MPAA Tells The FCC: If We Don't Stop Piracy, The Internet Will Die

from the moral-panic dept

Never let it be said that the folks in Hollywood aren't good at coming up with a totally fictional horror story. I just have a problem when they use it not to entertain, but to create a moral panic to push the government to pass laws in their favor. In discussing the recent 60 Minutes piece that was really nothing more than an MPAA scare tactic, some suggested that it was really just a first step in the process of getting the government to make sure net neutrality rules had a special Hollywood exception. So, it's interesting to note that just before that 60 Minutes episode aired (and just before Halloween), the MPAA sent a "scary" filing to the FCC warning it how the US would always be a broadband laggard if it didn't stomp out piracy. The full filing (warning:pdf) claims, repeatedly, that piracy is sucking up all our bandwidth and getting rid of that would somehow make it cheaper to install faster internet connections.
The Commission has projected that it could cost $350 billion to ubiquitously deploy broadband networks capable of delivering 100 Mbps, which is rapidly becoming the international standard. The Commission, however, should not ignore that illegal content accounts for a vast amount of online traffic. Thus, it could generate substantial savings in this tremendous build-out cost -- to be borne by both government and private sector investment -- by encouraging construction of networks that are designed not on the basis of accommodating capacity-hogging transmissions of unlawful content but rather with the goal of providing consumers a rich broadband experience.
And, of course, it pushes for kicking file sharers off the internet (it hides this by calling it "graduated response," of course, rather than the more common term "three strikes"). The filing also goes on about how the MPAA is just so sure that ISPs can stamp out piracy, and because of that, it thinks the government should force them to get on it.

The MPAA wastes little time mocking those who disagree with its position, and suggesting that the FCC "pay no heed" to consumer concerns:
[The] Commission should pay no heed to assertions by some members of the advocacy community that the problem of content theft can be ignored because some amount of legitimate e-commerce already occurs through vendors such as iTunes.... The same holds true for the preposterous notion that the law should be ignored unless a property owner can demonstrate that a thief, in the absence of stealing, otherwise would have legitimately purchased a stolen product. A shoplifter who steals a DVD from a store in a mall is not immune from security intervention, let alone prosecution, simply because he might not have planned to buy the product that he attempted to steal.
Except, of course, there's a huge difference there. If someone steals a DVD it's no longer there for someone else to buy. If someone who never would have purchased the movie views it online there's no loss. it's difficult to see how the MPAA can simply ignore this while assuming that FCC commissioners are too stupid to grasp this rather simple economic concept.

But where the filing really comes into its own in being laughably funny is where it tries to claim that if the FCC doesn't do this, the internet will effectively die. How does it get there? Well, first, it claims that the reason people use the internet is to view content from Hollywood. And, if file sharing keeps up, there won't be any of that content left, and then why would anyone use the internet? Think that's an exaggeration? How else do you interpret this:
Quite clearly, it is the promise of access to the content flowing over the Internet's network architecture that motivates Americans to adopt broadband. The Internet without content would be nothing more than a collection of hardware; a series of computer links and protocols with great capacity to communicate but nothing to say. Television once was unfairly derided as little more than a toaster with pictures. In the absence of compelling content, the Internet would offer consumers even less value than that proverbial toaster. It is the content that flows over and through the Internet that makes the breakthrough technology so potentially powerful.
Yes, because even though the internet existed for decades before the folks at the movie studios had even heard of it, they had nothing to say, at all, until people could start sharing the latest camcorded blockbuster. Do they really think people are this stupid? Sorry, Hollywood, but it's not "the content" that you're thinking about that makes the internet so powerful. It's the ability to communicate. Sure, the content is a nice-to-have, but the internet grew and grew because it let people talk to each other, not because it was another broadcast medium. This fantasy story by the MPAA also leaves out the fact that more content than ever before is being produced today, even as "piracy" numbers have gone up. And, oh yes, once again, the movie business is hitting record highs at the box office. Funny that the MPAA seems to spend so much time insisting that its industry is dying, while leaving out the record revenue bit. Instead, it just keeps jumping out and yelling that piracy will kill the movie business...

And then it gets into rewriting history, by insisting that every new technology is only successful if the big media companies support it:
Throughout history, whenever transformative communications technologies have captured the imagination of consumers, compelling content has been the vehicle for forward progress.
Apparently, the MPAA is unfamiliar with the telephone. Hopefully, the FCC is a bit more familiar with that particular technology.

