MPAA's number two admits industry "not comfortable" with the Internet

A great Mike Masnick Techdirt editorial deals with MPAA second-in-command Michael O'Leary's statement that, "[the Internet is] a platform we're not at this point comfortable with."

The MPAA's O'Leary concedes that the industry was out-manned and outgunned in cyberspace. He says the MPAA "is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we're not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform."

Yes, even when he tries to say that they're trying to learn about that confounded internet thingy, he sounds ridiculous and dismissive. But the real point is his inadvertent admission within that statement: the MPAA (and the rest of "old" Hollywood) simply "is not comfortable with" the internet. And that's really what SOPA and PIPA were about. Rather than trying to understand this new platform, and learn from the many entertainers who do get the internet, they did what the MPAA does and simply tried to regulate that which they don't understand and fear.

Furthermore, even more ridiculous is the end of that sentence: "an opponent that controls that platform." As the article makes clear, he means Google. Which shows that he still doesn't get it. First, Google didn't lead the protests. It came late to the game, after the grassroots had already taken off with this stuff and run with it. But, more to the point, contrary to what O'Leary and the MPAA seem to believe: Google does not control the internet. No one does.

MPAA Exec Admits: 'We're Not Comfortable With The Internet'


  1. I think the most telling aspect of this is the fact that the MPAA views the internet business model as “a fight” and the internet customer base as “an opponent”. That proves that there’s more they don’t understand than just the internet.

  2. Oh he means GOOGLE.  I figured from the quote about an “opponent who controls the platform,” he means AUDIENCES.  Because that sure is how they seem to treat customers.

  3. The internet it is just a fad… people will flock back to our little plastic discs and restrictions.  It makes sense to force people who paid for our product to sit through advertisements for products completely unlike what they purchased, and reminders that we own the content and get to say how they can use it on their own devices.
    We will keep putting our heads in the sand and call it a serial killer out to kill us until we can finally decide how to make money with it, just like every other tech advance in the last 100 years.

    And I’ll just leave this here.

    1. Yes, every time I am FORCED to sit through that crap when I am watching a video I purchased, it pisses me  off royally.   It makes me hate them.  Have no sympathy for them.  See them as the greedy dinosaurs they are. I picture them like the fat producers of the twenties were almost always depicted. It seems they are stuck in that time.

    1. Wait, Google doesn’t control the internet?…
       it seems they’re aiming to.
      Just a matter of time, eh?

      1. They’re falling fast behind in languages besides English. I bet you’ve never even heard of QQ messenger.

  4. Reminds me of when Scientology tried to serve a supeona on “The Internet”.  Anyway, isn’t Robert Wagner #2?

  5. Oh really, the movie and recording industry (especially the one in hollywood) doesn’t get the internet. Wait there’s more, they pretty much don’t get anything starting from xerox machines to tape recorders to personal computing devices, smartphones AND the internet. And this is news how?

  6. The Internet has been a fixture of American life for a decade and a half now.  When did they think they were going to start learning something?  There’s nothing I hate more than the lazy rich.

  7. Various iterations of folk who think this way have been trying to control the ability to make a recording since the advent of our ability to record anything. They see the internet as just another phonograph, cassette tape or CD and fundamentally do not understand how much of a game changer the internet and the digital age are. They are the modern day equivalent of buggy whip makers arguing how important buggy whips are in a world that no longer needs them.

  8. I think the overwhelming anti-Hollywood sentiment here and on the Internet is partly a case of “you can’t miss what you never had” (or viewed, or heard). Piracy has probably cut 1/2 the revenue out of Hollywood in last 10 years- there would be a lot more movies and music out there right now if not for that.  But everyone here seems sure, so whatever.

      1. Good! we were saved from twice as much twilight and transformers and other utter crap lowest common denominator “blockbusters”

    1. It would be so much more believable if not for Hollywood Accounting practices.  Afterall they showed a Harry Potter film to be a loser.

