The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a group that normally lobbies for gamers' rights, has issued a statement to Joystiq regarding their support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA):

"As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection, and do not believe the two are mutually exclusive. Rogue websites – those singularly devoted to profiting from their blatant illegal piracy – restrict demand for legitimate video game products and services, thereby costing jobs.

"Our industry needs effective remedies to address this specific problem, and we support the House and Senate proposals to achieve this objective. We are mindful of concerns raised about a negative impact on innovation. We look forward to working with the House and Senate, and all interested parties, to find the right balance and define useful remedies to combat willful wrongdoers that do not impede lawful product and business model innovation."

SOPA would allow the government to block websites at will with no oversight, due process or consequences. While you can argue all you want that piracy is bad for the industry, censorship is bad for everyone. Phrases like "costing jobs" are meant to cause a stir, and the idea that websites are actually profiting from piracy is insubstantial at best.

A huge number of game companies that belong to the ESA are supporting SOPA by proxy. What's your take? Does the ESA have a duty to the gamers it supposedly represents to oppose bills like SOPA? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.