The filing goes on and on like this, designed to "scare" the folks at the FCC with a bit of a moral panic, but only inducing laughter (good show, Hollywood) from anyone with any actual understanding of technology, history and copyright. Another favorite tidbit is the MPAA's demand that the FCC not pay attention to how incredibly screwed up every single attempt at using technological measures to stop piracy has been in the past:
MPAA does not want the Commission's consideration of the important overarching issue of unlawful online conduct to be derailed by backward-looking debates about the pros and cons of any given technology, particularly those that already have been surpassed by new innovations. MPAA firmly believes that future developments will yield an entirely new generation of ever-more-sophisticated online protection technologies.
In other words, please ignore how badly we've screwed up in the past. Don't worry about things like rootkits and security vulnerabilities we've created. Also, ignore the fact that DRM doesn't work and only punishes our legitimate customers while driving more people to piracy. That would be a waste of time. Really.

And finally, I leave you with the most stunning statement of all, along those lines. One that I'm amazed the MPAA lawyers let go through in this filing, because it absolutely has to come back to haunt the MPAA in the future. In responding to concerns from lots of different people, including consumer advocates and consumer electronics firms that the various technological protection measures the MPAA wants to force on ISPs will harm, the MPAA states:
That a tool intended to stop unlawful conduct could be put to ill use, however, is not an argument for prohibiting the use of the tool....
Wait... isn't that exactly the argument that the MPAA has used for years against every new file sharing technology out there? Wasn't it the crux of the Grokster lawsuits? That because the tool could be put to ill use, it needed to be prohibited? Yet, now, suddenly it doesn't want its own technologies prohibited just because they can be put to "ill use." Double standard, much?

This is nothing but a typical moral panic from Hollywood. They are storytellers out there, and they know how to craft a horror story. Hopefully, though, the FCC reviewers of this particular fantasy will give it the thumbs down for simply being totally unbelievable.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Except the U.S. is more strict about intellectual property than other nations and more downloading doesn't seem to do much to harm other nations. The MPAA is a bunch of liars, plain and simple.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:29am

    I'm Game

    Let's not stop piracy and wait to see if the internet dies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward 2 (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Well, according to their earlier stats about the internet and piracy, stopping piracy would also cause the internet to die via removal of massive amounts of content.

     

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    N3XUZ, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    >>The MPAA is a bunch of liars, plain and simple.

    Cheers!
    I personally would have worded it more along the lines of "The MPAA is a bunch of delusional fucks with less brains than even the stupidest star in Hollywood," but the same overlying concept and emotion stands.

     

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    scarr (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:44am

    HD DVD?

    Not only did they forget about the telephone, but they must've forgotten about HD DVD too. Or is the MPAA saying the studios that supported it didn't have "compelling content" to drive that technology? It isn't the content that succeeds or fails, it's the technology.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Remix

    The world tells the FCC: If we don't stop the **AA, the internet will die.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Networks are People, People are Networks, The Internet won't die.

    Internally, the MPAA may be setup as an old-school "hierarchical tree" or "hub and spoke" fashion. Hierarchal trees are not old, in fact, their existence can be seen from the sky- satellite imagery of European Cities. It's very similar how in Old Europe, where cities were planned and built around the Church.

    The internet uses something of a mesh topology, and can be seen on Satellites too. American cities weren't planned around the Church, but rather around commercial activity, and legislative bodies, with multiple roads and avenues connecting them.

    Application of this concept.
    This is why people can still see pictures of serious dogs, and videos of cats playing keyboards if a bundle of fiber somewhere in the world breaks. It's like a road closure. With mesh, a node can be broken, but connections can be re-routed or re-established.

    This is a relatively simple networking concept that I imagine the MPAA has a tough time understanding. If "The internet will die" means they'll stop supporting internet efforts, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

    An industry, MPAA-backed removal of all copyrighted materials would certainly help, because internet-based consumption of media doesn't seem to be slowing anytime soon, and some enterprising folks somewhere will have to fill the gap. It'd be a few years out, but someone's going to start a crowdsoured, CreativeCommons-based movie studio.

