MPAA, RIAA Create Yet ANOTHER Lobbying Group; Push For Stronger Laws

from the no,-seriously? dept

At some point, you have to just wonder if the folks running the MPAA and the RIAA are just collectively pulling everyone's leg. If it wasn't such a huge waste of taxpayer money while also limiting the economic possibilities of this country, it would almost be funny. Remember just last month that the RIAA and MPAA were leading the charge with yet another new lobbying organization called the Copyright Alliance? That was amusing enough, since the RIAA and MPAA already had plenty of clout -- and their main purpose was lobbying anyway. However, apparently they still don't think it's enough. There's now another new organization called the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy. Of course, it's being headed up by the RIAA and the MPAA, along with the National Assn. of Manufacturers and the pharmaceuticals industry -- two other groups that apparently don't already have enough lobbying clout. This new group is pushing for an intellectual property czar, who will work directly from the White House to crack down on IP violations. As Boing Boing points out, this new group certainly isn't going to shy away from ridiculous and totally unsupportable statements about why it needs stronger copyright laws. They had NBC/Universal's general counsel Rick Cotton state this outright fabrication:
"Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned. If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year."
First of all, even in the most ridiculously biased studies that have been put out by the industry itself have we seen any one that has said that losses total hundreds of billions of dollars. Second of all, each of these industry sponsored reports are easy to prove incorrect. They tend to count every copied content as a lost sale. They tend to double, triple and quadruple count, by including ripple effects that count the same "lost dollar" many times over. They never, ever account for the promotional value of the content and how those ripple effects actually can (and often do) increase market sizes and help companies sell more. Unfortunately, the press and politicians don't bother to report any of this. They'll just take Cotton's completely unsupportable statement as fact.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 8:27am

    blah blah blah. oh yea, first

     

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    The infamous Joe, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 8:32am

    Poker player.

    Cotton is spearheading the new effort, christened the “Campaign to Protect America,” as chairman of the newly formed Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy.

    Protect us from what? The free market?

     

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    Chris, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 8:49am

    So, IP is more important than PP (Physical Propert

    "Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned. If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year."

    So, my computer and HDTV are less important than something that you can't physically hold?! When did that happen?
    I don't know about you, but I would rather have law enforcement working on finding the stuff that was stolen from my house than going after something that costs very little to make, and is abundant online for cheap/free.

    Somehow I get the feeling that the RIAA/MPAA wants more SWAT stings at the homes of copyright violators. I for one, want my SWAT team to stay ready in-case some crazy person holds someone hostage...

     

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      Vincent Clement (profile), Jun 17th, 2007 @ 7:15am

      Re: So, IP is more important than PP (Physical Pro

      Cotton is saying is that people's personal safety is less important than protecting a few corporations. The MPAA and RIAA could care less about the ordinary citizen, so long as their bottom line continues to grow.

       

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    bshock, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 8:53am

    Time to join the Pirate Party.

     

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    mc, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:05am

    man,this people are so full of shit...

    16 billion year? how about all those billions you make ina year from big hit movies and dvd sales? oh no, they forget to mention that doesn't fit there mission.. mpaa and riaa could suck my dick..

     

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    The infamous Joe, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:20am

    IP PP. heehehee.

    Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned. If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year.

    That's just it, the **AA says when someone downloads a song that is a lost sale.. when they copy it-- oops, another lost sale, again and again. If a HDTV is stolen Sony doesn't give a shit because someone bought it already-- they got their money. Not to mention, if someone steals the TV from the thief, no one would even pretend to say "Oops, another lost sale!"

    Their numbers are full of misleading data-- if they really wanted to back up their claims, they'd have an outside organization do the research.

    If I download something, find out I don't like it and delete it-- is *that* a lost sale? If so, why should I have to pay to find out if I like it? If it's not a lost sale, then what if I download it, find out I don't like it, but don't delete it.. is it still a lost sale because I let it sit unused on my hard drive?

     

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      Chris, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:54am

      Re: IP PP. heehehee.

      No, your supposed to listen to the 30 second preview on itunes, then you figure out if you like it. If that 30 sec preview only has filler music and isn't the good part of the song, thats your problem.*

      *Please not the sarcasm

       

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    Nick, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:21am

    How exactly do they intend to stop me from buying dirt cheap MP3's from places in the world where it is legal? (And there are MANY more sites than the dozens in Russia).

