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League of Legends Wants to Destroy SOPA

Illustration for article titled emLeague of Legends/em Wants to Destroy SOPA

The latest video game company to join the ranks of those opposed to the Stop Online Piracy Act is Riot Games, developers of the insanely-popular League of Legends.

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In addition to citing the usual reasons for taking a stand against it (death of streaming, heavy-handed threats, etc), Riot spell out just what it means specifically to their playerbase.

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.

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As a neat gesture, Riot Games' lawyers are running a Q&A over on Reddit; pop over there if you'd like to have a chat and see what more can be done.

Even neater, turns out a US Congressman, Representative Jared Polis of Colorado, is a League of Legends player, and jumped onto the game's forum to lend his support. "I'm particularly concerned that SOPA might stifle the kind of innovation that brings us games we love, such as LoL," he wrote. "The bill makes it far too easy for angry competitors to sue good law abiding companies out of existence."

Help Us Stop SOPA [League of Legends]

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DISCUSSION

I'll admit, until now I've actually been unsure what exactly a lobbyist is, and what the act of lobbying entails. I knew it had something to do with people who are somehow able to whisper into the ears of congressmen and convince them to vote a certain way.

Well, after a couple of Google searches, I feel like I have a better grasp of lobbying, and holy CRAP is it a broken system. There are about 40,000 lobbyists in Washington representing everything from oil to pharmaceuticals. The voice of lobbyists is supposed to be the voice of the people, but lobbyists typically are funded by lobbying firms, which are funded by very big corporations with a single minded goal towards making more profits, the needs of the people/environment be damned.

America needs a lot. We need to fix our economy. We need to rebuild our antiquated infrastructure. We need to take climate change seriously and take genuine steps toward reversing it. The problem is, there isn't much profit in these necessities, but there's plenty of profit in keeping Americans filling up their gas tanks, keeping them fat and pacified and medicated and glued to the television and desiring the newest gizmo.

It takes millions of normal citizens shouting at the top of their lungs to stop SOPA for Washington to pay any attention. It takes one corporate funded lobbyist whispering into the ear of congressmen to convince them that it's a great idea.