Tipster: MPAA astroturf group is buying signatures to beef up its numbers

CreativeAmerica is an astroturf group financed by the MPAA that pretends to represent everyday folks who want to see further-reaching, stricter copyrights, and it just happens to be run by a bunch of ex-MPAA staffers. An anonymous tipster claims that the organization has now resorted to paying people to get signups for its membership rolls:

the organization I am doing work for is Creative America, which is a grassroots organization that is working to stop foreign rogue websites from illegally distributing American content such as books, music, films, etc.... These specific websites costs the U.S. and the 2.2 million middle class industry workers $5.5 billion in wages and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Your job would be just collecting signatures from whoever is interested in signing up for updates. A newsletter may come once a month and anyone can unsubscribe if they don’t want it. We don’t care if they do; all I care about is getting initial signups.

The hours are flexible and we will pay you $1/signature, so if you collect 100 signatures a week, we would pay you $100/week. We will also pay for you to go to local film festivals in the area (SXSW, Austin Film Festival, etc.). We are also taking as many people as possible, so if you have some friends who are interested in doing it we can take them as well. Let me know your thoughts....

CreativeAmerica Literally Resorts To Buying Signatures


  1. Wow paying piece work to help protect the American economy. Yep there is no hypocrisy there.

    It seems like the declining number of people willing to actually pay wages anymore is the bigger problem.

    1. Except they never stated that the signatures couldn’t be of people you knew, so you could, in effect, get a group of people together and each sign all of each other’s petitions.  They’d end up with what is effectively a relatively small list of signatories, but would have to pay a dollar for each member in the group minus one (not signing your own petition) for each person within that group.  So if, say, 100 people got together, they’d each get $99, costing the organization $9900 for 100 signatures.

      1. The email that’s excerpted in the article seems more like a recruitment letter than a contract – presumably it doesn’t constitute the full list of procedures for employees to follow. 

        A scenario like the one you describe would be pretty counterproductive for the MPAA’s interests.

        1. True, but you never know what kind of loopholes people will find in the contracts, not to mention people might not sign their real names on the petitions in the first place, which can cause all sorts of other loopholes, but I digress.  

          That said, even though it would be counterproductive in some ways, they would probably just spin the signature numbers around and say, in my example, 9900 people signed the petition, rather than 100 people signed multiple petitions.  While it wouldn’t hold up under scrutiny, most of the stuff the MPAA/RIAA publishes already doesn’t, so it wouldn’t shock me at all if that ended up happening.

        2. I’d say at this point publishing that list will be pretty counterproductive for their interests.

    2. This.

      Paying per-signature seems to be a common way to determine wages for organizations that employ professional canvassers.

      I’m no fan of the MPAA, but sensationalizing issues like this hurts BB’s credibility & damages the cause.

  2. Foreign rogue websites, stop beating up the American Middle Class! Don’t you know you are taking away jobs from semi-rich white people and those are the most disenfranchised group of Americans alive?!

  3. A friend of mine was a the Sundance Film Festival, and was approached by someone asking for signatures to “extend copyrights and prevent piracy”. Pretty sure it was the same group. He and the people he was with all declined.

  4. Geez, they should at least do it like in the old days and offer alcohol to sway public opinion in their favor. Sure, it’s currently illegal to offer alcohol without a license, but they’re good at shoving rewritten laws down our throats. Get on it!

  5. If they were really on the ball, they would pay people to ‘like’ their YouTube videos. Every single video they have is like 158 dislikes, 2 likes. There are even a couple with zero likes. Even CreativeAmerica doesn’t like it’s own bullshit propaganda.

  6. Another way that money should be taken out of politics. It should not be legal to pay for the canvassing of signatures. 

    “B-but how would petitions ever get circulated?”

    By people caring enough about an issue to take it upon themselves to go canvassing. 

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