Why Chris Dodd Failed With His SOPA/PIPA Strategy

from the time-to-engage,-chris dept

The NY Times has a fascinating, if ridiculous, interview with Chris Dodd about everything that happened regarding SOPA/PIPA. It starts off with the suggestion that the real problem here was that, due to Senate ethics rules, Dodd can't personally lobby Congress until 2013. You may recall that, before leaving the Senate, Chris Dodd promised that he would not become a lobbyist -- a promise he broke just a few months later in taking the top job at the MPAA. And make no mistake about it: Dodd's role is as a lobbyist. He is barred from personally lobbying Congress, but can lobby the White House, and is the main "strategist" behind the MPAA's PIPA/SOPA strategy trainwreck.

But the bigger issue in the article is that Dodd still doesn't seem to understand what happened. Sure, he talks about how the internet made a difference, but he thinks this sprang up out of nowhere.
By Mr. Dodd’s account, no Washington player can safely assume that a well-wired, heavily financed legislative program is safe from a sudden burst of Web-driven populism.

“This is altogether a new effect,” Mr. Dodd said, comparing the online movement to the Arab Spring. He could not remember seeing “an effort that was moving with this degree of support change this dramatically” in the last four decades, he added.
The thing is, if he'd actually been paying attention, he would have know that this has been building for a long, long time. For all the talk in the article of what a brilliant "strategist" he is, it appears his strategy was with the old way of doing things. He reacted to the internet with tremendous hubris -- pretending that the complaints weren't an issue, or were "just Google." Some of us have been watching this closely for years. This goes back quite a ways. Before SOPA, before PIPA. Before COICA. Before ProIP. There's been a growing recognition online that copyright is being used as a tool to block, censor and regulate our civil liberties, and there's been a growing sense of outrage over this. We've reported on it. We've told people at the MPAA and RIAA about it directly. And they've ignored it. Like Dodd did. His "strategy" may work in a world where his lobbyists are the only ones at the table, but it's no strategy for dealing with the public.

Even worse, Dodd's own actions fueled the problem. His own statements built up this attack posture from the very beginning. We had hoped that maybe, just maybe, Dodd would come in as a "reformer," intent on helping the MPAA adapt to the internet, embrace its opportunities and build better business models. But, instead, Dodd continued down the well-trodden path of blaming everyone else for his own industry's unwillingness to adapt -- and continued the MPAA's disastrous strategy of focusing on anti-piracy rather than revenue maximization (or, even worse, believing that anti-piracy is revenue maximization when nearly all of the evidence suggests succeeding at anti-piracy does almost nothing to improve the bottom line).

As a "strategist," the MPAA needed someone who understood the world that Hollywood is operating in. Dodd understood the way Washington DC used to work. That's a big disconnect. And it does not appear to be getting any better.

Equally hilarious are his calls for a meeting -- perhaps organized by the White House -- of tech companies and Hollywood:
Mr. Dodd said he would welcome a summit meeting between Internet companies and content companies, perhaps convened by the White House, that could lead to a compromise. Looming next Tuesday is a cloture vote scheduled in the Senate, which appears to promise the death of the legislation in its current form.

“The perfect place to do it is a block away from here,” said Mr. Dodd, who pointed from his office on I Street toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Sure. He'd welcome it now. Where was he three months ago when a group of entrepreneurs in the tech sector offered to sit down and meet with him? Where was he just a few weeks ago, when Senator Feinstein tried to set up a meeting between the tech world and Hollywood -- which Hollywood rejected, claiming that it didn't need to meet with tech companies, because it had this bill sewn up tight?

Now he wants to meet?

But even more to the point -- and showing just how much Dodd still doesn't get it... he wants to "meet with internet companies." Not internet users. He still seems to think that this is about internet companies, and not their users. Part of the protests were about the process and the backroom dealing. There is no "backroom" for making political deals on the internet.

If he wants to meet, why not meet in an open format where anyone can contribute? Why not meet on the internet? Why not do a Reddit AMA? Why not hold a Twitter conversation? Why not set up a forum or do some Google Hangouts? Why not actually use the tools he seeks to regulate?