    It must have got to the point where the economics is driving money and business to those who don't sign up to US style copyright enforcement, and every time they broaden the gap, they make it more profitable for the guys they want out of business.

    These guys really don't understand that if your product is digital there is one global market, and you can't enforce strongly differentiated regional pricing.

    I've noticed a trend also for people to just buy big cheap usb hard drives and dump pretty much their entire media collections for swapping with friends - how will they detect that?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      How exactly do they intend to stop me from buying dirt cheap MP3's from places in the world where it is legal? (And there are MANY more sites than the dozens in Russia).
      Just remember that when push comes to shove the US does have the worlds most powerful military.

       

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        Chris, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        Right, I definitely see the US declaring war or taking military action on a foreign country because their copyright laws and IP laws are different from ours!

        I can tell you that everyone I know in the military (and I know a few) would not stand for that. People in the military do have morals...

         

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        Vincent Clement (profile), Jun 17th, 2007 @ 6:23am

        Re: Re:

        And the world's most powerful military is doing a wonderful job in Iraq. The Soviet Union had a powerful military and had it's ass kicked in Afghanistan.

         

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          Chris, Jun 18th, 2007 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: Re:


          I'm not sure how to take that.
          The US does have to most powerful military on Earth, however our government is what controls it. A strong military doesn't mean success.

          The problem with the military in Iraq is we have idiots who want to pull them out before their job is done. Let our boys and girls do what they were trained to do.

          War isn't a pretty thing! Some of our finest people will die, some civilians will die, but all the enemy will die.

           

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    Overcast, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:31am

    Protect profits in an old outdated business model is more like it.

    Just another tactic in the RIAA/MPAA 'War on the Consumer'

    I agree with Nick too - the corporate d1ck heads touted this 'global economy' and pushed and shoved for it. Now they got it....

    They should have listened to the proverb: "Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it".

    The 'Global Market' to them - was just a place with more consumers to shaft - now the competition is more than they can handle. So 'mommy' government has to bail their sorry asses out - and they will, since politicians don't want to loose their kickbacks or watch their stock portfolios plummet in value.

     

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    Constance Reader, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:34am

    CONTENTED PIRATE

    What always strikes me is the MPAA/RIAA arrogance in assuming that a downloaded/pirated copy = a lost sale. That's wrong on several levels, not least of which is the fact that so many of us download because we can't afford to purchase.

    I think the single greatest stroke of iTunes' genius is that it allows people to buy singles again, instead of entire albums, and without the need to find yet more space for yet another jewel case you'll never look at again and will break in pretty short order.

     

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    Overcast, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:34am

    If I download something, find out I don't like it and delete it-- is *that* a lost sale?

    Yes... the old business model would have generated a fair number of instances just like that.

    ANYONE who's bought Albums, 8 Tracks, cassettes, or CD's over the years has NO DOUBT bought at least one they wish they wouldn't have bought. I know that's happened to me on more than one occasion.

    But no more - I know there's a better avenue for the consumer to buy music through - if the **AA's want to use the old dirt roads, that's fine - but to hell with them. There's more to life than Overpriced Music and Watching the Tube all day.

     

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    anonymous coward, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:38am

    anyone who says theft, fraud, burglary, etc... is less of a drain on our society than copyright violations should have his house burglarized, his identity stolen, and be mugged at gun point every time he steps foot in public.

     

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      Chris, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:01pm

      Re:

      I agree completely. I for one would rather have my cities law enforcement officers working on keeping me safe, rather than keeping the **AA's (supposedly dangered) wallet safe.

       

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    anonymous coward, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    and have his personal stock portfolio converted to Enron stock certificates

     

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    Do your homework, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 9:54am

    Do a little research...

    before blindly citing another article.

    The CACP is an organization underneath the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It has been in exsistence for a couple of years.

     

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      Mike (profile), Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:06am

      Re: Do a little research...

      The CACP is an organization underneath the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It has been in exsistence for a couple of years.

      The article clearly states: "the newly formed Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy."

       

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    DeTOX, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 10:14am

    Too Much

    But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year.

