NBC Universal Threatens Partners That They Need To Sign 'Grassroots' Support Of SOPA/PIPA Or It Might Have To Drop Them

from the this-is-getting-sad dept

We've talked about CreativeAmerica, the astroturfing group set up by the major Hollywood studios, pretending to be a "grassroots effort" in favor of SOPA & PIPA. A month ago, we challenged the group's claim that it had "sent 100,000 letters to Congress." Turns out that wasn't true. They had sent 4,191, and then about 33,000 people had "signed a petition" that the group had set up. The math by CreativeAmerica is that each thing sent out three letters: one to your Congressional Representative and one to each of your two Senators. Of course, petitions are mostly ignored. Letters have only slightly more weight -- and based on Creative America's own math, they really only had about 1,400 people sign their letter.

Either way, it seemed somewhat amusing to discover that some of the top execs at NBC Universal have been threatening all NBC Universal suppliers to sign the letter that CreativeAmerica put together or NBC might no longer be able to do business with them:
We are writing to ask you for help on an issue that is one our top business priorities – content theft on the Internet, which is a major threat to the strength of our business. Our major guilds and unions are joining us in the fight to keep our businesses strong so that the tidal wave of content theft does not kill jobs. But if the current trend continues, it’s not too strong to say that this threat could adversely affect our business relationship with you.
Grassroots effort? When NBC Universal's General Counsel, Rick Cotton -- who famously once claimed that piracy was destroying the lowly corn farmer, since people who watch pirated movies don't eat popcorn (or something) -- is threatening suppliers who don't sign on? That's not grassroots. That's just insane. Now, it's true that Cotton wrote this carefully such that you can read it to suggest it means that if this law doesn't pass, NBC Universal's business will be in so much trouble that it has to shut down or cut off deals with suppliers. But it seems pretty clear that the obvious implication is: sign this or we may no longer do business with you.

But, given that "the big guns" at NBC Universal are pushing all their suppliers to directly sign (or else!) the letter found at CreativeAmerica's site, you might think that a lot more people would have signed on. Especially over the last month, with SOPA making so much news. So we went and checked.
It appears that 4,673 letters have been sent. A month ago it was 4,191. That's a grand total of 482 new letters sent since we last checked almost a month ago. That means in a month, with this story making major news every which way... and the major studios putting a lot of marketing muscle behind it and even threatening partners to sign on, they only rustled up 482 more signatures. And, since CreativeAmerica claims that each person who signs really sends 3 letters, we should divide that by three.

That gives us 161 new signatures (actually 160.666666 etc -- which makes me wonder what happened to that extra third of a person). 161. In a month.

Meanwhile, a real grassroots campaign turned out one million emails to Congress and 87,834 calls in one day. It should be clear at this point that the public clearly does not support SOPA/PIPA, and no amount of "faking it" is driving any public support.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Spaceboy (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    So is this coercion or extortion?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    So is this coercion or extortion?


    Yes.

     

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  3.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    Yes. What's more amusing is that piracy is often seen by these types as a form of coercion or extortion..of their bottom lines.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    NBC concerned with jobs? Cool doublethink there, bro, but they should save it for a less gullible populace. We all know what went down with Conan O'Brien. I'm sure they were so "concerned" with his job they gave him the boot, much like how they're so "concerned" with the job market, they want to turn the very people who supported and trusted them in the past into felons overnight.

     

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  5.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Unless I got it wrong, isn't this sort of thing illegal? If my boss came up to me and threatened to fire me if I didn't vote for X Law, I'd sue her ass off.

     

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  6.  
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    Atkray (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    Business as usual

    Nothing to see here, move along now.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Mr. Smith

    This really reminds me of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington... One side that is pushing the bill in order to benefit from it also controls the media and reports that the other party is some kind of unsavory person. In this case it is calling the people who oppose pirates and people "stealing" content.

    I am actually starting to get concerned this might pass because our elected officials care more for their wallets than their country, the people they represent, and their office. It is scary that we have come to this point.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    There was a time when elections used to be decided this way before the private ballot/vote was implemented. Bosses would tell their employees to vote the way they wanted them to or else they were fired, and would watch the employee vote to make sure they voted the right way.

    SOPA support sounds similar to this 'grassroots' support of politicians supported by power hungry business bosses.

     

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  9.  
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    Jeffhole (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re:

    For me or you? Probably.

    For NBC? Probably not. They have enough money for it to not be illegal.