Obviously, sometimes it helps to meet face to face, but if that's to be done, why not stream it live online? Why not let anyone watching contribute, make comments and ask questions? This can't be another backroom deal, even with "the internet companies." This has to be open and inclusive. This is about the whole process of DC-insiderism. This is about the whole process on which the article premises itself: that Dodd could have won this battle if he'd just been able to glad hand his way around Congress. That is what the internet was rejecting here. And I don't think trying to do the same basic thing again is going to accomplish very much. Dodd isn't going to win the internet over with a handshake and a sparkling smile.

Later in the interview, he discusses "missteps" in a way that shows he's still missing the point:
He acknowledged his side had committed a misstep by allowing Hollywood to become the face of laws that were intended to protect not just movies, but also more mundane products — for instance, home smoke alarms — that are frequently counterfeited abroad, sometimes with disastrous effects.

“In terms of public perception, I’m Exhibit A,” said Mr. Dodd, who spent last weekend hobnobbing with stars at the Golden Globes. “This is seen as a red carpet business.”

It was a further problem, he said, that Hollywood’s writers, directors, producers and blue-collar workers — whose unions squarely backed the new law — never personally campaigned in a way that might have helped to counter the Web assault.
Notice that he's not talking about substance here, but merely positioning. He's talking about the marketing of the backroom deal, not the meaning of the backroom deal. Yes, the fact that Hollywood elites were driving this process was a part of the problem. But he's wrong that it was because of how they positioned it. The MPAA absolutely did try to do exactly what he said. It set up CreativeAmerica as an astroturf group, staffed by former MPAA/studio execs, and pretending to represent the "grassroots." The only problem was that the actual "blue collar" workers didn't support the bills and recognized how bogus the claims of the MPAA were. And that was evident in the fact that the group totally failed to drum up any significant support -- even with a huge war chest that is still running slick, expensive ad campaigns on TV and in Times Square in NY.

Finally, Dodd still shows the kind of hubris that got him into this mess when he starts complaining about the White House, and how disappointed he is, because of how much money the industry donates. This is the same tone deafness that we saw earlier with the studio heads:
“There’s a disconnect between the business interests and the politics of Hollywood,” Mr. Dodd said, meaning that the film industry and its denizens provided money for many campaigns, including those of Mr. Obama, without pushing its issues to the fore.

[....]

While Mr. Dodd is barred from Congressional contact, he has had a free hand in lobbying the White House and federal agencies. On Saturday, however, the Obama administration dealt his efforts a blow by announcing publicly, in response to online petitions, that it had reservations about a provision in the proposed laws that called for blocking user access to offending sites.

Mr. Dodd spoke with barely concealed anger at what he called a “really gratuitous” statement delivered by what he had presumed was a sympathetic administration, which came after the blocking provisions had effectively been killed in Congress.
It's really incredible that Dodd can go from saying that this shouldn't have been seen as Hollywood fat-cats asking for handouts... and then immediately shift into talking about how much money they gave the administration, and how they expected the administration to simply give them what they wanted. That is a big part of the problem. That is what the internet is complaining about. People were upset that Hollywood can "buy" legislation that goes against the public's best interests.

Furthermore, the idea that Hollywood donors did not "push the issue to the fore" is pretty laughable. Hollywood has been pushing incredibly hard to get this bill passed over the past year. We've heard time and time again about how much time and effort have gone into lobbying for this bill, and how there were ever-increasing efforts over the past few months, with some Congressional staffers saying it was an unprecedented push for a particular bill. They pushed. But they failed to recognize the reality outside the beltway.

And that's why Chris Dodd failed.

If he wants to turn things around, it's time for him to stop focusing on the DC inside ballgame. It's time for him to join the internet community and actually engage. That may be tough to do, and he's certainly burnt a lot of bridges, but there are ways to build new relationships. But it can't happen if he's still taking the attitude he takes in this article. It's still about getting what he wants, and not actually listening to the concerns of the wider internet. And until he understands that basic fact, Chris Dodd is going to continue to fail.


Reader Comments (rss)

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      Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:40am

      Re:

      As we should know by now, either copyright has a future or the Internet has a future.

      There is no future for both.

      Stop kidding yourself that in the future some incredibly talented legislator will invent a magical copyright law that can prohibit the copying of published works without interfering with the people's cultural liberty.

