The IGDA opposes SOPA and PIPA

20 January 2012

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)/Protect IP Act (PIPA) proposals caught the attention of members of the IGDA Board of Directors last year. We have been reviewing the text, and also seeing this issue rise as a key advocacy issue among the members of the IGDA. Our internal consensus is as follows:

The original SOPA/PIPA proposals were overkill. While they addressed the real issue of piracy, they did so in a way that is not tailored to the needs of small content creators, and instead allows big content creators to overreact to perceived IP violations. The net real effect of these measures would be to have a chilling effect on any content sharing, instead of just illegal content sharing. Therefore, it is the position of the IGDA to oppose the SOPA/PIPA proposals.

We are glad to see both the House and Senate have decided to postpone votes on the bills so their significant flaws can be addressed. We are hopeful that the revised versions will provide a more reasonable approach to fighting piracy, but caution everyone to continue following this issue to ensure the final versions better balance both sides of the issue.

IGDA Board of Directors

IGDA Board Nominations Open / Changes to the Board & Nomination process

3 January 2012

Nominations for the IGDA Board of Directors are now open. Anyone interested in running for the Board of Directors should download the Board Nomination packet from the elections page here: Nomination certificates, along with the names of 10 members supporting your nomination are due by 12pm Pacific Time Sunday January 29th.

This year we have made some changes to the IGDA Board, and to the nomination process for election to the IGDA’s Board of Directors. The changes were made based on feedback from board members, previous board candidates, IGDA members, as well as various suggestions and proposals that have been provided over the past few years. The key changes we have made this year are as follows:

Board Size Reduced: The Board size is being reduced over the next 2 years from 12-15 members, down to 9 members: 6 elected and 3 appointed.

Member support of Nomination: Nominees must have 10 IGDA members in good standing support their nomination.

Nomination Committee: At the close of the nomination period a Nomination Committee will evaluate all nominees, and provide to the Board for ratification a final slate of candidates to be put forward to the membership for election.

Some of the key feedback we have heard, and are addressing with these changes are:

  • The level of work and support needed of board members is not well communicated or understood. These changes should provide better preparation for nominees, and ensure that candidates are more prepared for the commitment expected of board members.
  • Members are unable to fully evaluate all candidates to make an informed decision because there have been too many candidates up for election. By reducing the final slate of candidates for members to vote on, members should be able to better evaluate the candidates, and the candidates themselves will be more empowered to reach out to and interact with the community throughout the election.
  • The board is too large. For the past few years there has been between 11 and 15 sitting board members. This was increased from 6 board members several years ago as a way to help share the workload amongst board members. The current size has actually made it difficult to do this as the large size has increased the communication overhead too much. This reduction should enable more timely decisions, as well as better empower individual board members to lead and direct initiatives.

The Nomination Committee: This year’s Nomination Committee is comprised of 4 former Board Chairs. These are individuals who span the history of the IGDA going back all the way to one of the org’s earliest board members. As a group, they have already dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to the IGDA, and as a result of their board experience, and their ability to reflect back on their service they are perfectly suited for this role. This group knows better than anyone else exactly what the org needs from Board members, and the types of traits to look for in candidates. The nomination committee is: Jen MacLean, Kathy (Schoback) Astromoff, Matt Toschlog and Annie Van Bebber.

The nomination committee will review all nominees, and will provide to the Board for ratification, a final slate of candidates to be put forward to the membership for election. That final slate of candidates will be no more than double the number of seats open for election. This year we have 2 seats open for election, so the final slate they provide will be no more than 4 candidates.

We are confident that these changes should help us build a stronger IGDA serving our members, and the industry going forward.

Brian Robbins
Chair, IGDA Board of Directors