     

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  10.  
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    mike allen (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    typical threaten your suppliers sue your customers how long before they die?

     

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  11.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Re:

    Unless I got it wrong, isn't this sort of thing illegal? If my boss came up to me and threatened to fire me if I didn't vote for X Law, I'd sue her ass off.

    Notice the carefully selected weasel words that were used.

    Kind of like the local mob boss and his goons walking into your hardware store and saying "Real nice place you've got here. It would be a shame if something bad happened to it..."

     

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  12.  
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    Squid Lips, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Mike,

    Techdirt is like the Wikileaks of cut throat business practices.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    At least it's not being misleading; y'know, like telling people that piracy enforcement will "break the internet".

    lol

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    and you forgot to mention that may who did sign the pro-SOPA petition were fooled into doing so and later asked that their signatures be removed.

     

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  15.  
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    Spaceboy (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re:

    lol

     

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  16.  
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    ken, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    Once again douche bags trying to get their way, any way possible. Maybe we should boycott anything they roll out.

     

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  17.  
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    rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    That's not misleading.

    By the way, you've really had a poor showing today. You should think about Troll College. Trolls with degrees get 40% more replies over their trolling career than trolls without degrees.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    "We are writing to ask you for help on an issue that is one our top business priorities – content theft on the Internet, which is a major threat to the strength of our business. Our major guilds and unions are joining us in the fight to keep our businesses strong so that the tidal wave of content theft does not kill jobs. But if the current trend continues, it’s not too strong to say that this threat could adversely affect our business relationship with you."

    They are saying the threat of content theft could adversly affect their business relationship with the addressee. No where in that message does it indicate that failure to sign up with the grassroots organization would harm the business relationship.

    You are the industry loathing, self-serving shill for the piracy industry some of these people claim. I don't understand why you would choose to publicly attack the people who own the rights to the content. Instead of attacking the media companies you should try sticking to alternate business models. These attacks of yours will not help your cause.

    There is room for the existing media companies and new media companies to co-exist. It doesn't need to be an either/or situation.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re:

    Thats a nice comment you got there, would be a shame if it got deleted somehow...o'course ,you can make sure it doesnt with a bit of 'insurance', sounds good to you?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re:

    you're right. it won't "break the internet".

    what/will/happen/is/it/will "break the semantic web".

    if you thought policing copyright was already too hard, just wait until independent DNS is setup, more darknets appear, and ubiquitous end-to-end encryption between darknets appears.

    the internet doesn't need the content; it was around for many years before the first mp3 was made available.

    however, the content industry NEEDS the internet

    there are plenty enough people making content.. see Tosh.0, Ridiculousness, Facebook, Twitter, etc... This is only the beginning; The industry knows this and is doing everything it can to entrench itself.

    how much of the daily intarwebs traffic does Netflix account for..?

    piracy is such a small blip on the radar when you start to think about it- Especially when the entire industry continues to post record profits despite their incessant whining that piracy costs them trillions every year

    what they are scared of is COMPETITION. These laws are about control of the platform. They are there to present a barrier to entry.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    I'm sure it will get flagged by the censors of TechDirt who don't want to have a debate or discuss facts. Instead they want a stage upon which to stand and shake their fists in anger at the "evil" entertainment industry. Anyone writing comments that don't attack the media companies or IP rights holders are deemed trolls. Welcome to TechDirt.

     

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  22.  
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    Rick, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    AC, go fuck yourself

    Signed,
    People with common sense who understand what this bill is TRULY about: The slow silencing of opposition

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re:

    "how much of the daily intarwebs traffic does Netflix account for..?"

    Exactly, what is it that people are going to Netflix for? Content, they don't go there because Netflix is awesome, they go there because Netflix has the rights to distribute the content.

    You act like the internet is some magical thing. It is a network, granted it is a truely vast massively fault tolerant network, but it is still a network.

    The media companies do not need the tech industry. They can write their own streaming software. No one cares about who is delivering the content. People want instant access to content on demand and at a reasonable price. The media companies do not need the technology industry to deliever this they can set up their own internet delivered service.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    Why is the "report" button missing from this offensive comment?

    Signed,

    Your Mom

    Now go wash your mouth out with soap.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are delusional.

     

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

  26.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re:

    You are the industry loathing, self-serving shill for the piracy industry some of these people claim.

    Tell us how you really feel. I am not at all industry loathing. Quite the opposite. I want them to succeed: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111111/03372116719/believing-legacy-gatekeepers-will-fail-to-adap t-is-not-same-as-wanting-them-to-fail.shtml

    What bugs me is when they do totally counterproductive things like this.