    In this hyperbole, an industry solution would be similar to roadwork at the entry into the industry's cul-de-sac. If that's what they are talking about, well, alrighty then.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_topology

     

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  8.  
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    Overcast (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:58am

    Well if the internet dies, then electronic piracy will too, right? So it's a problem that will take care of itself, MPAA - don't worry about it.

     

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  9.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    it gets better mike

    check this out.

    ACTA leaked, and it's not pretty.

    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/11/03/1943237

    basically, global DMCA. This is why they're suddenly noisy to the FCC again.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    "Hopefully, though, the FCC reviewers of this particular fantasy will give it the thumbs down for simply being totally unbelievable."

    You completely overlook the fact that the FCC et al pay attention to whoever bribes them and that its' not beyond the MPAA to bribe them.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: it gets better mike

    What do you expect, it's government for the corporations by the corporations.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    "Apparently, the MPAA is unfamiliar with the telephone. Hopefully, the FCC is a bit more familiar with that particular technology."

    We all know that before American Idol allowed people to use the phone to vote their favorite singers from home, it was little more than an useless curiosity.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    'Round we go

    Let me see if I have this straight...

    "it could generate substantial savings in this tremendous build-out cost -- to be borne by both government and private sector investment -- by encouraging construction of networks that are designed not on the basis of accommodating capacity-hogging transmissions of unlawful content"

    So if we eliminate piracy, we'll have all the bandwidth we need without spending a lot of money.

    "but rather with the goal of providing consumers a rich broadband experience."

    But, isn't rich broadband experience going to hog all the bandwidth? Won't we have to spend a ton of money to build out the network?

    Maybe not a circular argument, but perhaps a mobius strip...

     

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  14.  
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    Dan, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Steal music and movies to keep the internet alive!!!

    I'm sorry but I need to get this off my chest ;P

    This article goes to show how desperate the MPAA are these days. Now they resort to blatantly lying to us - downloading movies will kill the internet. Bahhumbug!

    I want everyone of you to "illegally" download something worth watching tonight. Then burn it to DVD and share it with somebody you love. Because they lied to you.

    Scientifically speaking it would be pretty much impossible to kill the internet. It is here for ever:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227062.700-unknown-internet-7-could-we-shut-the-net-d own.html

    Who going to believe. Corporate snouts or scientific super stars :D

     

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  15.  
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    Ryan, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: it gets better mike

    Correction: it's government of the buyable politicians, by the ignorant public, for the highest bidders. Corporations certainly have no monopoly on political favors, and as it happens the current political environment for businesses is pretty hostile--why do you think private investment has nosedived, or that corporate/payroll/capital gains taxes continue to drag the economy down unabated?

    Here is an excellent reason why we don't want more government regulation/interference--regulatory capture.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Re: it gets better mike

    That is scary

     

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    michael, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Ummm....I work in Hollywood AND I use the internet

    So, I guess that makes me an expert in both fields (at least as much as the MPAA sounds like it has a grasp of the two).
    First of all - movies and the internet are not related, tied, nor connected in any way. Other than the same way every industry uses the internet - as a means to make money and advertise.
    Piracy is a huge problem. But, the internet will actually thrive as broadband becomes more readily accessible and yes movies and music will continue to be pirated, and downloaded. But, it's up the the film industry not government to stay on top of their ability to adjust with the changing times or die like the music industry learned all too late.
    Bottom line, close your release windows (releasing earlier on DVD after it's in a theater) and be ready to accept new modes of distribution even if you don't like them.
    People will always go to the movies in theaters because it's an experience. But, people will always find easy ways to pirate films as well. You can never stop it only stay one step ahead of them.

    It's the industries responsibility to combat piracy and protect themselves.

     

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  18.  
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    Allen, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:48pm

    Scary and Sad

    How can big business time and time again live in such a short sited mode of operation. The MPAA wants to limit bandwidth today which will only hurt their business model in the future when they figure out they need to monetize content over the internet not fight it. If they limit the growth of technology now it will only stymie the growth of their industry in the future. would they love a world where they can directly charge the $3 to $7 dollars per movie directly to the consumer and cut out all of the businesses that now leach of off their creative content.
    It never ceases to amaze me that they make all the money and rally against any and all innovation.

     

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  19.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: it gets better mike

    regulation's end result is not necessarily regulatory capture, so I disagree. In fact, I disagree strongly in your concept, mostly because government saying "we want you (businesses) to be hands off about something" is also a government regulation, and a good one (no arbitrary prioritizing of traffic by ISP's for example).

