Oh my God, entertainment industry people are still pitching for SOPA


57 Responses to “Oh my God, entertainment industry people are still pitching for SOPA”

  1. rogerogreen says:

    If we didn’t have such “spiteful and shameless litigants” in the US, MAYBE SOPA/PIPA wouldn’t have been so bad. But we do.  So it would have been.

  2. decius_X says:

    The worst thing about the Jotform takedown is that SOPA was just about foreign websites – apparently the U.S. Government already exercises SOPA like authority to arbitrarily shut down domestic websites without due process of law, and its already generating massive collateral damage, and we’d have to get a new law passed to stop it! In other worse, the real situation is much, much worse than many of us thought!

  3. Ambiguity says:

    Just as music labels and Hollywood can’t figure out why SOPA failed to pass, they can’t see how useful it would have been to everyday cranks, bullies and shakedown artists. 

    What are you talking about? The Music and Movie industries are everyday cranks, bullies, and shakedown artists. They know exactly how useful it would be.

    They just have more money than the others.

  4. Ambiguity says:

    The thing I really can’t figure out about the standard *PAA narrative: They claim that big, mature, viable companies and organizations like Google and Wikipedia were willfully twisting the story.

    But they never address why. I mean, isn’t that the obvious question if you follow what they’re saying? What do Yahoo, Google, Wikipedia, and the like have to lose from SOPA/PIPA? I mean, seriously, they can’t expect people to believe that these groups are just simply mistaken and misguided. You don’t rise to the top of an industry if you’re just stupid.

    Have any of the SOPA/PIPA supporters tried to address why these big companies found it necessary to oppose the law? Why someone like Wikipedia would care?

    • decius_X says:

       One line of argument that they present is that these organizations are making millions of dollars off of piracy. Most of them don’t stop to think about the fact that Wikipedia is a non profit organization. The ones that do are almost stumbling for their tin foil hats in the course of their rationalizations – Hackford apparently referred to Wikipedia as a “stalking horse.” The not too subtle implication is that they think Wales was paid to rally “his troops” to the cause. You might be a SOPA supporter if you weren’t being carefully manipulated by rich, evil liars.

      I really think Bezchizza has it right when he says “That’s what these guys think of you. They loathe you and underestimate you and have no clue at all about why you do what you do.” I think they really believe this stuff.

      Its a classic case of projection – they’re lobbyists – they live in a world everyone’s opinions are bought and sold and manipulated by big partisan pundit machinary. They have no respect for the opinions of the general public because they literally can’t imagine the concept of genuine informed political opposition on an Internet where individual people can read the actual text of legislation and form their own opinions and are not just parroting some rant from a paid pundit.

      They really think democracy is a white unicorn. Most of the time – it is.

      • John Thacker says:

        “Most of them don’t stop to think about the fact that Wikipedia is a non profit organization.”
        Yep, Wikimedia Foundation is a non profit corporation.  Just like Citizens United, another non profit corporation.  And thankfully, according to the Supreme Court, Wikimedia Foundation doesn’t have to justify itself as a special “media corporation” or anything else if it wants to engage in free speech, even free speech that is “electioneering” or opinions about the idiotic politicians sponsoring these terrible bills.

        The MPAA and RIAA don’t really care about free speech when it comes to broadcasting their message to the masses.  All they need is to talk to the politicians directly.

        • decius_X says:

          I agree. I’m glad the Supreme Court decided in favor of Citizens United. The regulations they overturned were the wrong solution to the right problem. We need thinking in that area that is a little more creative than “corporations like Wikipedia and BoingBoing don’t have the right to freedom of speech.”

          However, Wikimedia and Citizens United are different kinds of non-profits and Wikimedia might face some reasonable tax consequences if they spent a substantial amount of money on “electioneering.”

    • AnthonyI says:

      That’s part of how a spin machine works. You avoid those questions at all cost.  Pretend that they don’t even exist.  You have to deliver one message and never deviate from it. And for heaven’s sake never ever let a philosophical discussion emerge.

    • pKp says:

      “You don’t rise to the top of an industry if you’re just stupid.”Ahem.