    I don't understand why you would choose to publicly attack the people who own the rights to the content.

    I'm not attacking them. I'm attacking stupid things that they do that do more harm than good *to themselves*.

    Instead of attacking the media companies you should try sticking to alternate business models.

    Yeah, I'd love to. But Rick Cotton and NBC Universal are trying to pass legislation that will make it effectively impossible to make use of many such business models. So that's a big problem.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    I hate these pricks as much as the next guy, but in the interest of factual reporting I'd like to point out the author's interpretation of the statement is way off base. What it states is that continuing infringement will adversely affect their business relationship. It insinuates nothing about consequences of signing or not signing the petition. By 'this threat' they refer to the 'tidal wave of content theft' 'kill[ing] jobs' they mentioned in the immediately preceding sentence, not the letter itself. Please read more carefully. Misrepresentation doesn't help your case, just as their misrepresentation of so many facts doesn't help theirs. We should try to be better than that.

     

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  28.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    "I'm sure it will get flagged by the censors of TechDirt who don't want to have a debate or discuss facts."

    Let me be the first to show your ignorance. As this article was submitted, contributors of Techdirt saw it previously, myself included. I specifically disagreed with Mike on his interpretation of the wording in question. Mike disagreed. No one's trying to censor your comment. In fact, if you didn't follow it up with your more douchey diatribe, I'd have flatout agreed with you here as I did with Mike originally.

    Nice try tho....

     

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  29.  
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    JarHead, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The media companies do not need the tech industry. They can write their own streaming software. No one cares about who is delivering the content. People want instant access to content on demand and at a reasonable price. The media companies do not need the technology industry to deliever this they can set up their own internet delivered service.

    OK, why don't they do it then? They "sure" can make it "piracy proof".

    Oh, while at it, be sure to not borrow anything from the current inet, cos that's infringing.

     

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  30.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    Censor what? You didn't say anything, except that your comment is going to get censored.

     

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  31.  
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    Brent Ashley (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    "which is a major threat to the strength of our business"

    Not to its existence, to its strength. Perhaps it's a sign of a glimmer of enlightenment that they no longer claim that it is an existential threat.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    more like a public network connected to many, many private networks.

    where once we were allowed access to these private networks through the public internet, now the doors will be shut and only vetted access granted. huge amounts of information (SPEECH!) will be hidden away from the public internet for fear of not being able to control the uncontrollable (ie. people).


    why hasn't the industry set up their own internet delivered system yet? that seems like it would be incredibly profitable for them..........

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    Funny how the very ones charged with making sure the Internet is secure- the ISP's- aren't the ones claiming how the bill will compromise security and break the Internet. In fact when Verizon testified before Congress, they didn't mention compromised security.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re:

    funny how you think the internet is secure and that ISP's are in charge of it

    here's a newsflash: they don't care about the internet. you pay them for access to _their_ network. once you go outside that network, they don't care what's going on.

    besides that, most ISP's are in cahoots with the media companies. they have a vested interest in being best buds.

     

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  35.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re: You are the industry loathing, self-serving shill for the piracy industry some of these people claim

    Pray tell us, who exactly is funding this “piracy industry”? Where are they getting their money from, to pay off all these “shills”?

    Could it be that they actually have a ... sustainable business model?

     

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  36.  
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    JarHead, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    From the article:

    Now, it's true that Cotton wrote this carefully such that you can read it to suggest it means that if this law doesn't pass, NBC Universal's business will be in so much trouble that it has to shut down or cut off deals with suppliers.


    By that, I think anyone taking a first glance of the original article will agree with you. However, after letting it sink in, especially this part which is highlighted from the original

    it’s not too strong to say that this threat could adversely affect our business relationship with you.


    The wording of the email are made in such ways so that the proximate cause of termination will appear to be the theft. However, I think the writer(s) made a blunder by saying "our business relationship with you" which stresses the receiver as the target, or at lower level than the sender. If they instead wrote "adversely affect our businesses" I might agree with you, as it put the sender and the receiver at the same level.

    Then the email goes on to

    We’re writing today to ask you to do two things:


    After putting the receiver at a lower level, the above sentence feel more like a command (however polite) rather than call for help. I would write the above as:

    There are a ways to combat this, for example:


    So, I must agree with Mike, this is a threat letter.