    Not all regulations are restrictions are there to be abused. If all you do is shout about how government regulation needs to be lessened or increased, you're stifling potential useful debate and also doing what we call the "traditional republican strawman" and/or basically asking for your opinion to be made irrelevant.

     

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  20.  
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    Nethos (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Motivations...

    Here's my piece on the use of DRM:

    I'd be considered a pirate. This is not, however, because I hate paying for anything and don't care about the content producers. I will gladly pay for content, and I enjoy supporting bands or other content producers I support. The only reason I pirate is because when I weigh the options pirated content is a better option for me. With pirated content, even when you consider the fact that the quality is usually not as good, or that I could get into legal trouble, or any of the other drawbacks, it still holds more value to me than the "legal" content options simply because it is easier to use. I know that it will play on whatever I have due to the absence of restrictive DRM, I (usually) don't have to worry about it sneakily installing all kinds of software on my computer, and so on.

    So basically, while there are a good number of people who pirate content simply because they don't want to pay for it, there are a lot of people like me who like to support the artists and don't mind paying for the content, but instead pirate it because the legally produced content is a lot more trouble than it is worth. DRM and other tactics to try and stop piracy by restricting the consumers actually do the opposite, they drive the people who would gladly pay for the content to instead pirate it.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    They are right :)

    You know without that Hulu app for my iPhone this thing is pretty much useless. I am pretty sure the other web-abled smartphones (pre, andriod, wince) aren't worth anything either since there is no hulu app for them too. I mean without that content why would I or anyone need an internet connected device... ;)

    PS. needed one to comment here but that is that worthless too ;) ;)

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: it gets better mike

    what?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    and for the MPAA to ever use the morality card is an insult to morality. It's like the sky calling the grass blue.

     

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  24.  
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    Ryan, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: it gets better mike

    So you're saying that because not every single regulation is a bad one made at the behest of an interested party, you disagree strongly that there is any problem with regulations in general and that by suggesting that I am stifling debate, making a strawman, and asking for my opinion to be made irrelevant...?

    Okay then, nice talk. Don't forget to take your Haldol medication at regular intervals.

     

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    chris (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Steal music and movies to keep the internet alive!!!

    I want everyone of you to "illegally" download something worth watching tonight. Then burn it to DVD and share it with somebody you love. Because they lied to you.

    your problem is that you think too small.

    download 4.7 gigs of torrentpacks (a collection of related torrents), decompress them, and burn 10 DVDs. give 5 to your friends, and leave 5 in random public places.

    you could also swap usb hard drives with your friends. i smile and evil smile every time i hand over my disney collection for a friend to copy.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    What can we do?

    Barring mass piracy and the FCC being able and willing to recognize smoke being blown up their @$$3$, what can WE do to get the proper word to law-makers, the FCC, the tech-Muggles that don't know what's happening and the media?

    With the MPAA hired guns inundating Congress and the main media with their double-speak how can we fight back?

    Posting here doesn't get the word to those who need it.

     

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  27.  
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    Lonzo5 (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Unchanging Behemoths in a Changing World

    Let the AP, the MPAA and the RIAA pull every byte of their content from the net. Please. I'll readily admit to being entertained, informed and inspired by many of the products (some wonderful, some insulting and contrived) they have to offer. However, they seem to be missing the point entirely: If you are unable to -use- the internet, then you don't -belong- on the internet. Piracy/infringement doesn't seem to have really, truly cost any of these entities much of anything, with the exception of the AP, which needs to stop killing trees and unleash the ol' thinktank on an effective ad-supported model (you can't 'steal' the news, and aside from the physically printed words on paper, it has always been free). I understand that people need to get paid. What I don't understand is why people feel entitled to payment. I personally don't download anything illegally; I don't wish to be threatened with legal action (violence) over something I never intended to buy. Call me a child of the '80s, but I actually enjoy having tangible artifacts to represent the content that -I- (not its creators or their hired thugs) own. I don't think everything on the internet should be free, but I don't think it should be a crime for people to share content that they've enjoyed with people who otherwise might not have heard of it at all. I really think we're at a crossroads here: will people finally wise up and realize they don't need Hollywood, the recording industry or the mainstream media at all and begin creating their own venues for expression and communication-- perhaps abandon the unholy trinity altogether? Or will the war on piracy mirror the one against drugs (i.e. a war on freedom) and become some sort of farcical witchhunt with no realistic end in sight? My own prediction sickens me.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    without piracy, Rambo wouldnt have reached karen rebles in burma, and stalone knows this and supports this.

