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Entertainment Software Association withdraws SOPA, PIPA support

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ESA: Entertainment Software Association logo
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has withdrawn its support for the two controversial anti-piracy bills, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

The ESA renounced support for the bills in a public letter today while stating its hope for a "solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests".

The ESA's announcement came after the Senate and House agreed to further delay voting on the bills.

"From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites," read the ESA statement.

"Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry's creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals.

"Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests.

"As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution."

The two acts aim to help service providers tackle websites deemed to be in violation of copyright infringement, although critics argue that they could have devastating repercussions for legitimate websites if passed.

Earlier this week, Wikipedia went down for 24 hours in protest at the proposed legislation. The site's founder Jimmy Wales later celebrated the impact of the blackout, claiming that at least 162 million people saw its message calling for the protection of a free and open internet.

Universal, Warner Bros, Viacom, ESPN, ABC, Major League Baseball and the National Football League remain among SOPA's key supporters, while Marvel Entertainment and its parent company Disney are also in favour.

Facebook, Google, AOL, Yahoo, Twitter and eBay are among the opposition.

The ESA is an organisation created to represent the interests of the video game industry in the US. It also is responsible for organising E3 each year.

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