       

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        Rich Kulawiec, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re:

        This. A thousand times this.

        The entire structure of copyright, patent, trademark, etc., is based on a reality that no longer exists. It's time to throw it out and start over.

        And, as I've said elsewhere: suppose, for a moment, that Chris Dodd and the MPAA and the RIAA and all of them are right. Suppose that we are looking at the imminent destruction of the movie, music, and publishing industries.

        If the tradeoff is that we get the Internet, I'll take that deal. It's a huge win for civilization.

        (And of course, we're not facing a dichotomy like that. Even if those three industries completely collapsed, people would still make movies and music and books...it's just that they wouldn't be funding 50 million dollar raises for bloated, insatiably greedy pigs when they did so.)

         

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        Greevar (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:47am

        Re: Re:

        That is very sentiment I share. They don't need copyright and they don't deserve it. Technology has overcome the need for publishing companies and it has overcome the ability to restrict copying. Those two things together makes copyright as out of place as outlawing witchcraft.

         

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        Hephaestus (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re:

        "As we should know by now, either copyright has a future or the Internet has a future. ... There is no future for both."

        I tend to agree with you. Copyright is an artificial rule created to control the flow of information several hundred years ago. I think that the politician of the time were afraid of things like what happened in this past week. We did alright for a couple thousand years with out copyright. I think it is time for this experiment, in controlling the flow of information, to end.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Interesting. If that is truly the choice, then we are in for interesting times, because:
        (a) copying stuff on-line is only going to get progressively faster and easier.
        (b) the big movie and music companies are very rich and powerful, and will fight to the death to preserve their interests.

         

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        Suja (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 1:35pm

        Re: Re:

        that's what i've been trying to tell people! but nobody seems to understand, is there really that few with the ability to see what's infront of them?

         

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        Merl, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 3:29am

        Re: Re:

        I'm okay with this concept, if there's a way in this copyright-neutral world for artists to still be able to live by their craft...

        ....is there?

         

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          Jeff Rowberg (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes!

          In short: negotiate payment with customers before or during the completion of the work instead of demanding it afterwards, once you have a product that is infinitely reproducible at $0 marginal cost.

          Also, sell value-added finite components that complement the infinite portion of your product.

           

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      gorehound (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:50am

      Re:

      Tech Companies were excluded and we all know why.And we all know that the Internet was never created to be a tool of Big Content nor to be Censored.
      If Hollywood hates Tech Industry so much it is kind of funny that they need Tech Industry just to make their films & music.
      I think it would just be to funny if all Tech Companies were together on the issue and just refused to sell the MPAA & RIAA & Big Content any TECH.Then Hollywood can go backwards in time to the great old days of Non-Computerized Film Making.
      If I was in the Industry I would make sure I never gave any Politician more than a few hundred bucks or even less.Cut off the Big Money in Washington and you will see a bunch of chickens jerking around with their heads cut off.

       

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        anonymous coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Hollywood hates Tech and free-flow of info as much as Scientology has hated it for the last 15 years. Also, Scientology is the drug of choice for Hollywood players. Seems kind of apropos that Hollywood would be the force behind censorship.

         

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      Delestoran, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 6:28am

      Re:

      First of all this is not about money, but rather control. The MPAA was created to represent an monopolistic film industry back when movies were made on 35 mm film and shown in studio owned theaters for prices the studios controlled. Content, actors, music, etc., was completely controlled by the studios. The monopoly attitude and arrogance was a huge part of hollywood when the MPAA was created. The music industry's RIAA comes from a similar place.

      There is a pattern to the behavior: From the DMCA, COPA, SOPA, PIPA, and the court's Citizens United decision (which is an affront to the very concepts that founded this republic), act in concert to reveal the actual goal: the destruction of the public liberty. These people do not want prosperity or even wealth, they want absolute power. The power to decide who gets published, who gets heard, who gets to sell what and for what price. Other companies want this too.

      SOPA and PIPA removed for now. A victory. But people like Chris Dodd would prefer this to be all about a few nice people in Washington DC who represent multi billion dollar legal fictions rather than the people who will be forced to live with the costs and consequences.

