UKIE Organise Anti-Sopa and Pipa Industry Pow-Wow to Explore Alternative Solutions
Image Credit: UKIE

UK games industry trade association UKIE has organised a debate between leading industry figures to explore alternative solutions to the problem of online piracy.

Cited as a response to the US now infamous Stop Online Piracy (Sopa) and Protect Intellectual Property (Pipa) Acts, UKIE has arranged the debate to explore other ways to combat piracy and IP theft.

"We shall be finalising the agenda for our IP Creation Forum over the coming weeks. We want all parts of the games industry to be involved from big publishers to indie developers and small start-ups," commented UKIE CEO, Jo Twist to the International Business Times UK.

Continuing: "Central to the discussion will be how the games industry can continue to create compelling content across all formats and deliver value from a wide range of business models."

Designed to combat online piracy, since being announced the Sopa bill has come under wide-spread criticism, with numerous groups voicing concerns about the new powers the act could grant US law enforcement.

A common concern is the suggestion that the act will allow police to arrest, fine and potentially jail individuals for seemingly minor offences, such as uploading a copyrighted video onto YouTube.

Despite comments to the contrary by Republican Representative Lamar Smith, following the widespread disapproval of the bill, certain key parts of Sopa were removed or amended. Following the changes to the bill, attention turned to Sopa's younger brother, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (Pipa).

If approved, Pipa would still grant US authorities the power to block access to certain sites - effectively letting them censor the internet. Specifically, Pipa would give the US Justice Department the power to target "rogue" sites - which many US publications have wrongly listed as being specifically "foreign" - sites linking to, or containing protected intellectual property.

Worse still, as well as the ability to force US internet service providers to block access to the sites, the bill would let the Justice Department force credit card companies and online advertisers to cut their ties - cutting off the site's cash flow.

The two bills met with widespread disapproval leading to the 18 January OpBlackOut protests that saw numerous sites and blogs black out their front pages to protest Sopa and Pipa.