Yes, Virginia, The MPAA Is Still Full Of Crap

from the so-many-lies,-so-little-time dept

Time and time again, it's amazing the depths of BS that groups like the MPAA and RIAA can descend to. Doublespeak, gibberish, denial and bullying are their preferred tactics, with the overarching mantra appearing to be that if you repeat something enough times, it will come true. So, with that in mind, witness the Wall Street Journal's latest email debate, between an MPAA exec and Wendy Seltzer, a prominent intellectual property and First Amendment lawyer. Again and again, the guy from the MPAA comes back to the point that DRM is needed "to insure (sic) that most consumers will keep the deal they make" with content providers, and to "keep honest people honest." These comments illustrate just how highly the MPAA views consumers -- not as valued customers, but as criminals who can't be trusted. Also, if people are honest, why do they need to be kept that way? He also repeatedly says that copy-protection is about choice, and that it's created "new viewing opportunities" like ABC's streaming TV shows and iTunes selling a Disney movie. How, exactly, did DRM create those opportunities? They could have been implemented and been generating revenues long ago had content providers not spent so much time trying (fruitlessly) to stop piracy instead of innovating and giving people incentives to purchase content legitimately. What's additionally annoying is the guy's insistence that the DMCA hasn't stifled innovation, but rather "has been an incredible stimulus to both technology and marketing innovation" -- something that's patently false -- and then acts like the MPAA respects consumers' right to fair use -- another total lie. The MPAA and its ilk have been repeating this same line of flawed reasoning, misrepresentations and lies so much that they've unflinchingly bought into it. But unless you're running jails, can any business really get away with treating all its customers as criminals forever?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Greg, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 12:27pm

    We're both talking about balance, but our equilibrium points are very different. You seem content if we can pay in lots of different ways to see the same movies on a constrained set of devices.

    ICE BURN.

     

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  2.  
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    Newob, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 12:30pm

    Jails!

    You've hit the right note this time, Techdirt! Why doesn't the MPAA look into jails as an alternative business model? Then they can have a really captive audience!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Gianni, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Jails!

    I would gladley pay a reasonable amount (like on itunes) for a series I want to watch rather than dredge thru the amount crap i have to on comcast to find a decent show. A sit thru commericals which at times can be repulsive and insulting

     

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  4.  
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    Joe Smith, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 12:53pm

    Overplaying their hands

    If these organizations refuse to provide their products on the terms consumers want, then someone else will provide competing material on more favorable terms.

    We need an alternative digital rights management form of license (think shareware or open source) which meets the publics needs. The alternative form has to include some way of artists being paid. Then we need some artists to start producing their material in that format.

    Artists need the record companies for physical production and distribution of the CDs, and marketing. The internet can allow artists to completely bypass the record companies as they currently exist.

     

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  5.  
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    J.R., Jun 20th, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    As the t-shirt said:

    Your failed business model is not my problem.

     

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  6.  
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    Ben, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 1:05pm

    Yes, they can.

    "can any business really get away with treating all its customers as criminals forever? "

    Yes, if the Gov't keeps making laws to give them monopolistic type of power.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Michael Long, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 1:20pm

    Customers as criminals...

    "...can any business really get away with treating all its customers as criminals forever?"

    You probably haven't been to a standard commercial "bricks and mortar" store recently, with their security guards, cameras, door barricades, locks on changing rooms, door sensors, tags on everything worth more than $5, and employees who need to walk expensive items to the cash register with you, after they've found the "trusted" employee with the keys to the stock room.

    The fact is that a small but significant number of people will steal whatever it is that's not locked down, and that those people screw the rest of us who have to put up with the security systems designed to stop them, and with higher prices due to "shrinkage".

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Ex, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 1:25pm

    A perfect model of how not to keep up with technol

    I like the shirt J.R. :)
    And it really does sum up the problem... efforts should have been in keeping up with the technology, innovating new ideas and methods, and reworking how their business profits from the change, instead of crying and whining about what they are losing...

