The debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act has been emotional. And as politicians consider the language of the House bill, Web users are taking matters into their own hands by compiling lists of companies that are said to support the bill and by calling for boycotts.
But not all of the companies that have been identified as SOPA supporters are actually backing the measure. Video game company Electronic Arts, for example, has been identified as in favor of SOPA simply because the company’s name appeared on a letter calling for Congress to consider online piracy legislation.
Jeff Brown, EA’s senior vice president of communications and public affairs, said that the company has not taken a stand on SOPA or it’s Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act.
“Going forward, we’ll evaluate the issue with an effort to balance developers’ rights with the needs of gamers,” he said in an e-mail.
Another company that was named as a SOPA supporter because of a similar letter, Taylor Guitars, has said that it does not support the bill, The Loop reported. The company went so far as to release a statement saying, “Clearly stated, we do not support SOPA and its intent to restrict the Internet. The values of freedom, creativity and innovation are at the core of our business, and SOPA is not in accordance with those values.”
Spokeswoman Chalize Zolezzi said that Taylor Guitars had received a handful of calls and e-mails from concerned customers after its name appeared on compiled lists of SOPA supporters, and that the company has reached out to those customers to set the record straight.
In truth, the guitar company got off light, given the heated nature of opposition to this bill. No one knows this better than Go Daddy, the Web site registrar that was instrumental in lobbying for passage of the Senate’s Protect IP Act and the bill’s predecessor, COICA. As populist opposition to the measures bubbled on the Internet, many of the registrar’s customers — including the massive Cheezburger Network — threatened to take their business elsewhere. Go Daddy reversed its position on the legislation, saying that, “Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”