Andy Samberg, Neil Gaiman, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage & More Tell Congress: Don't Pass PIPA Or SOPA In Our Names

from the protecting-artists? dept

A group of some pretty damn famous people within the entertainment industry just made it clear that the folks pushing PIPA and SOPA do not represent their best interests. To hear the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce tell the story, they're pushing these bills in order to "protect artists." But more and more we're seeing the very artists they claim they're protecting say they want no part of these laws. The guys from The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer), famous both for their YouTube videos and their work on NBC's Saturday Night Live, along with a number of other notable names in the entertainment industry -- including Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage, Damian Kulash (and the rest of OK GO), the band MGMT, and a bunch more -- have written a letter saying that, as internet users, they don't think these bills are a good idea:
We fear that the broad new enforcement powers provided under SOPA and PIPA could be easily abused against legitimate services like those upon which we depend. These bills would allow entire websites to be blocked without due process, causing collateral damage to the legitimate users of the same services - artists and creators like us who would be censored as a result.

We are deeply concerned that PIPA and SOPA’s impact on piracy will be negligible compared to the potential damage that would be caused to legitimate Internet services. Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods.

We urge Congress to exercise extreme caution and ensure that the free and open Internet, upon which so many artists rely to promote and distribute their work, does not become collateral damage in the process.
When even the very people that the entertainment industry insists its "protecting" with these bills are being quite vocal against them, you have to wonder why they're being pushed so hard? Once again, it seems that these bills aren't about protecting artists at all. They're about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Jed, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    Those who can, innovate. Those who can't, legislate.

    "They're about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists"

    Duh.

     

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    Mel (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:16am

    And those who can't legislate, buy legislators.

     

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      Jed, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      Unfortunately, at this point, I group the 2 together. Those who officially put things up to be voted on and do the voting are little more than middle men for those who really are pushing for these things (like the MAFIAA in this case).

      Funny, they went from middle men for people to middle men for corporations (who some idiots fight should be treated like people!).

       

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    Simon, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    How I know Wikipedia isn't working...

    ...the MPAA can't use it to tell the difference between theft and copyright infringement.

     

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      Suja (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:25am

      Re: How I know Wikipedia isn't working...

      not just them, alot of people can't

      just try and go any art community site, say that and see how far you'll get

       

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    Lloyd Freaking Kaufman

    Alls I know is that if Troma speaks up, it's gotta be bad.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    And this is why we should cut the middlemen.

    Literally.

     

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    Loki, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    This

    Geez, the sense of entitlement of these pirate lovers knows no bounds. I wonder how much Google is paying these people to astroturf for them.

    Thank you for playing, but as usual it's a FAIL.

     

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    mike allen (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    wondered when the trols would turn up bet they are miffed today internet 2 MAFIAA 0

     

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    btrussell (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    "They're about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists..."
    ...and censorship for the government as well.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    If this is about foreign web sites, or rogue web sites . . .

    then why is Viacom suing YouTube?

    YouTube is not foreign. So it must be a 'rogue' website.

    If SOPA passes, expect any web site, like TechDirt, that complains about the corruption of congress or the damage caused by the dinosaur businesses to be classified as a rogue web site.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:10am

    Great news! My response to this:

    (cue Austin Powers voice) "Yeah, baby, yeah!"

     

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    DannyB (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:12am

    Herein lies the problem

    > We urge Congress to exercise extreme caution and ensure
    > that the free and open Internet, upon which so many
    > artists rely to promote and distribute their work,
    > does not become collateral damage in the process.


    Ah, but that's the very problem.

    Destroying the Internet will force those artists to turn back to the dinosaur monopolies in order to distribute their work under Hoolywood Accounting rules.

    Congress' paymasters (the **AA holes) don't want a free and open internet where artists can distribute their work.

    Next up: we must outlaw the dreaded Creative Commons license!

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:12am

    But it's about the artists....

