against polluting the environment? Wouldn’t it be a good thing to legally empower our leaders to shut down sites that report about corruption or the many crimes of our armed forces abroad?

It should be clear a medium where everybody around the world can partake and share his opinion without fear of reprisal is bad. It is a threat to governments of all sorts (the British government as well as the Iranian one). This has been proven in 2011 when social media like facebook played a big part in the Arab Spring.

Rabidgames says: We all should support the actions against such devious bills. After all, they are not about the war on piracy, they are about the war on freedom. It’s not just about mass media controlling the internet, it’s about crooked regimes following the corporate whips. It’s not just about some internet geeks, it’s about free speech in the internet.

Yes, piracy is a problem for all entertainment industries – but what about proportionality and common sense? Would you nuke an entire country to capture 3 criminals?