    Just goes to show that they charge too much for stuff.

     

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      Chris, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:02pm

      Re: Too Much

      ROFLOL!!!

      I fail to see how you lose money on something that costs no money to make (By saying that I mean that they have the file, all the have to do is have people download it, no CD's, nothing like that. I know it costs money to record and such)

       

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    rEdEyEz, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    "Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned. If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year."

    Property crimes, what about trespassing?

    I'd bet 12 million illegal aliens are responsible for a significant portion of the "theft" of the "lost billions?" no?

    ...100% are already law-breakers...

    Maybe the RIAA/MPAA can lobby the gov't to levy an IP tax on "Enrico Suave" for his "future" boom box/dvd player...

    friggin' insanity

     

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      Enrico Suarve, Jun 18th, 2007 @ 5:35am

      Re:

      I have a "future boom box"?

      I don't remember that one, although if I have come up with something work leveling an IP tax on remind me and we'll go halfies ;0)

       

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    Sanguine Dream, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 10:59am

    Yeah right...

    And the MLB is suffering hundreds of millions in losses every year from fantasy leagues and "unauthorized" broadcasts of their games. The MLB cries about unauthorized usage of their content but can pay a player tens of millions a year.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:30am

    I like pie

     

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    MadJo (profile), Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:31am

    Losing money paying lobbyists?

    If they are losing that much money through counterfeiting and copyright infringement, where do they get the money from to pay these lobbyists?

    Sadly, politicians seem really gullible, that they fall this crap. (oh and take money from those lobbyists)

     

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    They've almost got it right, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:33am

    Lets see we've got the CA, RIAA, MPAA,CACP
          CA
         RIAA
      M PAA
    CACP

     

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    Bryan, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:36am

    Conflation

    The key to this quote is the conflation of the MPAA and RIAA losses with losses from other types of counterfeiting, including counterfeit pharmaceuticals, etc. It's not necessarily incorrect, but it's definitely a broader definition of "intellectual property" into other areas than just what we think about when we talk about copyright.

    The CACP was actually formed in 2005, as shown by this press release on the US Chamber web site:
    http://www.uschamber.com/press/releases/2007/january/07-11.htm

    But the initiative appears to be new. I won't hazard a guess as to how the writer got the information about the CACP wrong.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 11:52am

    Well...


    "Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned. If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year."


    Considering that that $16 billion can actually be accounted for and proven vs. the "hundreds of billions" that the entertainment industry seems to not be able to prove...


    I put those entertainment industry execs in the same category as atheletes that say they need to be paid more. And the would be the "Shut the Frack Up!" category. Those industry guys already make millions a year for no real work and then have the nerve to clame hundreds of billions more. It would be one thing if they oh I don't know...acutally proved the numbers they whine about. But no they keep their data collection processes a tightly guarded and won't let any outsiders verify their numbers and then go crying to the politicians to make the customers pay even more money for less useful and frankly crappier media.

     

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      Chris, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:05pm

      Re: Well...

      Those industry guys already make millions a year for no real work and then have the nerve to clame hundreds of billions more

      I don't know whether to feel sick, or get in on the game...

       

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    TiredofLame, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:38pm

    Let Me Get This Straight

    It seems that the consensus here is that:
    1. If you don't agree with the law you should just break it
    2. If you don't like someone or a company then you can do what you what with their property

    Think carefully about if those are the rules you would want enforced against you if someone doesn't like you.

     

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      Mike (profile), Jun 15th, 2007 @ 1:04pm

      Re: Let Me Get This Straight

      TiredofLame,

      It's getting more tiresome responding to you insisting we're saying stuff we're not, and ignoring it each time we point out that what you think we're saying is not what we're saying.

      1. If you don't agree with the law you should just break it

      I've never said that. Not once. In fact I've said exactly the opposite. Please do not make up things that I have not said.

      2. If you don't like someone or a company then you can do what you what with their property

      Again, I have never said that. Not once. In fact I've said exactly the opposite. Please do not make up things that I have not said.

      Think carefully about if those are the rules you would want enforced against you if someone doesn't like you.

      Actually, why don't you think carefully about what we're actually saying, and respond to the actual points before acting like you know what we've said.