     

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  37.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Censor what? You didn't say anything, except that your comment is going to get censored

    That was the thing, you see. This AC actually had a lot more things to say that would have shown the world how smart and perceptive it was, but they got somehow censored by the world-wide tentacles of the Techdirt mind-control cabal even before they could get from its brain to its fingers to be typed on the keyboard.

    That’s right, Mike Masnick has nerve-level control over his detractors. Will the pirates stop at nothing!?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Please enlighten us. How many posts have you submitted over the years? Thousands? Can you come up with 10 posts in the past year that mention an entertainment industry company (RIAA member record company or MPAA member film studio) in a positive light?

    Every post in which you mention one of these companies is biased against them. You claim you "want them to succeed", but the tone and content of your posts indicate otherwise. Every effort they make to counter piracy is mocked and ridculed by this site. Instead of telling them how NOT to fight piracy, try offering a solution to their problems.

    You constantly bemoan their actions as unwillingness to "adapt", but their actions are defensive against the ever growing reality of piracy. You should have anti-piracy articles that illustrate your opposition to illegal theft of content instead of articles pointing out how smart the pirates are.

    "Yeah, I'd love to. But Rick Cotton and NBC Universal are trying to pass legislation that will make it effectively impossible to make use of many such business models. So that's a big problem."

    Please enlighten us again. What business models would be impossible under SOPA/Protect-IP? Those business models which rely on unlicensed content? Those are already illegal under existing statute. Unfortunately, SOPA isn't about creating new laws it's about enforcement of EXISTING laws. It is already illegal to share content but by the time the content is removed the damage has already been done. SOPA hits the pirates where it hurts, in their wallets.

     

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  39.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re:

    That was almost exactly the mental image I got as I was reading the summary.

    "It'd be a shame if we couldn't do business with youse guys anymore..."

     

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  40.  
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    UmberGryphon, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    That "1/3 of a person"

    I am currently not represented in the House of Representatives, as David Wu went loopy in office and Oregon hasn't gotten around to replacing him yet. So someone in Oregon's 1st congressional district would only send 2 letters, not the usual 3.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: You are the industry loathing, self-serving shill for the piracy industry some of these people claim

    Theft of content is not a business model unless the business you are in is organized crime. Frankly I am not sure why the governments of the world have not used the organized crime laws (racketeering) against the piracy rings. There are busniesses engaged in the proliferation of illegal content out in the open and they go unpunished. Piracy hurts society because it takes money away from content creators and puts it in the hands of content theives.

     

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  42.  
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    GuessImStupid, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This makes absolutely no sense. In order for them to deliver the content they would need the infrastructure of the interwebs.

    Media companies do not need the tech industry

    This has to be the most uninformed sentence in the history of the world. Media companies are the leaches of the tech industry, from the equipment they use to products they release. Nothing in the media industry could be produced without the technology to do so.

     

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  43.  
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    Ed C., Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You act like the internet is some magical thing. It is a network, granted it is a truely vast massively fault tolerant network, but it is still a network.

    The media companies do not need the tech industry.


    So, you understand that the internet is actually a network, yet have no idea which industry has the expertise required to run and maintain networks?

    Seriously, what would the media industry be without Blu-ray, DVD, VHS, CD, cassette, 8-track, TV, radio, film, and phonographs? NOTHING! All of the media and devices that the media industry depends upon for its entire existence were created by technologist. The internet, like all networks, was built by technologist too.

    Most of the technology that the media industry was built upon existed and was used before they figured out what to do with it. Sure, a few companies like Netflix wouldn't likely exist without the media industry, by to say that the media industry doesn't need the tech industry is like saying that fish don't need water.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Illegal distribution of content is not protected speach. File sharing is not protected speach. Copying a video is not protected speach.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Video technologies come and go: AVI, H.264, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4/QuickTime, WMV, RealVideo/H.263, etc...

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    hear, hear...

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    hear, hear...

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There would be no need for video compression/decompression algorithms (codecs) without the content. Tech developers don't often create a solution where there is no need. The need arose to digitize media, a codec was created. Many have existed in the past and many new codecs will be created in the future. But the fact remains that without the content there would be no need for the codec.

     

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  49.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The media companies do not need the tech industry.

    OK let them ignore ALL the tech of the last 150 years - they can run concerts for the Amish.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are the industry loathing, self-serving shill for the piracy industry some of these people claim

    'theft of content' is something that doesn't exist. At best, it is a misnomer, as the content isn't stolen. It is still in their possession.

