The developers for League of Legends, a popular multiplayer title played on PC, have unsurprisingly come out with an official letter stating their vehement disapproval over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently under consideration in the United States Congress.
They call both SOPA and the Protect IP Act in the Senate, though "preventing piracy of copyrighted content is a laudable goal", as an "misguided attempt to curb the illegal piracy of copyrighted content". It "threatens any website that features user-generated content" and "ad networks, payment providers and internet service providers are now potentially liable for their user's infringement". This will then lead to many "costly legal battles – at a minimum cutting off financial means, and likely shutting off the site entirely":
How would SOPA/PIPA impact League of Legends players?
- Kills streaming. If any single streamer plays copyrighted music (or alt tabs into a movie or other owned content) on their stream, there is a significant risk of the entire streaming service being taken down. In some cases, it could even result in criminal penalties for the streamer.
- Threatens independent content creation. Services we all use to create and share League of Legends related content, such as YouTube, Reddit, DeviantArt, streaming websites such as Own3d and Twitch, and more would be at risk of shutting down or greatly restricting the scope of legitimate content allowed on their sites.
- Attacks our community. Aspects of our service such as the official forums and potentially even in-game chat, could be taken down or have their features reduced based on user behavior.
- Other harmful effects. SOPA/PIPA undermine established intellectual property legislation like the DMCA, raise serious constitutional free speech issues, and could even compromise the basic security infrastructure of the internet.
Riot Games strongly opposes SOPA/PIPA. You can write your congressperson with your disapproval too (if you disapprove… as you should… maybe… I'm not endorsing anything… and stuff…).