       

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      Sanguine Dream, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Let Me Get This Straight

      1. No. If we don't agree with the law we try to open up discussion and find a way to resolve our greivances in s way that ALL parties are satisfied to some degree instead of having a strict divide between the haves and have nots.

      2. No. If we don't like someone or a company we try to find a way to let that someone or that company know that we are displeased with them and try to resolve the conflict. Which exactly what a lot of the people her try to do.

      Think carefully about those reasons if you still think that consensus here is to justify doing what we want with anyone's property. Yeah lots of people (including myself) think there is a middle ground between the content owners and the consumers. And with the way things are now the content owners trying to lump legit customers in with the freeloading criminals and I for one don't like it.

       

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      Chris, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 3:29pm

      Re: Let Me Get This Straight

      So I see, by saying that we don't agree with the law, or that we think the law should be changed, or by saying that a company fails to see how the market has changed, etc... we are saying that we should just break the law. That's interesting because I haven't heard one person say anything like that. But since "TiredofLame" said it it has to be true!

      Sir/Ma'am, please use at least an eighth of the brain that God gave you to comprehend what we are saying and writing. We don't think it's right to break the law, but we don't think the laws are right. We have never said anything along the line of "If you don't agree with the law you should just break it", my personal thinking is if you don't agree with the law change it.

      Also, on your second point "If you don't like someone or a company then you can do what you what with their property". This is also not true. I may not like Microsoft, but I still buy their product and license it legally (even when I know of flaws in their licensing verification program) because it is "their property".

      Perhaps we got off on the wrong foot though. I doubt that you use less than an eighth of your brain. So, how about you actually read through what we say before you open you mouth (or in this case, use your hands to type) and say something.

       

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      Vincent Clement (profile), Jun 17th, 2007 @ 6:49am

      Re: Let Me Get This Straight

      So are you saying that the US colonies should have just kept on paying taxes with representation? Do you believe that Rosa Parks should have just moved to the back of the bus? After all, those were the laws of the land at that time. Sometimes, laws have to be broken to show the politicians how stupid they are.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 10:31pm

    prove it

    "hundreds of billions"

    ?

    I want to see them prove that statement

     

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      Vincent Clement (profile), Jun 17th, 2007 @ 7:11am

      Re: prove it

      They can't. Copyright infringement costs the members of the MPAA and RIAA nothing. There is no "Losses due to copyright infringement" line on the balance sheet.

      Wait, let me correct my position: copyright infringement does cost the companies - money spent on useless copy-protection schemes, money spent on useless lawsuits on music sharers, money spent on PR campaigns, and so on.

      Some companies and artists get it. I recently bought the new Rush CD 'Far Cry' for $11.99 Canadian. No copy protection. CD plays in my car and computer. The week the album came out, it was the second most purchased CD on Amazon. So much for the while "we need to copy protect CDs/DVDs to sell them" argument. The MPAA and RIAA are idiots. Plain and simple.

       

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        Chris, Jun 18th, 2007 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re: prove it

        They can't. Copyright infringement costs the members of the MPAA and RIAA nothing. There is no "Losses due to copyright infringement" line on the balance sheet.

        Wait, let me correct my position: copyright infringement does cost the companies - money spent on useless copy-protection schemes, money spent on useless lawsuits on music sharers, money spent on PR campaigns, and so on.

        Well, the *AA's are counting any download of a song/movie as lost profit. So in essence they are syaing that since you downloaded White and Nerdy off Limewire, Weird Al isn't going to get paid for that.

        However, the flaw is they have no way of knowing if you went out and bought the CD after listening to the downloaded song. So while it really wasn't lost profit (they actually made money because they didn't pay a thing to put the song on limewire, but it made you buy the CD) but it is still counted as lost profit.

         

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    Vincent Clement (profile), Jun 17th, 2007 @ 7:04am

    Are the RIAA and MPAA seriously discounting the impact of "theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it"? Perhaps Mr. Cotton should ask people who have been robbed at gunpoint, defrauded or subjected to a home invasion what they think of his proposal to shift law enforcement services from protecting people to protecting a few corporations?

    The RIAA and MPAA have hit rock bottom - instead of focusing on improving the experience they want to shift scarce law enforcement resources to protect their bottom line. Absolutely sad.

     

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