      Snark aside: these guys don’t have a fucking clue what they’re doing. They saw Big Tech opposing SOPA; they don’t need to know why.

      That being said, I would like to see someone like Taylor Hackford answer that question…

  5. Gordon JC Pearce says:

    Can someone explain why Google wouldn’t just stop serving search results for (say) UMG content?

    If there’s a risk that they could be shut down for linking to an infringing site, surely the safest course of action is not to allow *any* links to UMG’s products at all…

    • decius_X says:

      I think they could effectively prevent US advertisers from doing business with foreign infringing sites and that would significantly reduce the economic incentive to run a big media host (which is an expensive to do), but that sort of solution requires reasonable due process with a third party decision maker and not the BS process that SOPA described.

      The Copyright Power is not willing to take that and run with it – they want more. It’s a pretty stupid game they are playing – they have managed to infuriate every objective person on the planet, and they have tarred every idea that they have with the black mark of having been associated with a radical power grab, and for what? They could be busy killing the business model of pirate sites right now if they’d been reasonable about it, but instead they are busy writing nutjob opeds for the New York Times accusing everyone on the Internet of being liars and criminals.

      This is democracy. Its complicated. If your job is to get legislation passed and you can’t do it because you are too stupid and radical to listen to the other side’s expert witnesses and come to a reasonable compromise, you have no one to blame but yourself.

      • Drako Tags says:

        What the Copyright Power really wants is an “Internet Kill Switch” sitting on their own desks.  The wording of SOPA and PIPA allowed just that.

    • ridestowe says:

      i would love that. they’ve been playing with the bull for too long, it’s time to get the horns.

      • Gene Poole says:

         Censorship under any circumstances is unacceptable. That’s pretty much the only real moral that the internet works on.

  6. wysinwyg says:

    It would be great if BB had a comment graveyard.  Sometimes I want to read the trolls.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I keep asking Rob if we can have a Wall of Shame.

    • Richard_Kirk says:

      I second that. I don’t want to read trolls, and bone up on trolling techniques. But I wouldn’t be a proper BB reader if I didn’t think “wait, what?…” whenever I come across a ‘Comment Removed’ sign. It’s like a zit: you know it’s probably hiding a well of pus but you can’t leave it alone.

    • A Nonny Moose says:

      I agree. How about instead of removing the comment, hide it with the option of revealing it with a mouse-click? I just hate to see “Comment removed.” and try to figure out what it said based on the replies .

  7. mccrum says:

    Not only are they pitching, they expect us to catch!

  8. sigdrifa says:

    I’ve also been engaged in German discussion about ACTA on Google+ today… the problems with all the copyfighting is that it’s taking up so many resources that would be much better employed elsewhere.  And yet, we liberal netizens have no choice but to keep speaking up against those proposed laws / treaties / whatever, because if you don’t pay attention and keep everyone alert they might just sneak something by. That way it’s taking up our time as well, time that we otherwise could productively spend elsewhere… *sigh*

    • John Thacker says:

      The funny thing is that in the US (unlike in Europe, as I understand it), overall there are many more liberal politicians supporting these bills than conservatives, especially after the protests.  The typical explanation has to do with Hollywood’s strong support for the Democratic Party in the USA.

  9. Ralidius says:

    “So… they lied. We don’t, honest. Give us the power to rule you.” [fake smile face pose]

  10. Aeron says:

    Should have had the “You lose!” part in the video that was linked.

  11. angusm says:

    I don’t think they’re trying to convince us. I think this is intended for the Congress-folks who got cold feet at the last minute.

    The goal is to lure them back into the fold, convince them that the public reaction against SOPA didn’t represent anything of actual political significance but was simply a stunt orchestrated by a few nerdy scofflaws, and give them some talking points to use next time around.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the lobbying operation is doubling down on the expensive lunches and the promises of campaign donations in the run-up to ACTA or Son-of-SOPA or whatever the next attack will be.

