Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

Riot Games co-founder and CEO speaks out against SOPA

Like many web sites, HonestGamers thrives on user-generated content. SOPA legislation that will be considered again in Congress at the end of this month is an outright attack on that type of content, and it has more than just webmasters concerned. Riot, the developer of League of Legends for PC, has concerns about how the bill could also affect gamers and League of Legend players in particular.

Like many web sites, HonestGamers thrives on user-generated content. SOPA legislation that will be considered again in Congress at the end of this month is an outright attack on that type of content, and it has more than just webmasters concerned. Riot, the developer of League of Legends for PC, has concerns about how the bill could also affect gamers and League of Legend players in particular.

League of Legend may be a worldwide phenomenon, but many of the sites that its users utilize as they share content have roots in North America and therefore would be subject to any laws that result from SOPA (also known as PIPA). Thus, the company's CEO and co-founder Brandon Beck has issued a passionate appeal to the global League of Legends community to stand against the legislation. Below, unedited, we're including that appeal.

---

We’re not usually inclined to comment on politics. We’re a game company, and making games is just a whole lot more fun.

But there is legislation under consideration today by the United States Congress that gives us serious concern.

Called the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) in the House of Representatives and the “PROTECT IP Act” (PIPA) in the Senate, these bills masquerade as a genuine attempt to curb the illegal piracy of copyrighted content (like movies, music and games). Preventing piracy of copyrighted content is a laudable goal, and Riot supports legitimate efforts to combat these activities.

However, SOPA/PIPA goes far beyond simply addressing piracy. This proposed legislation actually threatens any website that features user-generated content. In effect, any copyright holder could file a claim that a streaming website is hosting unauthorized content (such as a song in the background of a League of Legends stream). Under the law, ad networks, payment providers and internet service providers are now potentially liable for their user’s infringement. These services could then be compelled to immediately remove support for a streaming website or face a costly legal battle – at a minimum cutting off financial means, and likely shutting off the site entirely.

How would SOPA/PIPA impact League of Legends players?

· Kills streaming. If any single streamer plays copyrighted music (or alt tabs into a movie or other owned content) on their stream, there is a significant risk of the entire streaming service being taken down. In some cases, it could even result in criminal penalties for the streamer.
· Threatens independent content creation.Services we all use to create and share League of Legends related content, such as YouTube, Reddit, DeviantArt, streaming websites such as Own3d and Twitch, and more would be at risk of shutting down or greatly restricting the scope of legitimate content allowed on their sites.
· Attacks our community. Aspects of our service such as the official forums and potentially even in-game chat, could be taken down or have their features reduced based on user behavior.
· Other harmful effects. SOPA/PIPA undermine established intellectual property legislation like the DMCA, raise serious constitutional free speech issues, and could even compromise the basic security infrastructure of the internet.

This all may sound implausible, but it’s a very real threat. Congress will reconvene at the end of January, and with a long roster of supporters on both sides of the aisle, SOPA/PIPA could actually pass. The likelihood is so great that technology giants including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter have gone so far as to publicly consider a simultaneous blackout in protest.

Riot Games is opposed to SOPA/PIPA in their present form. While we do support efforts to prevent online piracy, the current form of this legislation comes at far too high a cost for us, our players, and online communities across the internet.


honestgamer's avatar
Staff article by Jason Venter (January 12, 2012)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

Recent News Articles

Feedback

If you enjoyed this League of Legends article, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
aschultz posted January 13, 2012:

I never know quite what to do about these articles--part of ne says, no way they'd take such a bold stance. Another part remembers the chain letters of cuts to PBS funding that just weren't true.

Obviously something like this is MUCH more easily verifiable, but it still has that horizon effect. I still find it hard to pull the trigger on doing something. And yes, there's "Just send a mail to your congressman..." but really, I would like to do more than that. Because without a free internet, I'd never have had the chance to explore and do so much of what I've been able to.
board icon
honestgamer posted January 13, 2012:

The question isn't whether this would allow bad situations online. It's obvious that it would. The real question is whether or not people would choose to act on that, whether or not companies would press for sites to pull offending content and put pressure on ad networks (which make most game sites possible with a subscription-free setup) or hosts (which make it possible for a site to remain online) or whatever. I think recent history shows us again that we can count on that happening. SOPA is just a hideous, ugly mess of a bill and the best steps we can take involve educating one another on its real impact so that more of us take the time to write to our representatives in Congress.
board icon
Halon posted January 13, 2012:

Riot Games' stance doesn't surprise me at all because this would hurt them probably more than any other game company. League of Legends is huge as an e-sport. It is the biggest competitive game in North America along with Starcraft 2 and probably more popular than SC2 in Europe.

SOPA is a huge threat to streamers. Most professional gamers make the majority of their revenue by streaming and this threatens to shut down the streaming sites (own3d.tv and twitch.tv in particular). Also it hurts their online community, tournaments, etc.

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this article.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998 - 2023 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. League of Legends is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to League of Legends, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.