       

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    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    You hit the nail on the head with one point. Dodd is thinking in terms of internet companies. In modern Washington DC the insiders just assume that it is companies who control the government and make compromises. Voters are nothing but things to be manipulated with massive ad campaigns.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:55am

      Re:

      In modern Washington DC the insiders just assume that it is companies who control the government and make compromises.

      They also assume that the internet companies control the opinions of their users. Which I can understand to some degree, with traditional one-way media that was more or less the case. They could provide a slanted story with lies of omission as truth. The average person really didn't have the resources to dig into other side of a issue. The internet has changed this drastically and the average person can see opposing opinions rather easily and quickly now or even better, can publish a rebuttal themselves with not much more than a computer and internet connection.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:40am

    It is very interesting how the article makes it out as though it was a failure to sell the bills properly via lobbying and PR. There is hardly a mention that the bills were flawed or at least were suspect.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      Of course he wouldn't, he and his wrote the damn things.

      That's why there's no adequate due process included, nor any reality-based defense mechanism for those accused.

       

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    ramjet57 (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    Dodd

    I would call Dodd a whore but I have a lot more respect for whores. He is really a pathetic excuse for a human being. Shove some money in his bank account, load him up with the bullsh*t he is being paid to spew and point him towards the camera.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Not surprising.

    If the MPAA could effectively work with people (consumers) and the internet - they wouldnt need legislation.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:01am

      Re:

      Indeed, that's their problem underneath it all: they don't expect to serve a market, but for the market to serve them. The world must change to suit them and not the other way around. It's pure fantasy and arrogance of the highest order.

      These aren't business people, they're brats in a playpen.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:08am

      Re:

      But this is not the MPAA's responsibility. Their job is represent their members for the betterment of their members and do their job based on what it's members want.

      The MPAA won't work with consumers because this is what the companies they represent want. Trust me, if Universal, Warner, etc thought the MPAA should be sitting down with people like us to help solve their problems, they would be.

      That fact is, most of these companies don't give two cents about the public, as long as we keep buying their product. They don't care about culture, or what we think, or anything else about it -- as long as the money flows in their direction.

       

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        jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        Well, they also work damned hard to make sure that their product is the only one available to buy. They destroyed the indie film movement and reeled filmmaking back into their hands.

         

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        bordy (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re:

        Trust me, if Universal, Warner, etc thought the MPAA should be sitting down with people like us to help solve their problems, they would be.

        The 'AAs suck at what they do. Part of an advocate's job is not to just blindly represent his client's position, but to also advise his client on the efficacy of taking a particular stance on an issue. The 'AAs fail miserably in this regard.

        Or they've simply sold out. Pick your poison.

         

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    Ninja (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:51am

    Ooooo but the interwebz bites hard Mr Dodd. But don't worry, the censorship bull is already on the loose and the Govt will use copyright (and child porn) in many more attempts to censor and control the internet. And we'll keep biting as hard as possible, at some point we'll rip off the head of the bull with our jaws.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    Techdirt is so calm today, Chris Dodd fired all the shills he hired apparently to troll the interwebz.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:59am

    Dodd is right, those who donate millions of dollars should expect tens of millions in return through legislation they want getting passed.

    I may only make like $60,000 a year as a software developer, but under Dodd's logic I can become a millionaire in the next two years if I follow these steps!

    1) Take out a $5 million dollar loan from a bank.

    2) Donate all $5 million dollars to a Super PAC I set up, which I can give unlimited amounts of money to.

    3) Pick the correct person to win the presidential election in 2012, and spend the $5 million dollars getting that person elected.

    4) Once elected (or reelected in Obama's case) call up the president and demand a tax payer bailout for people who borrowed millions of dollars from banks to donate to Super PACs! And make sure the Bailout gives the people bailed out 3 times as much money as they borrowed from the banks in the first place!

    5) Pay off the banks with bailout money, and enjoy having $10 million dollars.

    Would it be a good policy for the American people? Heck no! But I bought and paid for the president, so I demand a giant cash bailout payment for people like me!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    When a coach fails to make the playoffs nor do anything to excite the team's fans, the coach is replaced and the team attempts to rebuild by hiring a new coach, one with a new vision for turning a losing team around. The MPAA of the last ten years is the equivalent of the Buffalo Bills the last ten years, hiring one losing coach after another with no clear vision on how to turn itself around. I bet the Buffalo Bills win the Super Bowl before the MPAA recognizes the errors of its ways.

