Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Role Reversal: Congressman Urges Fellow Online Gamers to Oppose SOPA

Guess who showed up Wednesday on a gamer message-board thread about SOPA, the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act?

That would be Rep. Jared Polis, an avid opponent of the bill. Polis (D., Colo.) dropped the names of his favorite League of Legends in-game characters to boost his cred while encouraging other community members to call their own congresspeople.

Polis’s comments came as part of a conversation about SOPA started by Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck. Riot’s League of Legends recently surpassed World of Warcraft in popularity, with 11.5 million active monthly players as of November.

Sooner or later, the geek voting bloc may well be swarmed with pandering politicians. But maybe, just maybe, Polis is an example of someone being authentic.

Here’s Polis’s message:

Hi, this is Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado. As a member of the League of Legends community (partial to Anivia and Maokai), and as someone who made his living as an Internet entrepreneur before being elected to Congress, I’m greatly concerned about the future of the Internet and gaming if Congress doesn’t wake up. You may have heard that Congress is currently considering a bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. While SOPA has a ton of problems, there are some significant issues that I thought fellow gamers might want to know about.

I’m particularly concerned that SOPA might stifle the kind of innovation that brings us games we love, such as LoL. The bill makes it far too easy for angry competitors to sue good law abiding companies out of existence. It threatens any company or website that depends on user-generated content, even companies like Riot. Instead of coming up with great ways to keep making games like LoL even better, companies will have to spend their money hiring lawyers. That’s why companies like Riot, who want to protect the games they create, are opposed to SOPA.

I’ve been working on alternative legislation that would protect the games companies create while also fostering innovation. But we also need you to call your members of Congress and let them know of your opposition to SOPA. This bill has a very real chance of passing, and it is up to all of who want to protect the Internet to take action. More information is available at http://keepthewebopen.com/. Please make your voices heard in this debate! I will be happy to respond to your posts below, and will check back every few hours today and respond to as many as I can.

(Image courtesy of Rep. Polis’s Web site.)


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work