Because There Aren't Enough Anti-Piracy Lobbying Groups...

from the we've-got-another-one! dept

There are already a ton of lobbying/industry groups out there that push "anti-piracy" campaigns. You've got the RIAA, MPAA, BSA and ESA, each covering different industry segments. Then, of course, a year ago, a bunch of entertainment industry companies got together and put together the ridiculous Copyright Alliance, whose main mission in life seems to be to spew utterly false propaganda in favor of stronger copyrights at every turn. But, apparently, that just wasn't enough. So, word came out this week of a new anti-piracy lobbying "supergroup" with the innocuous sounding name "Arts+Labs." The big difference here? Well, the entertainment companies convinced a few tech companies to join up as well: AT&T, Microsoft and Cisco. AT&T, of course, has been drifting towards filtering its network -- and Cisco wants to sell filtering equipment. Microsoft, of course, has always been vocally against "piracy" even while quietly admitting how much piracy benefits the company.

This new group will be headed by Mike McCurry -- who you may remember as the former head of the anti-net neutrality group "Hands Off the Internet" who had a slight problem in that he couldn't stop lying, and simply ignored it when people called him on it. My favorite, of course, was his claim that Google didn't pay a dime for its bandwidth, and net neutrality was all about making others pay for Google's bandwidth usage. I challenged McCurry to swap his home broadband bill with Google's (which, according to McCurry was "not a dime") to which, Hands Off responded with deafening silence -- though, the group had no problem then lying about our positions on things when it suited the group (and, again, not responding when I asked them to correct their false statements about us).

So, expect a string of similar tactics from this group.

To begin with, the group appears to be positioning "piracy" as something similar to "viruses" or "spam," suggesting an equivalency that should lead to widespread use of filtering equipment. Of course, they seem to be missing the fact that piracy isn't about others with nefarious intent trying to harm or scam you -- but about people getting content that they want. But in Mike McCurry's "up is down, down is up" world, piracy is apparently something that consumers themselves need to be protected from:
"We want consumers to have exponentially greater opportunities to access creative content in a variety of formats, and with confidence that they are safe from viruses, hackers, malware, illegal file trafficking and other net pollution that puts them at risk."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    I think you just blew my mind!

     

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

  2.  
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    some old guy, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    obviously

    obviously, we need a pro-piracy group then. It's been working for other countries, right?

     

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  3.  
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    shmengie, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 1:39pm

    just read this on wired.com. artandlabs, suck my hairy balls.

     

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  4.  
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    Evil Mike, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 1:48pm

    Re: obviously

    I've been kinda under the impression that Pirate Bay was the pro-piracy group...

    Do you mean we need more than just them?

     

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  5.  
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    jonnyq, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: obviously

    By "we", he meant the US. And yes, we do. But we would have to dumb the subject down enough for non-tech people to get it and see why it's important to them as well, and we also need to do a better job at PR in general then TPB

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: obviously

    unfortunately they aren't U.S. based. however, they do have many advocates and supporters here.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 2:43pm

    I don't know TPB seems pretty adept at the whole marketing thing, at least when it comes to marketing themselves. As for the whole piracy thing, the antis need a big dose of reality, if they would create things we like without treating the consumer like a criminal, there would be significantly less piracy. In today's world, piracy is about getting what you want in the format you want it (without DRM). I have been against most forms of EULAs and DRM since they came out. I'm not going to go out and give away 50 million copies of movies, software, or music, but I might want to share with a few family members or friends. It would seem that the anti pirates have forgotten that the absolute best marketing is word of mouth. If I like it, show it off by letting friends make a copy or two, then the chances are extremely good that more copies will get sold. I have tried out numerous pirate copies of software and music, if I liked it, I bought it. Yes, I know there will always be those who want something for nothing, but if they weren't going to buy it to begin with, it simply isn't a lost sale, but they might tell someone else about it who will buy it.

     

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  8.  
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    Yakko Warner, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    He has a point.

    Because piracy is illegal, in order to find all the good pirated software, you have to go to the seedier places on the internet, which are loaded with porn ads and viruses.

    Obviously, the solution is to make warez, crackz, and keygenz legal. ;)

     

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  9.  
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    LostSailor, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 3:04pm

    Piracy is about...

    Of course, they seem to be missing the fact that piracy isn't about others with nefarious intent trying to harm or scam you -- but about people getting content that they want.

    "...people getting content that they want...without paying for it."

    There. Just wanted to fix your sentence for you.

     

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  10.  
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    koresho, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 3:05pm

    Re: He has a point.

    Actually, you don't need to go anywhere seedy or riddled with "porn, ads, and viruses" to get pirated material. isohunt.com, and thepiratebay.org are two good examples- there are plenty more out there still.

     

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  11.  
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    teknosapien, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 3:12pm

    Filtering

    isn't this just the same crap as before with a different twist. I mean if I get my Free MP3's and Linux/BSD Distro's from the net does this mean that they could potentially block me for doing so ? if this is the case then why wouldn't MS join the group. what a way to bury your competition

     

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  12.  
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    skyrider (profile), Sep 25th, 2008 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Piracy is about...

    "...people getting content that they want, when they want, and the way that they want it."

    Didn't you mean that?

    If CBS would put their most recent episode of say...CSI:Miami online in a non-DRM'ed HD format (See .mkv) for two dollars- I'd buy it in a minute. Hell, if they made it a torrent, I'd seed it for them too. (Not on Comcrap)

    What happens if five million people buy it? (If a season of Enterprise cost $38 million to make, then CSI must be lower.) And they run 24 episodes and make $10 million each.....

    I would probably buy every Crime-Time CBS show every week. (Including but not limited to: CSI, CSI:NY, CSI: Miami, NCIS and Numbers.)

    I know there are a lot of me out there - willing to pay $$ for content but want it DRM-free. No DRM makes for infinite storage or conversion, and No Windows.

    Somebody step up, I'm tired of using my Tivo.

     

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  13.  
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    Sam, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 8:30pm

    Car pooling is going to be illegal too

    I heard a rumor that executives at GM (under the pressure of decreased sales) are considering filing law suits against people who share their cars illegaly.

    I think that their argument is as valid as the music industry, after all, every person who rides to work with another person can be viewed as a lost sale.

     

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  14.  
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    Rekrul, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    "We want consumers to have exponentially greater opportunities to access creative content in a variety of formats, and with confidence that they are safe from viruses, hackers, malware, illegal file trafficking and other net pollution that puts them at risk."

    Only stupid people get viruses from pirated movies and music. Since they're DATA formats, they can't carry viruses.

     

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  15.  
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    LostSailor, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Piracy is about...

    "...people getting content that they want, when they want, and the way that they want it."

    Didn't you mean that?


    No, but I'd accept it as "...people getting content that they want, when they want it, and the way they want it, and if they can't get exactly what they want, they'll take it anyway without paying."

    The CSI: Miami and NCIS are available for free in HD on the CBS site, but they are streamed instead of downloadable, and there's an ad. I take it that this doesn't meet the requirements.

    If your requirements aren't met, does that make pirating copies without authorization okay?

     

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  16.  
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    lb, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 9:36am

    Re:

    Data formats certainly can carry viruses. A properly constructed data file that exploits coding errors in the application that reads the data can end up carrying executable payload.

     

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


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