     

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  29.  
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    Mike, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    Really?

    I noticed a footnote on page 11 of the filing that piqued my interest. On page 11 the report was citing the "damage" that the economy was taking from Content Piracy. The lower part of the citations says
    " No one rationally could argue that widespread stealing is not occurring, nor
    could anyone reasonably claim that theft of this magnitude has little or no impact on the economic
    fortunes of the content industries and, thus, the American economy. The bottom line is, no matter
    what the actual losses measure up to in economic terms, a decrease in the amount of piracy necessarily
    would increase overall revenues, which in turn would increase incentives for investment in the content
    industries."

    So...... the MPAA admit's that the number the numbers given might be a tad out of whack ( ok... maybe a lot), but that shouldn't detract from the argument. Which cites those "possibly" bogus numbers. Sound like a lot of logical distortion to me.

     

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    Nicholas Overstreet (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:10pm

    hahaha

    I'll give the MPAA this... they're always good for a laugh.

     

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    Blatant Coward (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Hmmm...

    I'm going to reserve judgment on this until I see where Lily Allen weighs in on this issue. I am sure she will have totally new and well reasoned view on this.

     

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  32.  
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    Wolfy, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    That we have an ignorant, (and happy to stay that way, thank you,) public, is no accident. It's what politicians and Corporations have been working towards.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    The MPAA should just die, 'nuf said.

     

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    Bill, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    merely a formality

    Don't forget the FCC is just a branch of the same government that's been bought and paid for since Nixon. This filing doesn't have to make sense since it's akin to the son of your boss filling out an application for a job he's already gonna get. Yours. Merely a formality.

     

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    manoj (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:46pm

    if they really wanted to stop PIRACY, they would have been able do it by now. They are just playing a big boys game.
    technology has made this possible. Just ask the the MAN watching us at all times.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    This isn't about piracy, it's about finding ways to kill indie movie and to make it more expensive for indie movies to thrive. That's what the FCC has been doing for a long time in how they regulate the airwaves and infrastructure, killing indie movies and shows and news broadcasts and opinions/discussions, etc... and that's what they're working to do. Just look at the 60 minute fiasco, the mainstream media couldn't be happier to endorse the MPAA's lies without presenting other sides of the issue. Because the mainstream media wants to maintain their monopoly over information flow and this gives them a conflict of interest in the matter. They would do anything to stifle information flow over the Internet. The MPAA doesn't like file sharing because it gives indie movie makers an opportunity to be heard where as our current regulatory environment, thanks to our broken FCC and government, would otherwise deny them the means. So they want to deny them the means over the Internet just as well because they have no regards for morality and want everything completely their way and they hate competition.

     

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  37.  
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    Jeff Gordon, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    It's interesting that the MPAA feels threatened enough to need to resort to scare tactics like this. Before media content was available on the net, the human interaction that created the impetus for the network was still there... and would continue to be there long after the media was gone.

    Videos, music and other forms of entertainment are on the network because the media CREATORS (not necessarily the "owners") want it there. Removing it won't kill the infrastructure.

    What COULD create problems is that some of the media companies are the same as those that provide access to the net to millions of consumers (ie: Time Warner and other cable companies that are part of media conglomerates). If these organizations decided to cut off access, that would effectively "kill" part of the net for a little while.

    On the other hand, traditional telecommunications companies that don't have 50%+ interests in media companies would swoop in to fill the gap (AT&T, Verizon, etc). So from a purely business perspective, it wouldn't make sense for the TW's of the world to stop providing access.

    At the end of the day, there is going to have to be some sort of balance in the copyright world. What always strikes me as funny is that with every new transmission media, the content creators ALWAYS try to fight it first rather than figuring out how to benefit from the greater reach the new media creates.