    But it's hard to blame them... I have experience on the music industry side, and record companies have been raping the talent as well as the consumer since its inception. All of a sudden, the musicians now have the means to distribute their own music... Cutting the record industry completely out... The musicians can now distribute their music for free, and get paid for merchandising and live shows... the way it should have been all along... The record companies are now digging themselves into a hole they may not find a way out of...
    It is really easy to see why they are fighting it... it's just sad...

     

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  9.  
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    jon, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 1:32pm

    Keeping the deal

    You know, I started to leave a comment, but it gets so complicated, and it won't make any difference anyway.

    I'll just keep not buying CDs, DVDs, not going to movies, and giving my money to Netflix and the taxes that support my local library--one of the few places where I feel that I get something for my taxes.

     

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  10.  
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    Matt, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Yes, they can.

    "can any business really get away with treating all its customers as criminals forever? "

    If the consumer keeps buying the product they can treat "YOU" anyway they want to. I do not subscribe to anyservice that has DRM. If you don't like the product don't buy it!!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 1:58pm

    I can't wait to get my bootlegged copy of "Nacho Libre"

     

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  12.  
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    nobody, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 2:02pm

    whatever...

    It's time the government, MPAA, RIAA and the likes realize that no matter what they do, people and other companies and organizations will find a way around it.

     

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  13.  
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    BlackCow, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 2:37pm

    As the t-shirt said:

    "As the t-shirt said:

    Your failed business model is not my problem."

    lol, I want that T-shirt, send me a link to where I can get it.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Ben, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Yes, they can.

    I completely agree.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    lil'bit, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 2:51pm

    Store security

    Most of the security one sees in brick&mortar stores is actually to catch employees stealing.

     

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  16.  
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    Professor HighBrow, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 3:21pm

    Re: whatever...

    t's time the government, MPAA, RIAA and the likes realize that no matter what they do, people and other companies and organizations will find a way around it. Best point so far, besides the T-shirt bit. Apparently the people involved in these organizations (RIAA, MPAA, DRM jerks) have some memory loss problems. 1) Enter the cassette tape. Now albums can be reproduced (albeit maybe one or two copies of the original) so let's at least try to get some good talent. 2) VCRs! Oops, let's sue because now people don't have to watch commercials over and over on television. 3) The CD... Uh Oh, now we're gonna have to "fix prices " to screw over the consumer. To hell with competition. [you might remember that being proven in court 4) Now Napster! Sue them! We cant compete, and even nearly a decade later we still can't come up with a reasonable solution for people to purchase music! 5) Enter the pirates, the bittorrents, those criminals that dont wanna pay for an overpriced product. Solution: Sue. Sue everybody. Sue your grandma for downloading. Try to scare the people into buying our crappy overpriced product. Failure to adapt to changing technology. Any other real business would sink like a Led Zeppelin if it tried to pull stunts like that. Hmmm.... Not sure have have to much more to say about these filthy monopolists... --Proffessor HiB

     

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  17.  
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    Yaa101, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 5:32pm

    A psychological view

    1). The problem with organizations that are representatives of clubs of money making business like RIAA/MPAA at al. is that they are addicted to easy money which licencing is. Their business model is simple, "We lobby for licencing legislation with your government and you pay me for doing that". In more than one place on this planet this is called government backed extortion or corruption.

    2). They treat us the public how they are themselfs, a bunch of greedy backstabbing paranoid pshychotic sobs that do anything to get their way. This is how they got to the top of their companies themselfs, they really think that all people are like them and that everybody is out there to get their job, power and money.

    3). DRM is cooked up by paranoids and used in the first place to keep their competition out of their market while locking in customers and make it imposible to have their data transfered to a new device of the competing companies. This makes DRM and interoperability mutualy exclusive.

