More web sites and games going dark to protest SOPA [Update]

Even though opponents of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) won a big victory on Friday when it was announced that the DNS blocking provision would be removed from the bill, it looks like the idea of shutting down web sites to protest the bill is gaining steam.

We have already reported that Reddit plans to shut down for 12 hours on Wednesday, January 18 in their own SOPA protest. Now Marcus "Notch" Persson, the creator of the hit PC game Minecraft, has announced via his Twitter page, "We'll silently take down http://minecraft.net and http://mojang.com on the 18th in protest of SOPA."

Shacknews also reports that Red 5 Studios, the game developer behind the upcoming free-to-play shooter Firefall, will shut down the Firefall web site and its current closed beta test for 24 hours on January 18. In addition, Red 5 Studios has said they have canceled their plans to attend E3 in June. E3 is run by the Entertainment Software Association which supports SOPA.

While the ESA is supporting the legislation, at least three of ESA's members have openly come out against SOPA. Graphics chip maker NVIDIA posted word on its blog site that it does not support SOPA saying, "NVIDIA wasn’t consulted by ESA in formulating their position on SOPA." In addition Epic Games states in its forum pages, "... we do not support the current version of SOPA." Finally another ESA member, game developer 38 Studios, says in its own forum post, " ... we cannot in good conscience support the SOPA legislation as it's currently written." Finally the well know gaming news web site Destructoid has announced it will go dark on Wednesday for its own SOPA protest.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has indicated he is in favor of Wikipedia joining the Wednesday protests but added, " ... I'd like to talk to our government affairs adviser to see if they agree on this as useful timing."

Update: PC gaming download site GoG.com and Halo creator Bungie have officially announced their opposition to SOPA. The Obama administration has also posted up a note from three of its official that also oppose SOPA.

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Red 5 Studios has said they have canceled their plans to attend E3 in June. E3 is run by the Entertainment Software Association which supports SOPA.

What companies such as Red 5 Studios and others should do, is make their own E3 funded by each other completely independent from ESA.

That would hurt ESA.

And I agree: Neowin should go dark in a similar way as XDA.

I think NeoWin should join the blackout. Someone should make a forum poll for it. I mean, we dealt with outage due to deadly water on the servers, I think we can deal with another day for a good cause. Though, I'm pretty sure most members who regularly visit know about SOPA but you never know. Its the thought that counts.

Zappa859 said,
I think NeoWin should join the blackout. Someone should make a forum poll for it. I mean, we dealt with outage due to deadly water on the servers, I think we can deal with another day for a good cause. Though, I'm pretty sure most members who regularly visit know about SOPA but you never know. Its the thought that counts.

There is no point. The majority of people who hit this site are already aware. The point of the blackout is to get awareness. Most of us are aware.

maeby said,
google needs to shutdown youtube for a day, that will make some people take notice.

You kidding? They would have a bigger impact with shutting the search. YouTube is mostly for younger people that don't care and will forget about it.

Also, people hit Google.com more than YouTube. People use google.com at work where as YouTube is blocked by most companies. Just my $0.02

Instead of going dark I hope they post a message on screen that says the reason they are going dark. This will really drive the point home. If Google has any balls they would do the same, but they are balless. Is that a word?

I'd like to see Neowin, and all the tech blogs do the same, one day, everyone just do it. The power of the internet will make the law makers sick to their f-ing stomachs when everything goes black, they will never screw with the people again.

jimmyfal said,
Instead of going dark I hope they post a message on screen that says the reason they are going dark. This will really drive the point home. If Google has any balls they would do the same, but they are balless. Is that a word?

I'd like to see Neowin, and all the tech blogs do the same, one day, everyone just do it. The power of the internet will make the law makers sick to their f-ing stomachs when everything goes black, they will never screw with the people again.

They will be.

Well they'll probably pass it whether industry supports it or not. At least they don't have a natural disaster on their hands or a state of emergency to force it through as emergency without consultation like they did here in New Zealand.

I'm taking down my site on that day for 12 hours... anyone got a link to a php or html page that they are using that I can use?

sava700 said,
I'm taking down my site on that day for 12 hours... anyone got a link to a php or html page that they are using that I can use?

I have a friend he will be using an anti sopa php site with a shoutbox for his guests to shut the site down on the day. If you want I can ask him for you when I see him on my irc channel.

P.s what is your website?

Why are there still people with this messed up attitude.

It doesn't bother me, so just go ahead.

Why don't you try to look at the bigger picture and think of the greater good

With an attitude like that, no wonder the world is going to pieces

Methinks it's you that doesn't see the big picture.