     

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    ervserver (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    re

    Dodd on Hollywoods payroll may be short lived if SOPA doesn't pass soon. I think Obama will be ousted and a republican president will veto anything SOPA

     

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    letherial (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    I just watched a news interview with him. He had the balls to blame the fact that they lost is because there was alot of misinformation out there LMAO

    There is alot of misinformation out there, but not the side you think Mr dobbs.

     

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    Simon, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    He's selling a product that nobody needs but (almost) everybody wants. He peddles some of the most prized assets with his Hollywood Stars - fans spend considerable time and money just to get a glimpse of them. People willingly giving you money for a non-essential product that has a marginal cost close to zero? Sounds like the perfect product for the Internet age. But no, they fuck it up.

     

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    anonymous, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    if someone in the financial sector is caught committing 'insider trading', all hell is let loose. when Hollywood does the same thing by 'insider dealings' with senators, congress people or the White House, no one even bats an eyelid. why is that, i wonder?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Dodd is actually being quite diplomatic. He's discussing how his side was positioned because it's obvious Google and its astroturfers formulated a plan and carried it out.

    And make no mistake, he's aware that their plan was simple: lie to everyone and tell them the internet was going to be shut down and then simply wait for people to panic.

    You are one of the most slimy, evil liars I have ever seen in my life, Masnick. You and your ilk are clearly dangerous to every law abiding businessperson, and we are going to make that well known to Senators and Congressmen, as they don't like being suckered and lied to either.

     

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      DOlz (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:23am

      Re:

      I hope this was sarcasm. If it wasn't you really, really need to be taking your meds.

       

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      Jeff (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:32am

      Re:

      "as they don't like being suckered and lied to either." ... what? out of professional courtesy? Politicians are liars of the first order. Senators and Congressmen just happen to be the top of the heap when it comes to liars and con-men.

      Please put your head back between your ass-cheeks so that we don't have to listen to your spew.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      I'll feed the troll.

      Pray tell how Google astroturfs?

      Am I an astroturfer because I can use my brain to make my own decisions and decide I don't like a law, not because Google said so, but because of deduction and reasoning?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:56am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:04am

      I would love to see what IP address this one originated from. The obvious choice is one assigned to the MPAA.

       

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      BeeAitch (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

      Re:

      Stop being a sore loser. It makes you seem (more) childish and ignorant.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

      Re:

      Mind citing who "we" is? Not declaring yourself is considered slimy since you already refer to Mike by name.

       

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      The Luke Witnesser, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

      Re:

      You want to talk about being suckered and lied to, coward? Okay. Let's talk about how the entire world is being suckered and lied to by thinking that piracy is this evil, evil thing that internet people do because they're more interested in being "criminal freetards" than preserving the "creators of culture", meanwhile movies and seasons of TV shows, the vast majority of which are increasingly becoming utterly repetitive, socially-manipulative crap, are constantly being released and re-released and making millions off the shelves every time despite being frankly overpriced and harder to even access via the legal markets than the alternative - and that's if they're even being sold.

      Let's talk about how the entire world is being suckered and lied to by thinking that piracy is going to destroy the US economy, when the fact of the matter is any claim to do so relies on inflated bogus statistics and the broken window fallacy to try to convince the public that this costs America millions of jobs every year, when the truth of the matter is that people who do infringing downloads either do not have the money, are looking to back up data that they already bought or plan to buy later, or would rather spend it on other, more essential things, putting it into other, more essential industries. Whereas censoring the internet in the name of Hollywood dollars, which has been clearly and repeatedly proven as being the one thing SOPA and PIPA has the most potential of doing by far, would destroy alternative news, alternative entertainment, and so many other forms of small and start-up companies that the economy would effectively be tanked and everyone would be forced to just take the shit that the government and Hollywood gives them without question or any other avenues, fork over what's left of their money, and be essential serfs forever.