     

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  51.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There would be no need for video compression/decompression algorithms (codecs) without the content. Tech developers don't often create a solution where there is no need.

    The internet and the codecs and all that stuff were created for the military and for big science.

    The content industry is a Johnny come lately to all of this.

     

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  52.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Every effort they make to counter piracy is mocked and ridculed by this site.

    Because they ARE ridiculous - except when they are also dangerous - not to piracy - but to those who simply want to use technology freely for their own purposes.

    When I first bought a personal computer in 1981 it came with a cicuit diagram and a full listing of the operating system. Every part of the system was accessible to the user and a full set of development tools was bundled. You could create anything you wanted to.

    Nowadays machines are much more powerful but the open access has largely gone. Some of that is simply down to increasing compelxity but a lot is down to the futile attempts of the content industry to prevent piracy. (incidentally the existence of most of the malware out there is down to mechanisms that were put in for DRM.)

    So when you mess up my world in an attempt to protect an obsolete (and morally questionable) way of doing busines, and it doesn't even work you can expect me to be negative.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re:

    It's actually not funny. It makes perfect sense.

    Increasingly, the ISPs *ARE* the media companies.

    Time Warner
    NBC Comcast

    How's that for a vertical monopoly?

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are the industry loathing, self-serving shill for the piracy industry some of these people claim

    Theft of content is not a business model

    Yes it is - - it is a business model created by copyright laws and the behaviour of the content industry (DRM etc) which between them create a criminal business opportunity.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is like a proton arguing with an electron about which one is more important.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The media companies do not need the tech industry.

    I think this is the most insane thing you have ever said on this site and I'm not exaggerating. You truly are in a different universe.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are the industry loathing, self-serving shill for the piracy industry some of these people claim

    "Frankly I am not sure why the governments of the world have not used the organized crime laws (racketeering) against the piracy rings."

    And that's why they're in charge and not you...

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also, video technologies come and go but recording stars and sitcoms are forever, am I right?

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's a pretty convenient thing to say when you're the one trying to decide what's illegal and what isn't.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    When you get your own blog and put your name and reputation out there on the line then you can post anti-piracy articles to your hearts content. Until then, perhaps you should simply stop reading this site if you hate it so much.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Can you come up with 10 posts in the past year that mention an entertainment industry company (RIAA member record company or MPAA member film studio) in a positive light?"

    Can you come up with 10 independent non-industry posts anywhere on the internet that mention an entertainment industry company in a positive light?

    "Every post in which you mention one of these companies is biased against them. You claim you "want them to succeed", but the tone and content of your posts indicate otherwise."

    If that were true Mike could just shut up and let them continue their self-driven downward spiral into irrelevancy. All the advice Mike offers these companies is to help them succeed, not fail.

    "Every effort they make to counter piracy is mocked and ridculed by this site."

    Perhaps that's because every effort they make to counter piracy is ridiculous. Can you think of any efforts they've made that have successfully reduced piracy on a long-term basis?

    "Instead of telling them how NOT to fight piracy, try offering a solution to their problems."

    If you honestly think that hasn't been happening here, then you're either monumentally stupid or intellectually dishonest. Whether you agree with his suggestions or not, Mike has been doing what you ask for years.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    Re:

    You realise that "self-serving shill" is a contradiction in terms right?

    No, you probably don't...

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Chris, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Ambassador Kosh! You're alive!

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    """Video technologies come and go: AVI, H.264, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4/QuickTime, WMV, RealVideo/H.263, etc..."""

    Do you ever get tired of proving other people's points?

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 3:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Seconded. Just reading his post cost me a point of sanity. Cthulhu will be pleased.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Colin, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks to extended copyright...yes!

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re:

    The report button is on the top right corner of the comment, just as it is for every comment.

    What are you talking about?

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Colin, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The media companies do not need the tech industry. They can write their own streaming software. No one cares about who is delivering the content. People want instant access to content on demand and at a reasonable price. The media companies do not need the technology industry to deliever this they can set up their own internet delivered service.

    1) Why aren't they doing it?
    2) Why do they keep asking for (read: demanding) the tech industry's help?

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Re:

    No, it won't get flagged. In fact, most comments from geniuses (and I use the term loosely) like you DO NOT get flagged. However, once you resort to nothing but ad homs and other things to avoid discussing an issue, or go completely off topic, they will get flagged.