    NOT! I like the way Wil Wheaton put it today:

    "I am 100% opposed to SOPA and PIPA, even though I'm one of the artists they were allegedly written to protect. I've probably lost a few hundred dollars in my life to what the MPAA and RIAA define as piracy, and that sucks, but that doesn't come close to how much money I've lost from a certain studio's creative accounting."
    (emphasis mine)

     

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      Loki, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 11:06am

      Re: But it's about the artists....

      That whole piece is a really good read. My favorite rebuttal to one of Dodd's comment's:

      Except for the part where this is completely false, its a valid point.

      I may start using that when the trolls come rolling in.

       

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    Mike C. (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    Another succint way of putting it...

    And here is yet another succint way of putting things in perspective:

    It's stupid, careless, and arrogant to go after people who are working in the shadows and end up turning the lights off on everybody else.

     

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    Cammy, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:24am

    Strolling on the internet, Googling "shit". Then I find out everything was gone. I was all "Man where did all the shit go?" then I found out PIPA and SOPA took it and THREW IT ON THE GROUND!!!
    They took away our rights! I don't wanna be a part of this fucked up System, MAAAAN!

     

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    LBishop PhD (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    oppressive forces at work here

    What concerns the proponents of these bills is a perfect example of what will be our downfall. Greed, man, they are filled with greed. They really believe the creative spark that was drawn upon to create whatever it is that they now claim could be taken from or not rightfully credited was only theirs to draw upon.


    There is NO ORIGINAL THOUGHT, only the universal source which all draw upon. Ever notice how many hands develop seemingly from the same idea pool at once? Do we really think that was coincidence? None of any of this is yours or mine to begin with.

    There is no such thing as piracy-there is NOTHING to pirate. Our decisions based upon greed will ultimately all fail- when there is no one left to buy creative vision, then what? When the greedy are all left with their piles of money and no one to buy and sell then what? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer up until the point when there is no one left with any money to line the rich mans pockets. Will greed end then? Will there be anyone left to cry for that song or performance or great idea that "belonged" to someone!



    There will come a day when those who scream for protection now will regret wasting so much of their precious lives here on earth protecting that which was never theirs to protect:guarding against villains which never existed, and squandering time finding any new means to repress a free exchange of information and technology for the sake of perceived financial gain.
    When, instead, they could have loved life and their contribution to it.


    True prosperity can exist ultimately ONLY in the absence of oppression. Although it may appear that these conditions co-exist, it is only temporary. One must decrease as the other grows and this can be seen in a broader spectrum. If we, as a people, are going to pass any more laws which serve to shut down the natural organic expansion of a free market, we must accept our responsibility as an oppressive force which seeks failure on a grand scale.



    Why would anyone co-sign such a death sentence? It takes courage to NOT BE GREEDY in the US today. But if we can face it head on without delusion and see it for what it is, truly, I do not believe any one of us , to a man, would choose failure, oppression, despair and death over prosperity. Everything else is folly.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

      Re: oppressive forces at work here

      tl;dr There is no OC, so why give a few people power over all?

      It's like trying to give a stoat a mouse that, when eaten, will end the world.

       

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    Michael Langford, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    They already failed.

    People who know how will still be able to find their websites... and people will continue to download what they want. All this will accomplish is to further prove that the US government is a danger to the world and should be be trusted by no one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

    Ummmmm, no offense Mike but those people, except maybe Trent Reznor, aren't really that high profile. If George Clooney or Lady Gaga or Eddie Murphy came out and said something then it would be newsworthy. Those other guys beside Reznor are at best C-listers.

     

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      martyburns (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:33am

      Re:

      Those other guys beside Reznor are at best C-listers.

      So? Only A-listers matter? Im pretty sure they still make close to 100% of their money in the creative industries that the MPAA and RIAA say they are working for.

       

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    The Luke Witnesser, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:38am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzS5rSvZXe8

    The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even TechDirt realizes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

    Andy Samberg, Neil Gaiman, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage don't think these bills are a good idea. Good! So do the rest of the thinking world.
    Nice letter, but will be ignored if it doesn't contain thick wads of dollar bills though. The US congress are all about drafting legislation submitted from the highest bidder after all.

     

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