MPAA Hypocrisy: We Must Protect Culture! But We're Not Interested In Protecting Culture!

from the all-depends-on-the-question dept

Ah, the blatant hypocrisy of the MPAA. The organization and its supporters freely and frequently throw around bogus claims about how it's important to give it all the things it wants in terms of copyright laws and protectionism in order to protect culture. For example, just look at how MPAA VP Greg Frazier responded to a question in Brazil about Brazil's newly proposed copyright laws by saying:
Now, if you do not believe in the value of creativity, the importance of protecting it and to reward those who produce, then maybe you can justify [copyright infringement]. But in this case, you'll be doing great harm to the culture."
You see, copyright is important to protect culture. In the very next question, he's then asked about Creative Commons and how it has great support in Brazil. And his response is completely the opposite:
Well, not sure. They [supporters of Creative Commons] do not always agree with what we preach. And you're talking about democratizing culture, this is not one of our interests. It really isn't my interest.
So, got that? The MPAA says culture is important... when it makes the MPAA money. Otherwise... eh... not so important.

Of course, what this is really about is that the MPAA got spooked by proposals to Brazilian copyright law last year that would have gone quite far in terms of making a much more reasonable copyright law. It would have done away with notice-and-takedown and said that service providers would only have to remove content with a court order. It would have created penalties for inhibiting fair use or the public domain. And the scariest proposal of all to the MPAA? One suggestion to completely legalize file sharing.

Now, if we want to discuss the cultural situation in Brazil -- something Frazier really didn't want to get into -- why not point to the massive success of technobraega music in Brazil. The technobraega trend really is a wonderful example of democratized culture, where the creators of this music go to great lengths to give it away free, encouraging people to share it widely, even supporting the creation of "counterfeit" CDs to help the music spread, knowing that the more it spreads, the better they can do with live shows. Technobraega music in Brazil is a huge phenomenon, and an excellent case study in how a music industry can thrive and make money without copyright concerns, with free sharing... and do so in a way that really does "democratize" culture. Exactly what the MPAA is most afraid of.

That's because the MPAA and the big studios it represents don't want to help protect "culture" at all. They want to help protect the limitations on culture, such that they get to continue acting as a gatekeeper to culture.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    DMNTD, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    If you hold the keys.

    Its true, this is basic empirical proof that such power cannot belong to any one group. I believe its a simple understanding but I really do hold blame with my peeps before me that just worked all day leaving it to future selves to deal with it. sigh. Necessary evil? Rock and a hard place.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    Simply Stated

    The MPAA cares about monetizing culture. Protecting culture is something else entirely.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    "When I want your [culture], I'll give it to you!"

    "And you're talking about democratizing culture, this is not one of our interests."

    This is the key component. When they refer to culture, they're referring to monetized, curated, one-way-broadcasted culture. So they're really not talking about culture at all.

    Taking a couple denotations from Wikipedia:

    "An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning"

    "The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group"

    Note the phrases "human knowledge" and "shared attitudes, values, goals..."

    Culture is shared. It can't be one-way. It can't be locked down by DRM or copyright. If it is, it isn't culture.

    Culture isn't just buying Star Wars on DVD. It's fans making ridiculously stupid cosplay outfits and going to Comicon to show off. It's Robot Chicken and Family Guy making fun of Star Wars. It's bad fan fiction. It's modding Star Wars games to create your own stories and new characters or adventures. It's mashing up Star Wars and Star Trek to prove that the Death Star could totally blow up the Enterprise.

    If you can control culture, it isn't culture. Culture is a dialogue and unless you have a split personality, you can't be the only one speaking in a dialogue.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re: "When I want your [culture], I'll give it to you!"

    It's mashing up Star Wars and Star Trek to prove that the Death Star could totally blow up the Enterprise.

    Agree with everything you said.

    Except that. Never that. It totally could not.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:01pm

    Re: "When I want your [culture], I'll give it to you!"

    "This 'culture' you refer to, can you describe it?"

    "What do you mean?"

    "Is it green?"

    "Why yes. Yes it is."

    "Does it have numbers in the corners?"

    "Yes! Yes it does!"

    "And a portrait in the middle?"

    "YES! HAVE YOU FOUND IT?! GIVE ME MY CULTURE!"

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Re: "When I want your [culture], I'll give it to you!"

    Ye never know the Alien VS Predator "BOOK" worked pretty well.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 6:02pm

    "And you're talking about democratizing culture, this is not one of our interests. It really isn't my interest. "

    Yes, what they want is plutocracized culture. and outside the Internet, that's exactly what they have.

    Culture, music, art, innovation, etc... will continue unabated without these IP laws. The problem is that, outside the Internet, big corporations have a government imposed monopoly on the information distribution channels necessary to distribute and share that content. The result is that, outside the Internet, the consumer only has easy access to content that they must pay monopoly prices for. It's unacceptable, and instead of seeking to correct the problem that our legal system is wrongfully responsible for, our politicians are doing nothing short of trying to turn the Internet into the same plutocratic system that they have turned everything outside the Internet into. It's unacceptable and citizens need to wake up to this nonsense and force our government to work for us.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    Prashanth (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:11pm

    I think the statement about "democratizing culture" says it all. xkcd had it right in the alt-text of one of its comics: the **AAs want to stamp out all culture they don't control. At least the guy who said this is honest and forthcoming about the RIAA's position.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Mr. Oizo, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 5:31am

    Re:

    Similar topic: http://xkcd.com/86/

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Eduardo (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Technobrega is a hit

    As a Brazilian, I can state that Calypso, which is probably the biggest technobrega Brazilian band travels to their shows in its won private jet. They make millions of reais with their marketing strategy. Their shows are always packed.
    I think what MPAA means is that it wants to democratize culture as long as you pay for it. Hahahahahahahahaha!

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 7:53am

    So how do MPAA explain the longevity of culture no longer under copyright in the Public Domain ?

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 9:31am

    culture

    Because one MPAA member is just a slimy form of bacteria....many MPAA members make a culture!

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: culture

    If we could confine them to a Petri dish, we wouldn't have this problem.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    gridsleep, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    Those who cannot do, seek to profit by control through the rul of law and force of the gun. Name one MPAA executive who is actually a working musician. Ask any working musician if they would rather wear a suit and sit behind a desk barking orders all day. Never the twain shall meet. We can live without executives and the MPAA. We can't live without music.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    R.Phillips, Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 1:40am

    as it states in the article, when it comes to the MPAA making money they want to protect "culture" yeah, THEIR culture, of profiteering on the hard work of Musicians, no one else's culture.

    if Live Gig's became the norm as they were many years ago, (which is basically just more so than now) then the MPAA and the "people" they represent would see a larger drop in their profit margins, sales would continue even if the Technobraega concept (something that even Metallica was once into before succumbing to the almighty $) were to take off world wide, Bands want legit albums and profits from them, they also want success in the live arena, if the MPAA had their way, bands would all be locked in studio's never performing live.
    The MPAA have shown themselves to be Liars, and taking profits through lies is theft, they call FileSharing Piracy, how is the MPAA any different when they lie to the Legal Reps and the Paying Customers, how when they charge people for things they have not done, or charge them with illegal downloads when the person actually owns the Original CD.

    and on top of that I would be happy to bet that if any of the MPAA exec's were to be raided for illegal downloaded music in thier homes IT WOULD BE FOUND.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 6:31am

    Stop stealing music

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: "When I want your [culture], I'll give it to you!"

    ....

    Sad.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This