    Seems silly to me. If they'd have invested even a fraction of the effort into figuring out how to create a more pervasive form of iTunes and Hulu a decade ago when all of this was really taking off, they'd be making money, people would be paying fractional-use amounts to consume and everyone would be happy.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re:

    But that wording would be incorrect. The MPAA isn't stupid, they're only pretending to be stupid. They know their actions are wrong, they know what they're saying is not true, but they deliberately tell the government and the public things they KNOW are not true. There is a word for that. It's a LIAR. They're liars, plain and simple. They're not ignorant, they're not stupid, they're LIARS.

    and they know our broken government will believe anything with enough bribes. The FCC is not elected and they face little to no accountability so what do they care?

     

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    Captain Obvious, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    Someone needs to take out MPAA headquarters. With weapons-grade explosives. Now.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:13pm

    i come here for the lolz

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    "If someone who never would have purchased the movie views it online there's no loss"
    This is false. The loss is to the author's copyright itself. Copyright, you see, is *supposed* to be an exclusive right to copy (with some limitations still applicable). Exclusive, by definition, means that nobody else is doing it, so if somebody else is copying a copyrighted work without permission then again, by the very definition of the word "exclusive", the copyright holder has lost something that he or she values. This is irrespective of any financial value that anyone may attach to copyright.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Re:

    You assume that society owes the author or anyone a monopoly on anything. Society does not.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Whether society owes the author anything is irrellevant to the issue of somebody taking something from the author that he or she deems to be of value.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    It is relevant because if someone takes something from the author (ie: the defiance of a monopoly) that society does not owe the author then there is nothing wrong with that.

    For instance, I may deem my neighbors car to be of value to me. But my neighbor does not owe me his/her car and and when s/he takes his/her car to work then I have no standing to yell that s/he did something wrong.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:40pm

    MPAA Hypocrites...

    "-- by encouraging construction of networks that are designed not on the basis of accommodating capacity-hogging transmissions of unlawful content but rather with the goal of providing consumers a rich broadband experience."

    They suggest that file-sharing is the ONLY "big hog" on the network..HAH!!
    As if Net-Flix, Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, Reuters, BBC are low-bandwidth contributors. The MPAA, RIAA are not just MAFIA Organizations, they are..
    THE BIGGEST HYPOCRITES ON THE PLANET. Blame the rest of the internet, so they and their butt-monkey partners can be the only ones to serve high-bandwidth content. Butt-Holes!!
    }:>

    It's obvious that anyone with an IQ over "10" can't be employed as a Hollywood entertainment executive. I give those already employed a "10" because they have at least figured out a way to financially rape the general public!
    Mafia, indeed. ;p

    That's it! I'm outta here! Nuff said! ;)

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:55pm

    My only original argument was that there is a loss (of exclusivity) when somebody commits copyright infringement. Whether the person who causes that loss happens to also place any value on what it is that they deprive the copyright holder of when they commit infringement is irrellevant to that end. If one does not agree with the very premise of copyright, which is that the author should rightfully be granted a time-limited exclusivity to control his or her creation, then that's another matter entirely. I won't argue the point at all that copyright durations are far too long already.

     

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  47.  
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    Lisa (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 4:08pm

    Guess they never heard of creative commons

    Or the free software movement. There's a whole league of content that would still be created regardless of whether artificial scarcity of digital works can be enforced or not.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    Under that pretext I can claim that I have a monopoly over air and that every time someone breaths it I lose exclusivity over that air. If the government or you or anyone denies me a monopoly over air I LOST something, I lost exclusivity over something I value, the ability to monopolize air. So then there is a loss and I lost and so you are stealing and the government is stealing and those who deny me a monopoly over air are stealing.

    I also have exclusivity over the moon. If the government or you or anyone denies me that exclusivity and goes on the moon without my permission then I lost something of value to me and therefore I lost something. So now they're stealing.

     

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  49.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:27pm

    Re:

    This is false. The loss is to the author's copyright itself.

    Please explain. They did not lose the copyright at all. They still retain it. There is no loss. None.

    Copyright, you see, is *supposed* to be an exclusive right to copy (with some limitations still applicable). Exclusive, by definition, means that nobody else is doing it, so if somebody else is copying a copyrighted work without permission then again, by the very definition of the word "exclusive", the copyright holder has lost something that he or she values.

