Between 2004 and 2009, video game piracy has cost publishers $41.6 billion. If you think that's a staggering number, it only takes handheld games into consideration. A new bill has been drafted for the Obama administration's consideration which could result in battling the issue of piracy directly.
If the new initiative is approved, the US government would dedicate a task force of 50 FBI agents to tracking down and dishing out justice for online copyright infrigements, including software piracy.
"The theft of videogame intellectual property thwarts creativity, kills jobs, and reduces economic activity throughout our country," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association. "The videogame industry is a source of tremendous innovation, creativity, artistic expression, and economic growth. Consumers win when intellectual property rights are respected and enforced."
The ESA is also looking forward to "doing our part to help the U.S. government succeed..in protecting intellectual property." The ESA estimates that in December 2009 alone, nearly 10 million games were illegally downloaded.
The group behind the initiative is also trying to convince the US government to chase after international websites like Piratebay. Speaking internationally, the ESA has recommended over 35 countries including Canada and Brazil be placed on a priority watch list.
Like music pirates before them and the RIA'sA vigorous campaign against them, it's appearing that software pirates could be in for quite a fight in the foreseeable future. We'll pledge to keep an eye on this story as it develops.