      And let's talk about the fact that the entire world is being suckered and lied to by thinking that copyright deserves to be protected or that these bills have a damn thing to do with stopping online piracy when the Big Content companies buying their government to push these bills on the American people are the same companies who not merely set the table for piracy through their bad business models, but also directly facilitated the whole thing themselves by owning and sponsoring websites to provide software that could be used for piracy, advertise that function of these files, and even provide copyrighted files right in front of people's eyes for the taking.

      Let's start talking about how people don't like being suckered and lied to when the masters you're shilling for can stop putting in bogus inflated statistics about lost money and jobs while ignoring the clear fact that the extreme self-policing measures these bills call for for a site to stay on the web are far too costly for even (and especially) most legitimate sites and companies to maintain, and even the ones that can would have to pull money out from the resources they use to better their sites and products and into otherwise useless government-ordered jobs, as if we don't have enough of those already.

      Let's start talking about how people don't like being suckered and lied to when the masters you're shilling for can stop claiming up and down that this bill is the best method or even remotely intended for "stopping online piracy from killing our business" while ignoring the fact that their same asses for years have bought and sponsored "piracy outlets" that don't get nearly scratched as much by this legislation as the legit hubs of the internet do, and now they've opened the gates to buying their government into etching their empire in concrete forever.

      Maybe when the entities you're brazenly shilling for can start being honest with their intentions for a change instead of trying to script the world into a form of perdition while everybody's looking at the flashing lights, we can start talking about how people don't like being suckered and lied to. Until then, thank you for providing exhibit A in hypocrisy.

      Oh wait, you know that if they honestly disclose what these bills are about nobody's gonna let even this bought government we have now in the United States of America get away with passing these bills without hell to pay and even civil war coming their way. My respect for Hollywood, copyright, the rule of money, and politicians takes another nose dive every time you people speak. YOU are the slimy, evil liars here, and you absolutely disgust me.

      I would tell you to go to hell, but the real bigwigs among you probably sit at the table with Satan daily already.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 12:07am

      Re:

      Regardless of how people are informed the Senate and Congress MUST represent their constituency, if they do not then they are failing and must be ousted and not re-elected. Lobbyists have too much power for niche groups. Its a representative democracy, now vote SOPA/PIPA out and do the jobs you were elected to do.
      and Dodd saying that people who wont play ball with him, wont get his money anymore when they have problems is pretty much admitting to buying votes and laws. Dodd is corruption destroying the basis of the government.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 12:07am

      Re:

      Regardless of how people are informed the Senate and Congress MUST represent their constituency, if they do not then they are failing and must be ousted and not re-elected. Lobbyists have too much power for niche groups. Its a representative democracy, now vote SOPA/PIPA out and do the jobs you were elected to do.
      and Dodd saying that people who wont play ball with him, wont get his money anymore when they have problems is pretty much admitting to buying votes and laws. Dodd is corruption destroying the basis of the government.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    Yeah I read the article before seeing your commentary on here. My reaction was 1) "whiny whiny blamey whiny, i'm old " 2) perfect insight into how a career politician felt about representing "the people" when he just wants to get the *companies* and that enough money (lobbying) wasn't spent to buy the laws.

     

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    Hillbilly (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Meetup Dodd?

    So Mr. insider Dodd wants to meet. With who?

     

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    tm, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Dodd should be in prison for his part in the housing bubble. Dodd was a Democratic Senator before he went to MPAA. He is a low-life scum-bag. The MPAA knows a fellow traveler when they see one.

     

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPDwQwM1cLU&feature=player_detailpage#t=16s" target="_blank">"I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those meddling kids!"

     

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    Jack Maddox, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    senate-bill-authorizes-federal-government-to-revoke-citizenship-of-the-american-people

    Are we being distracted by SOPA, PIPA while this other bill is worked though the system?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    To me, equally enraging as the backroom fast tracked dealing was the news control. I suppose for the exact same reasons; the lack of any real news coverage (pre-blackout) of such an otherwise controversial issue in their media puppetsówho ostensibly represent the public interestódemonstrates the very same public-be-damned attitude.

