ESA invested heavily in PIPA lobbying

$190,000 given to two lobbying firms for PIPA-related activity

The Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies for the games industry in America and hosts each year's E3 event in Los Angeles, paid $190,000 to two lobbying companies for PIPA-related activities, it has been reported.

The figures were revealed to Kotaku, which names the Franklin Square Group and the Smith-Free Group as the two lobbying organisations involved.

Whilst the $190,000 was in part paid to lobby for some different causes, details of the transactions indicate that a large proportion of the money related to PIPA.

With the ESA's position on the recently shelved SOPA bill made clear, and rejected angrily by many of its members, it seems highly unlikely that the lobbying would be anything but supportive of the PIPA bill.

The costs of the lobbying do not include anything filed in the winter of 2011, nor since, as those papers have yet to be made publicly available.

PIPA varies only very slightly in its wording to the SOPA bill, and in most real senses would have exactly the same legal ramifications. The major difference is that SOPA was being debated by the House of Representatives, whilst PIPA was being pushed through the Senate. SOPA has been shelved, given a final knockout blow by The Whitehouse earlier this week.

PIPA remains live and under scrutiny, however, with many sites such as Wikipedia, Reddit and PC gaming site Rock Paper Shotgun staging a 'blackout' of content today in protest.

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Latest comments (7)

gi biz ;, 6 years ago
I'm adding Humble Bundle and EFF's sites to the list.
However, what I don't understand is: if SOPA has been put aside earlier this week, as I understand from this article, then what are all those campaigns about stopping SOPA for? :S
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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis6 years ago
I thought SOPA hadn't been shelved but parts of it were not supported by Obama. From the link in the article above in the 2nd to last paragraph it looks more like SOPA has been withdrawn to under go changes around the DNS blocking.

So SOPA exists still but isn't going to be put forward in its original form?
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 6 years ago
Yeah, last comments i saw from the person who submitted the bill and from the movie association of america (i forget the acronym at this point in time) were that DNS blocknig was being removed for "further investigation"... with the implication that that particular provision would be resubmitted at some point in the future after SOPA has passed.

SOPA is still on the table, it's just being edited slightly.

Also, am i missing something or did several high-profile members leave the ESA as of last year or so? I remember some sort of story along those lines though perhaps it was the British equivalent? Makes me think that there were perhaps shadows of this sort of thing (not representing your members' intentions/interests) for a while now...
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Show all comments (7)
Allan Simonson Co-Founder, Boomzap6 years ago
Let ESA know how you feel, and if you are a member, let your studio head know as well.

The ESA *IS* the members. Either they represent the Games Industry, or they need to be broken to the heel.
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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis6 years ago

A few studios left the ESA including Lucas Arts, Crave and id.
There were more but Game Politics is down until tomrrow and I can't remember who the others were at this time:
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Stuart Gannon Programmer 6 years ago
[link url=

It will resume in Feb, the SOPA markup that is.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
I'd bet all I own that there will have to be SOME "acceptable" form of SOPA or PIPA or whatever it'll be re-branded coming soon to a computer near you. With the push to go all-digital, people (i.e. publishers and developers who work on content) will want to start seeing some actual profit instead of lots of people enjoying their products for free thanks to places they can get that content and not pay for it. I'm not for these stupid bills as they're written, but everyone who says this knows they WANT to not have their work constantly stolen and just sit there looking like a chump when people brag about it endlessly (sometimes right in front of them).

Good will, 50% off sales, the honor system and "c'est la vie!" only go so far before someone has to step in and ask if creators are being paid fairly for their work. That said, killing off your more honest user base with crazy restrictions is a losing proposition as well. There's a balance to be found and some of the loudest ones who hate the bills need to be the ones to help come up with solutions that work for everyone.
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