    Of course, it's really quite amusing to see you mention that "the censors of TechDirt don't want to have a debate or discuss facts". Because we do in fact want to have a debate and discuss facts. But when you and people like you refuse to do that, again see previous bit about ad homs, we have no choice but to flag whatever stupidity/irrelevant/troll type nonsense you write instead.

    You want to have a debate? Then by all means, present some facts to support your position/beliefs. FACTS. EVIDENCE. PROOF. Not your opinion presented as fact. That doesn't fly. Anyone here can back up anything they say (for the most part). And if they can't someone else (if they're on the same side) will present the evidence for them.

    No one on your side of the debate ever seems to do the same. Again, you just present your tired old already shot down a gillion times arguments (and calling them arguments is being awfully generous) or you go with the tried and true "freetards who just want to keep stealing" bit. Which isn't really a fact or debate at all.

    You're right about one thing and only one thing, "Welcome to TechDirt". Want to act like an adult or want to act like a child? It's up to you, but the way you act is the way you're going to be treated.

    Hi, I'm an AC and I will back up what I say with facts/evidence/proof. Can you say the same? If not, perhaps you shouldn't try and play the "they call me TROLL" card. Because if you can't do the same, you are trolling.

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re:

    I have the weirdest boner right now

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, the media shills don't want "a different business model", they want a free solution that will end all piracy, because, in their delusional minds, that will make more money for them.

    Meanwhile, in reality, a lot of people will be in financial ruin because of the expensive lawsuits/settlement letters, or because their internet service got flagged by these leeches on society called RIAA and MPAA, for possible venues of potential infringing use, and to defend their web service against those attacks they had to pay a lot of damages or just shutter it.

    Causing more bad blood against the RIAA and the MPAA, making damn sure that the market that these labels think is there, dries up even faster.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Nov 29th, 2011 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Again, this is completely backwards. You keep assuming that all media revolves around the commercial content of the media industry. This is absolutely false. Digital camcorders and audio recorders would have existed even without commercial music or movie industries. Also, the majority of digitizing has nothing to do with transferring analog media. For instance, the signal picked up by a digital recorder microphone is actually analog until it's converted through a ADC.

    All media, digital or analog, has limited space, and all forms of transmission have limited bandwidth. However, analog is inherently lossy--where you could trade fidelity and space by simply lowering the media speed or transmission bandwidth. Once the signal is converted to digital, it has to be copied bit-for-bit. The creation and development of digital compression simply arose from the need to represent information with fewer bits--and would have existed even if the commercial media industry did not.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    B James, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

    Too funny, but sad.

    I don't think I have read a single comment in here from a person who has a clue what SOPA actually is. Its the reverse of a DMCA take down notice. Instead of contacting a web site owner, a SaaS provider (ie: wordpress.com), or a web hosting provider about a web page(s) and/or content at specific URLs that belong to you and they need to be taken down. Rather SOPA allows corporations to request that a domain name be removed from the root DNS servers keeping people from visiting any URL directed at that site by domain name. So if a clueless intern in a corporate legal department or someone that has little idea how the Internet works (believe me based on DMCA take down notice requests this covers a lot of legal department employees) the could easily file a request to take down yahoo.com because news.yahoo.com happen to use a copyrighted image in a story, or bobsblog.wordpress.com posts images borrowed from bigcorporation.com's web site and poof wordpress.com fully is removed from the root DNS servers. As name to IP address lookups are done by authoritative DNS servers AFTER you are directed to those authoritative DNS servers by the 13 root DNS servers on the net SOPA will not have the ability to target sub-domains ie: bobsblog.wordpress.com, it would only have the ability to totally take down *.wordpress.com as a whole. There is no need to interact with the web hosting provider, content provider or social network web site. Enforcement of copyright has always been in the hands of the copyright holder. If I copy large sections of your book, or my movie is based on your copyrighted story, its you that have to police it. SOPA reversed that and says its the job of Google to make sure stuff it indexes at images.google.com come from sites that hold the copyright of the image, or Wordpress.com that the story, images, video that Bob posts to bobsblog.wordpress.com is copyrighted to Bob and not to someone else. So this law requires that everyone but the copyright holder has to police the internet or the copyright holder can simply request that everyone gets shut off. Really go read SOPA and stop thinking that all it does is protect copyright holders rights, in reality the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 already provides them this protection with a very simple method to request content be taken down by any ISP, web hosting provider or web site owner, and it provides good reason for the ISP/web hosting provider/etc. to assist. So instead of playing fair, and policing their own copyrights, SOPA gives them the ability to shut down a web site first, then ask questions later. That is how this breaks the way the internet, at least how companies can operate in the US is concerned. Great way to force people to host more web sites outside the US... smart... sent our jobs over seas, now you can send our internet based businesses that way as well.