SOPA/PIPA is basically just a way for Big Media™ to force an archaic system of Copyright onto a platform that it doesn't work on. It steps on people's freedoms, enables censorship, and puts more control of the internet into the hands of people that essentially want to make it go away, instead of joining the rest of us in the 21st century.

Copyright only works when the effort required to make a copy is high. If copying is difficult (disc cloning, paper republishing), then the infringers are traceable, but when copying is simply a combination of CTRL+C, CTRL+V, it doesn't work. Copyright doesn't work on the internet. Period. What the entertainment industry needs to do is realise this, and get on with innovating a way that makes their service appeal more than piracy. I'll give you a hint: iTunes, Spotify, Netflix, Hulu are all the future, and restricted choice is not, even if that is what the entertainment industry would prefer.

Want to know the most hilarious thing about SOPA though? It doesn't actually help to stop online piracy ([u]SOP[/u]A) or protect IP ([u]PIP[/u]A), At all. The people determined to infringe copyright won't be brought to justice for breaking the law, their websites will simply be blocked. There's nothing stopping them from setting up shop under a different domain and carrying on sharing pirated entertainment. If pushed too far, the pirates will simply go underground and start using software like TOR to make it completely 100% untraceable, but the piracy will continue.

Ironically, I believe that it's people like you with such apathetic attitudes that let these things just slide, and allow your sites and your freedoms to be taken away without putting up any kind of a fight, and if you don't think that SOPA/PIPA is not a co-ordinated effort to cripple the internet to suit a political and corporate agenda, then you haven't looked into SOPA/PIPA enough.

SOPA/PIPA will not stop piracy, or even slow it down a little bit. SOPA/PIPA will however enable global censorship of the internet to suit America's view of how the internet should be, stifle freedom of speech on the internet, and potentially break the internet as we know it at a fundamental level.

Majesticmerc said,
Methinks it's you that doesn't see the big picture.

SOPA/PIPA is basically just a way for Big Media™ to force an archaic system of Copyright onto a platform that it doesn't work on. It steps on people's freedoms, enables censorship, and puts more control of the internet into the hands of people that essentially want to make it go away, instead of joining the rest of us in the 21st century.

Copyright only works when the effort required to make a copy is high. If copying is difficult (disc cloning, paper republishing), then the infringers are traceable, but when copying is simply a combination of CTRL+C, CTRL+V, it doesn't work. Copyright doesn't work on the internet. Period. What the entertainment industry needs to do is realise this, and get on with innovating a way that makes their service appeal more than piracy. I'll give you a hint: iTunes, Spotify, Netflix, Hulu are all the future, and restricted choice is not, even if that is what the entertainment industry would prefer.

Want to know the most hilarious thing about SOPA though? It doesn't actually help to stop online piracy ([u]SOP[/u]A) or protect IP ([u]PIP[/u]A), At all. The people determined to infringe copyright won't be brought to justice for breaking the law, their websites will simply be blocked. There's nothing stopping them from setting up shop under a different domain and carrying on sharing pirated entertainment. If pushed too far, the pirates will simply go underground and start using software like TOR to make it completely 100% untraceable, but the piracy will continue.

Ironically, I believe that it's people like you with such apathetic attitudes that let these things just slide, and allow your sites and your freedoms to be taken away without putting up any kind of a fight, and if you don't think that SOPA/PIPA is not a co-ordinated effort to cripple the internet to suit a political and corporate agenda, then you haven't looked into SOPA/PIPA enough.

SOPA/PIPA will not stop piracy, or even slow it down a little bit. SOPA/PIPA will however enable global censorship of the internet to suit America's view of how the internet should be, stifle freedom of speech on the internet, and potentially break the internet as we know it at a fundamental level.

I think you misunderstood me. I was just saying I can't believe people say things like:
'I'm not doing anything illegal, so I have no issue with this SOPA thing'

Believe me, I'm all against anything that oppresses my freedom

Stoffel said,

I think you misunderstood me. I was just saying I can't believe people say things like:
'I'm not doing anything illegal, so I have no issue with this SOPA thing'

Believe me, I'm all against anything that oppresses my freedom

Fair enough I did misunderstand then. I do apologise

Majesticmerc said,

Fair enough I did misunderstand then. I do apologise

No worries, after re reading my post i can see the confusion
I should have phrased it better

I don't see what shutting down your site is suppose to do. In the end you lose money and gain nothing. I did not know about this bill until today and don't I care about it.

Deihmos said,
I don't see what shutting down your site is suppose to do. In the end you lose money and gain nothing. I did not know about this bill until today and don't I care about it.

You don't care about the government regulating the Internet?

Stokkolm said,

You don't care about the government regulating the Internet?

I don't care about them shutting down sites with illegal content. I don't visit them so it does not bother me.

Deihmos said,

I don't care about them shutting down sites with illegal content. I don't visit them so it does not bother me.