  12. Spocko says:

    This is a brilliant analysis of the issue, what happened and why SOPA was defeated.  It also helps people see how they might keep coming.  My predictions:

    1) They will go further underground, arranging more secret deals with people they can buy. They will also see about buying up regional support and smaller players, building a “coalition of the willing” as it were. “Don’t Forget Poland”

    1a) They will also chip away by picking up smaller bits and pieces that aren’t as noticeable or are obviously egregious (they will learn from the people who created the phrase “partial birth abortion” and used it to chip away at Roe v. Wade.)

    2) More deception with the bills. Starting with renaming the bills, “The  Creating Jobs in America for Artists” Bill or the ” Freedom from Censorship” Bill.

    3)  Work to convince those mature players (Google etc) that they really should be on their side.  “Hey Facebook, if you play nice with us we won’t sue your users for minor violations.”
    4) Work to change the mind of the “duped” public. We are seeing this now. I suspect this will focus on the right who can be taught to fall in line, especially if they can be told that fighting this “hurts job creators” and “people just like you” They might try and make it a “national security issue” (When you pirate a movie, the terrorists win!)

    One of the things that I’ve observed in my years of watching these people work, is that they might learn a lesson, but they will not stop. The lobbyists and PR people are not paid to stop. They are paid to keep going. They will look into their tool box and see, “Okay that didn’t work, what next?”

    It takes a lot of energy to oppose them, passionate people who are busy with other things. It just takes some money on their part to figure out how to get what they want, and they will use the creatives, who need the work, the lobbyist who want the money and they politicians who need to fund their campaigns.

    One thing that frustrates me is that we are often in “reactive mode” waiting for them to react and then fighting, often on their turf. One thing that would be good would be for a group of people who defeated SOPA to go on the attack.  To not just wait for the next strategy to reveal itself. To develop a strategy of actively thwarting them by getting them arrested for their overreaching, bribery and lawbreaking in other areas. Keep THEM tied up in court for their illegal acts (and I’m sure we can find some) . Of course they will whine “they are picking on us!” but they always whine and play the vicitm.

  13. AirPillo says:

    If we’d just done as they asked and enact laws banning casette tapes, audio CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs, etc. maybe they’d actually have been allowed to take their war on technology to the inevitable conclusion of them going bankrupt long ago.

    The industry is enthusiastically attempting to shove a shotgun in their mouth, and for decades congress and the public have been grabbing the barrel and making sure they can only blow superficial chunks off of their own faces bit by bit.

    In retrospect, it’s easy to lament the fact that we protected them from committing suicide long ago, and they’re still so angry about the favor we did them that now they want to make sure that when they die, they take our society down with them.

  14. m1kesa1m0ns says:

    Call me slow, but I’m just now getting the old school entertainment conglomerates and the fascist elements of the republican party are both dying an ugly, spasmodic death right before our eyes.  Neither plan to budge an inch and make increasingly loud noises as we slowly push their sweaty corpulent bodies into the fire. I mean really, doesn’t that pretty much explain 90% of the news nowadays?

  15. Jerry Harmon says:

    Maybe the entertainment moguls just want their money back … the money they spent buying this legislation in the first place.   I know if I paid big bucks for a Congressman, I’d be pissed if they didn’t hold up to their end of the deal.

  16. kfizz says:

    Its not really ignorance that they are doing this its thous dam dollar signs. They dont use it so it does not effect them at all. Its weird we need the government but yet i still hate the old dirty bastardes. The system does not work when everyone is at their owen tempo. I feel like its the end of animals house where the marching band is in the alley just marching in to wall.

  17. jimh says:

    Perfect video commentary.
    Saving the link for future use, as I’m sure it will come in handy!

  18. Mordicai says:

    Another round of “Stupid…or Evil!”  & yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking…”both!”

  19. Lloyd Cogliandro says:

    What I find ironic is Taylor Hackford’s involvement in this. He should be well aware of the risks this kind of power has on creativity. His film “The Devil’s Advocate” was nearly forced out of theaters (and was forced to be edited for video) by the sculptor Frederick Hart for using a sculpture that looked like one of his works. Imagine Mr. Hackford’s reaction if suddenly no one was able to even find him on IMDB, Wikipedia, Amazon, Netflix, etc. because Mr. Hart decided that all connections to the offending image should be censored, collateral damage be damned.