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Merdril, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 5:55pm

    Re:

    No, it's not wrong. NBC has every right to choose who they want to do business with, and terminate business with anyone they want (subject to contracts and licensing and etc). The exchange of money here isn't an employer-employee contract, but an entity-contracter exchange. Also, they're not voting on anything, they merely want them to sign a letter. It's not ethical, but it's certainly not illegal.

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 6:02pm

    My job?

    I work on an NBC TV show. What next, "sign this petition if you want to keep your job..."?

    I'm outraged. This is a threat.

    Our union is supposed to protect us from abuse like this but given their support of PIPA and SOPA I'm not holding my breath.

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Nov 29th, 2011 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can you come up with 10 posts in the past year that mention an entertainment industry company (RIAA member record company or MPAA member film studio) in a positive light?

    Yesh, I only come around on occasion, yet even I've seen a few post about members of the media industry who "get it". It's rather hard though to give a "positive light" to industries that choose to take a largely negative defensive position.


    You constantly bemoan their actions as unwillingness to 'adapt', but their actions are defensive against the ever growing reality of piracy.

    The market is a race towards progress--always moving forward; you can either run with it, or get left behind. Taking a purely defensive stance in the market is like trying to win the race by standing still and pushing down anyone who tries to pass you. It might give the short-term illusion of success, but it's doomed to fail. People will ultimately bypass you, then avoid you, then eventually ignore you entirely.

    "Piracy" is mostly due to others who are already ahead of you, and people tend to follow those who are in the lead. The best why to "fight" it is just simply be a better runner--take a leading position and convince others to run with you. Ones like iTunes, Netflix, Facebook, Youtube, etc. do just that. Taking a defensive position while pushing others down, or even shooting at those who are already ahead, doesn't accomplish either. Sure, some like PirateBay may get a starting lead by flouting the rules, but most know they're cheating and will follow someone else who can take a better position that doesn't take them through the grass and mud.


    You should have anti-piracy articles that illustrate your opposition to illegal theft of content instead of articles pointing out how smart the pirates are.

    TD regularly condemns infringement, but it's hard to miss the fact the media industry's defensive stance is keeping them from catching up to even the slowest of pirates.


    Please enlighten us again. What business models would be impossible under SOPA/Protect-IP?

    Ones that allow independent artist to make money outside of the legacy media's control. Since you've failed to notice, they're mentioned quite often.


    Those business models which rely on unlicensed content?
    LOL! No, the ones that actually help the artist directly without any involvement from the legacy media companies. You might be surprised to know that there's a lot of independent artist that don't rely old media for production, distribution, and promotion. Just because it's not licensed by old media doesn't mean that it's not licensed from the actual copyright holder, or otherwise within the realm of fair use.

    Even plain infringement isn't always a zero-sum game, but that's been explained numerous times. Copyright isn't an absolute right, and absolute control doesn't maximize profit.


    Unfortunately, SOPA isn't about creating new laws it's about enforcement of EXISTING laws.

    No, it creates new rights that don't exist under current laws. Perhaps you should actually read the existing laws before making a fool of yourself.


    It is already illegal to share content but by the time the content is removed the damage has already been done.

    First, you have to provide actual proof of damages. And no, the decline of over-priced album sales only proves that the music market is in a state of transition, because the rest of the music industry is on the rise.


    SOPA hits the pirates where it hurts, in their wallets.
    First, most infringement is not only non-commercial, but generates zero-profit. There isn't a lot of money in piracy that doesn't involve physical goods, and most profits--if any--is sucked up by bandwidth and server cost. But I guess you somehow thought that they were getting all that for free as well.

    Second, SOPA can be used against anyone the media industry wants to take down. The DMCA is often abused for censorship and attacks against legitimate businesses, even for content legally posted by company reps! The media companies don't know, or even care, if the content is legit before sending a notice, because the penlites for making false claims are almost never enforced. SOPA not only gives them more power, but it makes the enforcement against false claims even harder.

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Nov 29th, 2011 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re:

    I guess you must have a delusional persecution complex.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Nov 29th, 2011 @ 6:22pm

    Re:

    Don't worry, I flagged your post--as "funny".

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Rusty Shackleford, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    hah

    that's amusing, since NBC as a whole could be scourged from television as a whole and it would probably make my day better.

