UPDATE 2: As pointed out by some colleagues, it's probably too far to say the ESA has "dropped support." In essence, the ESA is simply admitting defeat with SOPA and PIPA, and is advocating for additional legislation. There's no telling whether the ESA would actually change its position with any future legislation.
UPDATE: And at the last second, the Entertainment Software Association has dropped its support for both bills. This might have been a bit more useful to advocates a few weeks ago, as today's other announcements have the bills dead in the water for now.
Here's the organization's complete statement:
"From the beginning, ESA has been committed to the passage of balanced legislation to address the illegal theft of intellectual property found on foreign rogue sites. Although the need to address this pervasive threat to our industry's creative investment remains, concerns have been expressed about unintended consequences stemming from the current legislative proposals. Accordingly, we call upon Congress, the Obama Administration, and stakeholders to refocus their energies on producing a solution that effectively balances both creative and technology interests. As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection and are committed to working with all parties to encourage a balanced solution."
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), at least in their current forms, are no more.
You can thank the endless headlines generated by this week’s Internet blackout, plus the kicking and screaming from technology companies opposed to Hollywood’s legislative push-back on piracy.
House judiciary committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) both announced plans to delay any movement on either piece of controversial legislation.
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” said Smith. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”
“There's no reason that legitimate issues raised about PROTECT IP can't be resolved,” said Reid on Twitter. “Counterfeiting & piracy cost 1000s of #jobs yearly #pipa. [...] Americans rightfully expect to be fairly compensated 4 their work. I'm optimistic that we can reach compromise on PROTECT IP in coming weeks.”
The issue hasn’t been tabled, just delayed. SOPA and PIPA will come back with new names, and new attempts at regulating piracy. Hopefully, they’ll come back with something more reasonable.