A new petition on Change.org, whose previous petitions have brought about policy reversals at Bank of America and Verizon regarding proposed new fees, is urging gaming powerhouse Electronic Arts to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act.
The Change.org petition was started by New York University student and gaming enthusiast Shashank Kasturirangan and directed toward the VP of worldwide PR at EA, the maker of such games as "Madden 12" and "The Sims." EA has yet to take a public stance on SOPA.
The petition in part reads:
"The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a tool that protects monopolists and targets sites relied on by small-time businesses, like indie game developers and artists, condoning disproportionate action against these sites for any evidence of copyright infringement from any of their users. If EA wants to protect their monopoly so badly, we need to let them know that they will lose far more business by supporting this bill than by allowing indie developers to operate unimpeded. It is obvious that this bill's primary use is to paint a big red bullseye on the main distributors of indie content, protecting the market shares of big-time businesses like Electronic Arts.
EA is a member of the Entertainment Software Association which supports SOPA. It's time for EA to stand up and publicly oppose SOPA. Don't mess with the internet, EA. You will regret it."
The petition had 1,500-plus signatures as of Tuesday morning.
BACKGROUND: Lawmakers seem intent on passing SOPA, PIPA
OPINION: Scott Bradner's take on SOPA
The new petition comes on the tail of public pressure that pushed giant domain name registrar GoDaddy.com last month to pull its support for SOPA. Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, among others, threatened to take his business elsewhere if GoDaddy didn't budge.
SOPA still has strong support in Congress and among companies in several U.S. industries. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the driving forces behind the bill, has said that more than 400 organizations have voiced support.
But the bill has also drawn its share of opposition, including from big names in the technology industry. Among them: Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, and Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr.
The bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders blocking payment processors and online advertising networks from doing business with foreign sites accused of infringing copyright.
DOJ-requested court orders could also bar search engines from linking to the allegedly infringing sites. The court orders could require domain name registrars to stop resolving queries that direct traffic to those sites, and require Internet service providers to block subscriber access to sites accused of infringing.
IDG News Service contributed to this report.
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