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Brock, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Unfortunately, SOPA isn't about creating new laws it's about enforcement of EXISTING law"

    the unfortunate thing is that the sopa law allows the media industry to do things outside of court, without evidence.

    I actually almost want to see it passed just to see how bad they do afterwards, because they won't actually get more revenue since people will still pirate with it, it won't even make them flinch. And of course to see how many sites and people are taken out without actually having done anything against the law.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Too funny, but sad.

    We understand that well here I assure you.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Lets not forget that Hollywood was built on infringement.

    "They can write their own streaming software."

    They can not even film their own movies if it weren't for the fact that the tech industry came up with cameras. The media companies can not invent their own cameras, they have to 'steal' / infringe from tech that other people already made.

    How about this. Lets ban the media industry from using tech that's under 95+ years old, since that's how long copy protection laws last. They can have their 95+ year copy protection lengths but they can't use tech less than 95+ years old.

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    HTML Tutorials, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:22pm

    I wonder...

    I wonder how many of NBC's suppliers perceived that letter as a threat. At first that letter didn't rise to the level of threat to me. However, after thinking about it, why else would have NBC used that verbiage at all? I'm starting to think it was an indirect threat, with just enough weaseling to keep one step above breaking the law.

     

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

  84.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:07pm

    Re:

    Yeah, we always take the word of some AC shilltards over those of experts. LOL!

     

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

  85.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Re:

    Funny how you think with all the stunts Verizon pulled in the past they are somehow crediable and to be trusted.

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are the industry loathing, self-serving shill for the piracy industry some of these people claim

    Piracy hurts society because it takes money away from content creators and puts it in the hands of content theives.

    Retroactive copyright extension takes content away from the public to put it in the hands of rightsholders.

     

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

  87.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:14pm

    Re:

    Don't flatter yourself. You're way too much of a run-of-the-mill clueless shill that someone would flag your drivel anything but funny.

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Too funny, but sad.

    I don't think I have read a single comment in here from a person who has a clue what SOPA actually is.

    I don't think you have yet the other posts and comments over the lasts weeks which deal with SOPA and make abundantly clear that people here in fact DO know what it is. Which is why they are protesting it.

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2011 @ 3:09am

    Re:

    Where were you when a consistent critic's post was flagged as the most insightful comment for a recent week?

    Sounds like you merely want a stage upon which to stand and shake your fists in anger at the "evil" TechDirt.

     

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

  90.  
    identicon
    david foster, Nov 30th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    NBCU, Comcast, and GE

    NBC Universal is presently 51% owned by Comcast and 49% by GE. I suggest that Comcast customers contact the company and object to this sleazy attempt at intimidation, and that Comcast and GE shareholders do the same.

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    AMusingFool (profile), Nov 30th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But the fact remains that without the content there would be no need for the codec.


    Actually, mpeg4 was originally created specifically for video conferencing.

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    AMusingFool (profile), Nov 30th, 2011 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    besides that, most ISP's are in cahoots with the media companies. they have a vested interest in being best buds.


    Verizon is a particularly acute example of this, as they are a cable TV provider as well as an ISP.

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    AMusingFool (profile), Nov 30th, 2011 @ 7:24am

    Some assistance...

    We are writing to ask you for help on an issue that is one our top business priorities – content theft on the Internet, which is a major threat to the strength of our business model.


    FTFT

     

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

  94.  
    identicon
    Mastro, Nov 30th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Creative America

    Are people really illegally downloading NBC shows?

    From the ratings- NO one watches NBC shows- maybe this is their big excuse.

     

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

  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Ten years ago I was a very vocal, very loyal customer and supporter of copyright and the entertainment industry.

    Given there poor treatment of customers, there blatant dishonesty, and crass treatment of many of their clients whom they rely on for there financial well being, they've pretty much turned me ambivalent to there cause, and an armchair boycotter of a fair amount of their products.

    They are very quickly turning me into a very vocal, very loyal opponent of the entertainment industry.

    These people are nothing but bullies, and I have absolutely no tolerance for bullies.

     

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

  96.  
    identicon
    Joshua, Nov 30th, 2011 @ 3:22pm

    This is nothing short of an outrage.

    I'm going to boycott them.

     

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

  97.  
    identicon
    Grimm_Demeaner, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 10:23pm

    We can always Boycott Hollywood or at least the Movie/Music studios that are on board or backing SOPA/PIPA

     

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

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 1:34am

    OMG USA is deep into FASCISM.

     

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


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