Sony, Nintendo and Electronics Arts have joined Microsoft in withdrawing support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), in the face of a strong Internet led public protest over the controversial bill.
SOPA aims to give government and private companies wide ranging powers to combat piracy online, from domain blocking, to search engine filtering, as well as arranging a financial blockade of websites suspected of offering pirated content. Critics say the bill overreaches, and will cause irreparable damage to the security infrastructure of the Internet, as well as allow legitimate websites to be affected by mistake.
But all of the major gaming companies, who have long suffered from web based piracy, have signaled their intention to no longer support SOPA for fear, having now mysteriously disappeared from the official list of SOPA supporters maintained by Congress.
This follows Microsoft, the maker of the popular Xbox 360 console, who has distanced itself from SOPA ever since the bill was first published, and may have been quietly lobbying others to oppose SOPA.
While Sony Electronics is no longer on the list of SOPA supporters, the music arms of Sony are still listed as being SOPA supporters.
The majority of tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, have already spoken out against SOPA, and was later joined by the influential Consumer Electronic Association, of which Sony is also a member.