    Actually, this is not true. You should read the excellent book "No Law" which goes through the history of copyright law, and the drafting of the language -- noting that it was originally "an exclusive right to profit" not an all encompassing "exclusive right." The "to profit" part was eventually cut because it seemed rather obvious. But now people seem to think that the exclusive rights go beyond just profit, when that was never the intention at all.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:44pm

    So Lemme Get This Straight...

    It will be cheaper to upgrade all networks to.......67mbps.....????

    Really, do they even make technology like that?

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    jambug, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 9:34pm

    throttled to death

    I say let them have their way; let the Corporatocracy have the whole of the under/overlying infrastructure of the existing web, let them throttle it, gate it, hobble the peripherals of it's fiber optics with watermarked blinders, stopgap their profit losses with digital dogtags: let them have their gigantic pay-per-view digital media stripmall. I'm all for it! Let the existing internet become an ocean of blips and bloops they call "electronic fund transfers" or "profiled demographic ad servering cookies" which have no real existence in a real world where there are real values for real things. Let them kill the internet with their fluff and mindless, useless, meaningless, worthless bile and lets hope they can kill it dead, dead, dead; something better and much more useful will rise from it's ashes - there are plenty of programmers out there who could figure it out with existing technology. Some other form of 'network' where commercial interests are not allowed because science, education, culture and people are more important than the stinking bit of used toilet paper the Corporatocracy calls The Almighty $DOLLAR$.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 10:10pm

    Re: So Lemme Get This Straight...

    Yep, actually, they are up to 100G.

    Much of the internet backbone runs on 10G optical routes. In most applications, it just needs new transceivers on each side of the fiber, and any repeaters on the route also need to be upgraded, but it beats having to put more cables in the ground

    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/25946

    It's a great breakthrough for carriers who were limited to a total 10G of bandwidth on a strand of fiber just two years ago.

    This is an old video--
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IkJcR4vYvQ

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    EF_MN, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:30am

    Hope is not a strategy or a solution

    Mike, I thoroughly enjoy how you take apart an issue, boil it down and respond to reports, articles and filings, etc., with common sense analysis. You have an effective skill and talent. Does Techdirt ever forward these posts to the actors and participants of said analysis? Much of what appears obvious to you and many of your readers, is often lost on those who need your analysis the most. This article is an excellent example of where the FCC could end up doing the right thing if only they considered your prose. Instead, you end your article with your all too common ending and I am paraphrasing, "hopefully, the (judges, politicians, executives, whoever) will realize..." Hope is not a strategy or a solution. I'm only writing this because it would seem that your words are not getting out and it's frustrating as we watch too many of these important issues go in the wrong direction. I appreciate what you do.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:07am

    Wow... all i can say is... FAIL.

     

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  55.  
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    DannyB, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Contradiction

    In the past we've heard the claim that if it weren't for their preciiiiooooouuuussss commercial content that the Internet would die. Or wouldn't have as big an audience. (eg, YouTube would have no use, or no appeal if it weren't for the pirated content on YouTube, etc)

    Now, in contradiction to that claim, we must remove the pirated commercial precious from the Internet in order to save it.

    So which is it?

    Earlier: if piracy is stopped the Internet will die.

    Now: if piracy continues the Internet will die.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    batch, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 8:31am

    Please don't let the FCC set neutrality terms

    This is exactly the reason why the FCC can't be allowed to dictate network neutrality rules or otherwise regulate the internet. They aren't elected officials and the previous head, Kevin Martin, of the FCC was a pawn of any telco lobbyist. This current head may not be such a tool, but who is to say the next one won't do everything to please people like the MPAA?

    Congress may be slow and also easily corrupted, but at least they are elected and have to go through a drawn out process of changing anything.

     

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  57.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 8:54am

    Re:

    They're not taking anything from the author.
    They are copying it.
    This has been beaten with a stick already. Why is it so hard for you to understand?

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Franky 4 fingers, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 10:43am

    hold up, its not stealing

    its copying. second, who wants to pay 15 - 20 - 25! dollars for a movie. or worse, 9.50 to see it in a movie or highier for more expensive movies you dont have little kids everywhere.

    Netflix has the right idea, instant queue is awesome. 16 bucks a month! The movie companys need to change their ways, go cheaper. ill buy movies at 5 / 10 bucks all day.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    Re: I'm Game

    Prediciton: the internet will die, but only the part invented by Al Gore.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Steal music and movies to keep the internet alive!!!

