SOPA / PIPA Will Destroy PC Gaming

January 18th 2012 will be remembered as the day the internet went on strike. This is in protest of the US governments plans to destroy the internet with it’s ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). These bills are designed to expand the ability of the US Department of Justice to fight online copyright infringement and counterfeit trafficking.

I don’t have the ability to take GameTwonk offline, as it’s hosted by, so instead, this article is our main feature.

SOPA is intended to give the US department of Justice, or a copyright holder, the ability to take legal action and seek court orders against websites accused of having limited purpose or use other than enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Actions taken can include demanding that search engines and social networking sites block access to the targeted site, that payment services and advertisers cease doing business with the accused site, and that internet service providers block access to the site through the domain name system.

There is also a provision to grant immunity to internet service providers that volunteer to take action against sites accused of copyright offenses, and makes a claimant liable for damages for knowingly misrepresenting that a website is dedicated to infringing. SOPA will grant the power to the US government to attempt to shutdown any website in the world once one US citizen has visited the site.

SOPA is designed to effect the global Internet, so non-US Internet users may be just as affected as Americans. Websites and blogs that contain user-generated content are at huge risk of being shut down due to their inability to monitor all content for possible copyright violations, and the prohibitive legal fees that fighting such challenges would likely entail. Non-American websites that host user-generated content would be at risk of being DNS-blocked, and although there are workarounds to this, it would negatively impact traffic flow, increase technical and legal fees, and provide a strong incentive to block US traffic.

This means that blogs such as this one will be in serious danger of being wiped from existence for using a simple game screenshot.  Say goodbye to live streaming game footage and Youtube walkthroughs too. All it would take is one publisher to take a disliking to a review or any feature and claim copyright infringement. Freedom of speech and good old fashioned honesty are the victims of SOPA / PIPA.

Here’s some more information:


This entry was posted by Ian Brown.

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