  20. Manny says:

    I submitted comments opposing SOPA/PIPA to my Senators on their web forms. One of them added my email address to his “Hey! Let’s reelect Ben!” mailing lists. He and his staff have no concept that reelection and governance are supposed to be different. Lobbyists will always find a way to exploit that.

  21. hypersomniac says:


  22. thecommongood says:

    I’m a filmmaker, and I still don’t get why the industry I work in has gone batshit crazy over this thing.  Even if I put on my “greedy asshole” cap, I can still think of great ways to monetize “free content”; it seems to me the so-called pirate sites have handed a great business model over to Hollywood — put the films online for free, like Megaupload did.  Have ads.  Then a subscription model to remove ads.  You’d kill true pirate sites, and with social media integration, you could better engage with the fans.

    Film has a built-in anti-piracy measure — the theatrical screening.  You still can’t build a sound system like that in your apartment, or that ginormous screen!  And nevermind 3D (just a way to watermark films people!) — no one wants to see a crappy cam version of a film anyway. 

    And artists who back this crap are like thieves peddling in stolen goods.  It’s gross.

  23. Liza Mohanty says:

    Perfect to use when you get in an argument with some retard and you win.

  24. Monitorhead says:

    yeah…  Boingboing & Wikipedia like sites are lying to people….   and everyone at the Emmys/Grammys is living off of ramen noodles because of the copyright infringement woes.

  25. MarcVader says:

    The  Futuristic Sex Robots described it thus in 2006: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnLB8wysMbY&feature=youtu.be&t=3m30s

  26. Drako Tags says:

    “The strangest new development in pro-SOPA argumentation is to remind us that they don’t need SOPA to shut down U.S. websites”

    I should point out that under the DMCA _any_ website may be seized by The US Secret Service or its International Division – called ICE.  Proof of this is the Swedish file sharing website MegaUpload.

    • Yep. The gov’t already has the power to shut down sites. It shouldn’t be a surprise.

      The bills were never written to just handle overseas piracy and money lost there. In fact, it’s really easy to see how neither bill can do anything to control the traffic of stolen material once it’s left the U.S. All they can do is prevent re-entry, so overseas pirates are free to continue selling in their home countries. 

      What they were hoping people would ignore if they said “it only affects out of country piracy” was the inclusion of amendments not related to “overseas piracy” but to things like trafficking in counterfeit medications, altering the ways in which people could be prosecuted for online play of material they didn’t have release for, use of image copyright material and more – all domestic, in what was claimed to be a set of bills targeting “nefarious foreign pirates”.

      If the intent was to change domestic law, they needed to openly address THAT issue, and openly change those laws – not sneak amendments into a larger bill. They were trying to sneak one past us, and they failed. We know they lied.

      Spoko is right. They’ll come back with other bills named in ways that will seem to have nothing to do with the Net, and we’ll have to keep reading content to see when they try to change domestic law to suit their taste.

  27. Michael Pusateri says:

    The studios won’t stop on these kind of efforts, no matter how public opinion goes.

    You need to understand their mindset.  I wrote a whole post about this here: http://fotv.biz/2012/01/24/nothing-is-over/

    In summary, the major issue is that the studios are bound into contracts with both the people that supply them with entertainment and the people that distribute the content to actively force these kinds of issues.

    There are multiple other issues that contribute to the mindset of continuing a march toward SOPA/PIPA laws.    

    You are right, they want laws that protect them from change. It’s the classic Innovator’s Dilemma issue.

    Then again, it’s nothing new.  Car companies fought against seat belts and air bags for decades and now use safety as main selling point.  The telephone companies are notorious for hiding behind government tariffs to lock in profits and make it harder for competitors to succeed.  Light Squared just got nuked by entrenched telcos using the FCC processes to kill their entire investment.

    The fight won’t stop until the underlying drivers change.

  28. [The] claim that blanking our websites was an ‘abuse’ says much about how corporate lobbyists view free expression: as something to be regulated like a rent or privilege.