Basically, it wouldn't block sites with illegal content only. Sites with user-generated content, like YouTube and Facebook, as well as gaming-mod sites could be affect in some way also. It's way worse than you think. It wouldn't defeat piracy, only make it worse to legal customers.

Deihmos said,

I don't care about them shutting down sites with illegal content. I don't visit them so it does not bother me.

Sure, that's how it starts. But once the law is on the books that gives them the right to shut down sites, how long will it be do you think before we start looking at China style censorship of the internet?

The ONLY way to stop that happening is to make sure there is ZERO censorship. By allowing even the smallest amount of censorship (in this case of sites deemed to be doing something illegal), it's just the start of a slippery slope.

Keep the internet free!

Roberto Guedes said,

Basically, it wouldn't block sites with illegal content only. Sites with user-generated content, like YouTube and Facebook, as well as gaming-mod sites could be affect in some way also. It's way worse than you think. It wouldn't defeat piracy, only make it worse to legal customers.

I think it's way less than you think and everyone is jumping to conclusions. Youtube already removes protected content.

Deihmos said,

I think it's way less than you think and everyone is jumping to conclusions. Youtube already removes SOME (I'd say less than 5%) protected content.

#FTFY

Deihmos said,
I don't see what shutting down your site is suppose to do. In the end you lose money and gain nothing. I did not know about this bill until today and don't I care about it.

You should just stay quiet. You know nothing (obviously) in regards to the bill and the point of this job. Good job. You are the winner of the most pointless post today. Applause for you.

TCLN Ryster said,

Sure, that's how it starts. But once the law is on the books that gives them the right to shut down sites, how long will it be do you think before we start looking at China style censorship of the internet?

The ONLY way to stop that happening is to make sure there is ZERO censorship. By allowing even the smallest amount of censorship (in this case of sites deemed to be doing something illegal), it's just the start of a slippery slope.

Keep the internet free!


how about censoring child porn? or should just be allowed to.
i do believe at least this should be attempted to keep off the internet, at least some censorship is in order. but if there will be a law on this, this law should be completely clear on this. and not be changed later.

These sites may not be as important as Google and Yahoo (which are also part of the "nuclear option"), but the more sites that protest, the more awareness it creates, which is never a bad thing.

Hopefully the government will leave SOPA alone if it (hopefully) doesn't pass, unlike health care reform, which was brought back into the senate after being shut down.

RichardK said,
They should all just stay shutdown too, no one of importance will miss them.

In that case I want all of internet to shutdown and stay like that, I won't miss it and thus none else will 'cause my opinion is always right! Ain't it so?

RichardK said,
They should all just stay shutdown too, no one of importance will miss them.

No one will miss Reddit and Wikipedia (assuming they join)....? #trollfail

dead.cell said,

Missing the point entirely, bravo.

No, you don't get the point. These stupid people think that by shutting down their website they are going to make a difference? They won't. I personally won't visit any site that participates in this, and I know I won't be alone.

UndergroundWire said,

The point is he didn't get the point and cares about his opinion. Complete fail.


All I can do is just laugh at your ignorance.

RichardK said,

No, you don't get the point. These stupid people think that by shutting down their website they are going to make a difference? They won't. I personally won't visit any site that participates in this, and I know I won't be alone.

Except that you participate on a site REPORTING on this news. This article wouldn't have been made if these folks didn't decide to protest these acts. Won't make a difference, you say? The fact that you and the rest of us are READING this article is proof against your claim.

Maybe they all don't carry the weight of "important" people, but surely their acts are gaining the attention of some very important people, as the creators of SOPA begin to make changes in attempt to "appease" the population which is so heavily against it.

I'm not sure what you have against people wanting their voice to be heard, but if you want people to remain silent, why don't you begin with yourself. Honestly, I'm happy to say that I don't know a soul that'd support your awful opinion.

like the government cares if these web games are shut down. I have no relationship with the federal government and even I don't give a crap.

bjoswald said,
like the government cares if these web games are shut down. I have no relationship with the federal government and even I don't give a crap.

the point is to raise awareness to as many people as possible, so its opposed by bigger numbers and more people hear about it.

bjoswald said,
like the government cares if these web games are shut down. I have no relationship with the federal government and even I don't give a crap.
I'm pretty sure when the government offices are flooded with useless mail, phone calls, and email they will care. That is how it works.

bjoswald said,
like the government cares if these web games are shut down. I have no relationship with the federal government and even I don't give a crap.

You're missing the point. The sites going down isn't going to directly influence the government. What will influence the government is the hundreds of thousands of people trying to visit these sites that get an Anti-SOPA message instead, who then proceed to contact their local government officials to complain about SOPA.