    4). The lawsuits against sharers are about the fact that more and more people recognise that we simply don't need big investments to get a good quality product out there. This makes middlemen like the big record labels obsolete for most of the future content made. The war on filesharers is in reality the war on publishers in the same direct way that even Gutenberg felt centuries ago. We are on the brink of an enormous emancipation when it comes to publishing by the man in the street, things like blogs, podcasts, streaming radio, youtube and so on.

    5). Reality check... Whether you like it or not, there isn't much else that the US can sell to the world besides weapons and entertainment, all real jobs are gone and somehow this huge deficit of that country has to be payed. Another reality check... There just isn't that much content in the hands of these content profiders that are represented by the RIAA/MPAA et al. and most of it is chewed blandly throughout last century. All new and exiting content is made by you and I, although the quality is not always the highest the intentions and emotions behind it are real.

    6). These content profiders want the general public to believe that all content is their (the profiders) content, including what people make themselfs. They stop at nothing including propaganda to toddlers and kindergarden agegroups and the message is that all content is theirs and that their power to punish you are infinitive. Last thing they want you the public to know that you can choose from many types of licences and contracts to show your work to this world, the Berne convention makes each maker defacto owner of their own works by law unless you sign it away to companies or other persons. The content profiders of course will do anything to make you sign away your rights to them.

    I can go on for hours dissecting business models and so on but I wont.

    Ok... One more thought... They are in the business of making money, nothing else, the artists are part of the business plan and the public is the actual product.

    Need I say more?
    Yaa101

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Spellingpedia, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 6:25pm

    Re: A psychological view

    licencing is spelled licensing.

    Spendd sum houurs lerning to speel!

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    ted, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 9:54pm

    um...

    so they have been working on DRM for how long and its still not quite sophisticated for their liking? Nice.

    oh and that guy was talking about how fair use is ok, didn't the MPAA make people take down video's posted on the net because they contained pieces of copyrighted works? sorry i didn't know posting a video on youtube to be so profitable :-)

    i do have one question for that guy. how much has your paycheck suffered from all this piracy? oh is hasn't? and whats that? you got a bonus this year bigger then my salary? yea that's great....f*ck off you rich piece of sh*t!

    BTW make better movies and we'll go see them. I'll stick to my "try before you buy" approach. I haven't paid to see a bad movie in a long time :-)

    YARRR!!!

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Louis, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 10:35pm

    Re: Re: A psychological view

    I am getting really tired of people posting about spelling and grammar mistakes in nearly every post on this site. This is a TECH site, so why doesn't techdirt add a spell checker for people's comment? DIGG.COM has one and I don't see complaints on their site.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    claire rand, Jun 21st, 2006 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re: Jails!

    you think that once drm'd media is common place, and you have little or no control over the playback they *won't* be adverts in the stream?

    i mean take the dvd, theres no control over that and they would never dare put adverts in that and enforce a way of stopping you skipping them...

    ohh..

    i'll get my coat...

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Svlad, Jun 21st, 2006 @ 6:35am

    Ha!

    "I am getting really tired of people posting about spelling and grammar mistakes in nearly every post on this site."

    Hypocrite

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Sandbomb, Jul 4th, 2006 @ 7:22am

    BOYCOTT!!!!!!

    Okay, im sure everyone is aware of movie and music piracy and the attempt by movie and audio labels to stop it. every year millions are brought to court to pay huge loads of money just to compinsate for "illegally" viewing a small movie or playing a song that might not even popularly last for a month. But this year...2006, it will all change, a boycott of original movie and music products (DVDS, VHS and CDs) etc will be boycotted by who ever wishes to do so to prove to movie studios and music labels that WE are the customers and WE make them who they are. it shall start on the 4th of July and hopefully end on 4th of August. i sure hope you participate in this (hoped to be) global event. for more send or add this email "sandbomb_bc@hotmail.com". thank you for your time and i hope you spread the word.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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