    Let’s not forget that the MPAA/RIAA/Big Media types made their money through regulating what was published (e.g. selecting film projects to ‘green-light’, talent scouts, slush piles etc.), and then pushing discrete, physical units (i.e. records, box office tickets, copies etc.)

    As cruftbox observes, this means there’s a twofold desire to continue to push for SPOA-esque legislation: The content selectors such as Paramount, CNN, UMG etc., and the content packagers who actually burn the CDs and print the books and all that.

    More importantly to me, Big Media not only promoted certain narratives as Big Culture, they also regulated the narratives of Big Culture.

    Big Media Selectors want to continue to dictate what our Big Culture Stories look like – the ones we all know about because they’re ‘green-lighted’ and given the most media attention. Big Media Packagers want to continue to control access to same.

    In other words, it’s the old one-to-many broadcast model – but one powerful enough to change US/Western culture’s worldviews. If you control what stories – myths – or facts – are told to the people, you control what they believe and think.

    Now along comes the Internet where anyone can broadcast to anyone who ‘tunes in’, weakening Big Media’s power to dictate Big Culture in three ways:

    1. Circumventing Big Media’s selection monopoly
    2. Derivative works that ‘dilute’ the Big Message (e.g. fanfics)
    3. Circumventing access restrictions (e.g. piracy, on-selling copies on eBay)

    In a rational world, the Big Media companies would have already retooled for a Steam-style online purchase and POD system, allowing them to monetise people’s creativity and desire to engage with rather than merely consume their culture.

    Unfortunately we don’t. Decades of inertia and entrenched assumptions about how things are Meant To™ work have proved that, and as such, we can expect this fight over who (if anyone) should dictate the shape of our society’s culture to continue.

  29. Shinkuhadoken says:

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

  30. Its time to go on the offensive. These people are breaking the USA. They are traitors and enemies of the People. Its time we start perp walking them and their cronies to jail.

    We need to find entities that know how to create the appropirate class actions and legislative actions to declare the RIAA and MPAA as anti-trust. That continued frivolous law suites against customers and citizens end in the CEOs of the companies bringing these suits go  to jail and are fined out of the 1%.

  31. That interview with Taylor Hackford was very enlightening.  Everybody should listen to it to hear exactly what the the proponents of SOPA are saying straight from their own mouths!  I tried to listen with an open mind – they have their side too, right?

    But I found him extremely distasteful. Hackford’s general tone was “if you don’t agree with us, you’re an idiot.” And also, “we’ll screw everyone we can until we get our way.”  Those big company Los Angeles entertainment types have such an inflated view of themselves – I bet they’re very surprised to realize that not everyone loves them as much as they think.

    If Taylor Hackford is trying to change minds to support SOPA-like legislation with these arguments, his attempt has backfired with me.  He promises a long war until he gets what he wants.  Well, he can now count on me as a soldier to fight against him as long as it takes.

  32. TheMudshark says:

    We need a hammer – a hammer – a hammer – a hammer
    To hammer them down!

  33. LeoXVIII says:

    Unfortunately, this isn’t over. The moneyed corporations aren’t going to let a single failure rue them over. The goal — next time — is to insert the legislation inside more critical legislation like education funding, etc. Or bury it beneath word play. We are our own defense. Our name is Legion for we are many

  34. Your belief that the continuation of 40 years of net neutrality requires the government to fuck the net in the ass is duly noted.

  35. Ipo says:

     Comprehend much?

  36. PhosPhorious says:

     Noted and filed. . .  where only the FCC might find it, and even then only if SOPA passes.

  37. John Thacker says:

    Yes, it’s about as ridiculous as the idea that the way to protect net neutrality is to give the government in general and the FCC in particular more power.  Real net neutrality violations are like censorship that the net routes around.  Give the FCC the power to enforce it, and they’ll soon find tortuous ways to claim that protecting net neutrality means protecting kids (and the rest of us) from obscenity and untrustworthy websites selling pirated goods.

  38. Gene Poole says:

     Sorry, isn’t that what’s going on in Canada, like right now?

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