    2. I think the overwhelming anti-Hollywood sentiment here and on the Internet is partly a case of “you can’t love a troll”. Trolling behaviour from Hollywood lawyers has probably cut 1/2 the number of internet fan-sites dedicated to Hollywood properties in the last 10 years – there would be a lot more fan sites out there right now if not for that, spreading free publicity and loyalty for Hollywood products and making money for them. But everyone in Hollywood seems so sure, so whatever.

    3. Ticket sales are down from ten years ago, but not by half. In 2002, there were 1.58 billion movie tickets sold, for total revenues of $9.35 billion. Last year, it was 1.21 billion tickets sold (a 25% drop) for revenues of $9.61 billion (a 3% increase). (Source

      Keep in mind that those figures do not include DVD sales, Netflix views, and other forms of legitimate movie-watching that earn money for the studios. 

      There were 611 movies produced by US movie studios in 2001. (Source)  There were 754 movies produced by US movie studios in 2010. (Source) Those are the MPAA’s own figures, from their own official reports. 

  9. Have you actually seen a good movie out of any of the big studios like in forever? I am seriously wondering when the “boycott hollywood” campaign is going to start so that I can sign up. Oh well I guess I have been boycotting their crappy products for months and didn’t really know it. These fools “arent comfortable with the internet”, well I am not comfortable with your 100 million dollar three stooges remakes. burn hollywood burn.

    1. If I may “pirate” a quote from Michael J. Nelson, one of the best film critics of our time:

      “There’s a force sweeping through this great nation of ours; you can see it in the heroin-dilated eyes of our youth as they raise Cosmopolitans to their Vandyke-fringed mouths in wan and shallow tribute to our cocktail forefathers; you can smell it in the rich, hand-rubbed leather interiors of the sport-utility vehicles that conquer Blockbuster Videos and Boston Markets alike; and, yes, you can taste it in our Frappaccinos.  It’s called excess.  And it’s available now at all participating Subway stores.”

      “Lately, the movie industry has been supersizing things for us with Big Gulp-style films.  Big, bad movies with lots of stuff in ’em.  As bad as most movies, only bigger.  Huge, out-of-control budgets, big as the GNP of Chile or Scandinavia.  Enough money to afford flying cows and huge, dumb Bill Paxtons.  Order up a gross more aliens ships and buy me a Will Smith!  They’re Must-See movies.  Not to see them is to risk revocation of citizenship and eventual deportation.”

    1. Thanks that was awesome, though I did shudder at the mention of “The New Generation” around 1:30.

      Effective way to sully your nerd credibility: misquote the title of a Star Trek series in an overly simplistic news piece about the internet.

  10. I looked at the Internet. I tried to pretend it looked like a spreading tree, telecoms pooled beneath it, but it didn’t. It looked more like an octopus, the fat, glistening tentacles grasping blindly at my IP, squirming over each other, with Google at the center. But even that is avoiding the real horror. The horror is this: In the end, it is simply a bunch of end-to-end connections. There is nothing controlling it.

  11. “We don’t understand the internet, despite the fact that it’s been around for over 20 years, and yet we feel compelled to introduce legislation that would completely change it forever.”


  12. I really, really wish these dinosaurs would hurry up and go extinct. If they’re as ancient as their attitudes suggest, it should be happening any day now.

  13. Don’t underestimate these bastards. I suspect they know full well that Google and other tech heavies didn’t lead the anti-SOPA campaign. This is the narrative though they want to promote: vested interests, not grass-roots democracy, thwarted the legislation. I’ve seen a number of op-eds recently with this spin – one in today’s National Post (Canada). (And yes, I get the irony in the use of “vested interests”. )

  14. They’ve had 17 years to prepare.  This is one of the few times I wish we had a a government full of libertarians, who would tell the movie industry to piss up a rope, go back to Hollywood, and adapt or die. Adapt to the free market, or it will trample you.

  15. “As the article makes clear, he means Google”. Are you sure he doesn’t mean  iTunes? Because Apple most definitely dominates the online music space.

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