    The answer you've linked to is addressing the question of an off switch (unless your point refers to content beyond the paywall, but I'm assuming your not some spammarific jackass).

    The MPAA report seems to be suggesting a worldwide traffic jam. That's a totally different scenario but equally ridiculous when you consider that torrents are programmed to send information along the path of least resistance.

    In actuality torrents are some of the most bandwidth friendly apps out there. NON-P2P users are like a thousand times more likely to jam up the lines.

    Bog down the net? Pirates are way too savvy, ye savvy?

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Re: What can we do?

    You could throw some support at these guys: http://www.eff.org/

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Really?

    "No one rationally could argue that widespread stealing is not occurring, nor could anyone reasonably claim that theft of this magnitude has little or no impact on the economic
    fortunes of the content industries and, thus, the American economy."

    Monopolies inherently harm the efficiency of the particular product market in which they operate. An abundance of small monopolies has the power to grossly inflate prices, extending the harm to the rest of the market. Thus artificially scarce movies and music are ACTUALLY depriving starving people of food to AT LEAST SOME DEGREE.

    While it's true that piracy cannot do much to help the particular product market where the monopolies are, IT CAN significantly lower the price of those goods via black market forces and help soften the impact on the rest of the market.

    Pirates feed the hungry. It's true.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    MD, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 4:08pm

    Ban Piracy No Problem

    Personally, I think this is much ado about nothing. All this posturing about the right to steal is ridiculous.

    Sorry, but stealing music and movies has hurt alot of people. for example the music business earns less than half the amount it did about 10 years ago. i know tons of people that have lost jobs and earn so little it is ridiculous, all because the love art and working in the creative field.

    sorry, but the RIAA is right, illegal pirated content on the internet runs about 50-75% of the traffic at many given times. so why not ban it, track it and send warnings to those trade illegally? sorry but i agree with all of this. people shouldn't have the right to steal, and while i hate the RIAA lawsuits against consumers. i don't believe anyone has a god given right to broadband if they are stealing.

    let them surf the web on a 56k modem for a year as a penalty! three strikes and they lose broadband for a while is fair to me.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    CrushU, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Ban Piracy No Problem

    Fervently hoping that is a troll, but deep in my heart knowing it isn't.

    I am now sad(der) for the American public.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Freedom is Freeloading, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: Really?

    An abundance of small monopolies has the power to grossly inflate prices, extending the harm to the rest of the market. Thus artificially scarce movies and music are ACTUALLY depriving starving people of food to AT LEAST SOME DEGREE.

    You are, by far, one of the dumbest techdirt posters currently posting. Congratulations. Here's your award, it's a bunch of matches. Don't stop playing with them until you successfully light yourself on fire.

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Ban Piracy No Problem

    Sorry, but stealing music and movies has hurt alot of people. for example the music business earns less than half the amount it did about 10 years ago.

    This is simply not true. The *music* industry is earning more than it ever has. The CD industry is down by about 50%, but that is not the music industry.

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Ban Piracy No Problem

    The people at the labels say "example the music business earns less than half the amount it did about 10 years ago" ...

    ... problem is the big labels arent the "music business" its a distinction they dont seem to be able to make.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    mark, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    So, where is that data backing th assertion that the Internet is deluged with illegal download traffic? Me thinks they inflate their own importance....

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Tyler Hibbard, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 10:05pm

    Somewhere along the line I have to stop and think... who the hell are these people, and where do they come from? Honestly... all these articles I read are 100% overwhelmingly against the MPAA/RIAA; everyone I know in life hates them, and all the people I don't know over the internet but pretend to feel the same way. Yet somehow there are people who exist that feel the exact opposite and have such backward views as to garner the hate of an entire world. And somehow, they manage to become the leaders of industry heavyweights like the MPAA and RIAA. You'd think with the abilities of movements like 4chan to bring down websites, we'd have the ability to run a grassroots pro-copyleft takeover of such organizations. Infiltrate them and then destroy them from the inside.

    If anyone is up for this kind of thing on the weekends, drop me a line.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Brian, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 4:29am

    ummmm ok

    Im pretty sure the internet would suffer more if piracy stopped.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 6:34pm

    Oh yes

    Thanks for writing the article and linking me to the pdf: I am writing an essay about this for my AP Language class and those quotes will fit in perfectly XD

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    this is not that cool

     

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


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