    Thankfully, the internet exists, and increasingly more and more americans are like myself and don't get their news from MPAA shills anyway.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Good article, I think it's kinda silly how the author acts like it is important for a meeting to be able to have comments from the internet. Since when have internet comment threads been useful? It would be full of trolls, bronies, retards, as well as the smart and thoughtful. I see no need to have legislators sit down and read a twitter thread, just let them meet with the lobbyists from Google, ISP's and other smart people that have something smart to say. Broadcasting it is cool, but don't waste their time reading comments.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    This was one of your best articles, Mike. Great work.

     

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    JohnnyMook, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    The thing that has been lost in all of this is that the Pirating won't stop.....its one of the oldest trades in the world. Copyright infringement was here years before the internet with old VHS movies being sold off the back of lorries, bootleg albums sold on audio cassette, bogus Ralph Lauren shirts down the market.......
    The conspiracy theorists have summarised that its Hollywood itself that is putting the Grade A Quality Movies online...in order to force the bill.
    My view is that I'm old enough to know whats right and wrong. I won't let anyone tell me what I can watch and read, which is the point. The bigger picture is that what will be blocked without you knowing...Censorship is a dangerous game, even more so when the reasons behind this is $$$$$ orientated.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Around 5% of what big media companies put out is actually worth purchasing.

    Finally they're getting exactly what they deserve.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:28pm

    off topic, but watch c-span sometime.

    i'm buying a gun.

     

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    Overviper, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 10:10am

    SOPA/PIPA

    The biggest thieves in the world are the movie studios and record companies. Anyone who has ever signed a deal with one has learned this the hard way. The entire system they have created conspires against the very content creators they claim to be protecting. Their day is over...like the dinosaurs, it's time for them to lie down and become oil shale. Irving Berlin is long dead, yet anytime someone hears "White Christmas" there are a chain of people getting paid, so who exactly, do they claim to represent? The author? The creator? They get more desperate every day because they know that the public is on to them.

     

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    Xntrick, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Congratulations to the White House and President Obama for actually working for "We the People". It's time that lobbyists and special interests learn that campaign contributions are not supposed to be able to subvert the will of the people.

    Every politician out there should be offended by Chris Dodd's comments. He, without even mixing words, stated that they are for sale and that he's pissed that they would even consider doing what the people want over what his special interest group ordered them to do.

    This needs to become the new battle cry, we need to permanently end the terrorist take-over of our government by lobbyists and the special interest groups they represent should be tried as traitors and terrorists. The sooner "We the People" retake our government, the sooner we will see our economy recover and education and infrastructure can become greater priorities in this once great nation

     

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    Hodge (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    I'm seeing a lot of comments here about how awful the crap coming out of Hollywood is, how repetitive it is, and how mind-controlling it is. And then I'm seeing a lot of outrage from people who don't want to be told they can't make free copies of said crap. Seems to me the best way to short-circuit a Hollywood-controlled internet is to stop consuming Hollywoood-controlled products, whether you're buying them or downloading them for free. As long as the demand is there, they have you over a barrel.

     

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    SteveMB (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 9:41am

    Empty Threats

    I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the **AA apparatchiks who made noises about not giving Obama any more money heard the GOP candidates fall all over each other to be more anti-SOPA than the rest. (Exception: Santorum was squishy on it, and a brief perusal of right-wing commentary boards shows that he's catching flak for that.)

    Yeah, these guys are going to sit back and let the Republicans win, you betcha!

     

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    This goes back quite a ways. Before SOPA, before PIPA. Before COICA. Before ProIP. There's been a growing recognition online that copyright is being used as a tool to block, censor and regulate our civil liberties, and there's been a growing sense of outrage over this.


    Of course, for most of that time we have been relatively few. But now there are tens of millions of us -- online users. Copyright once regulated relatively few people -- consumers were hurt in the form of higher prices for low-marginal-cost goods here and there, but mostly didn't connect it to its source, and were not directly impacted with censorship of any kind. Now much of the population publishes stuff, and thus both has copyrights with substance and may suffer from copyright regulation. It's only going to snowball from here, eventually resulting in a broad public recognition that copyright does not, and perhaps never did, serve the best interests of society. And every MegaUpload, every SOPA, every PIPA, and every ACTA from now until then will only accelerate the process by further bringing copyright's backers, and copyright itself, into disrepute.

    But, instead, Dodd continued down the well-trodden path of blaming everyone else for his own industry's unwillingness to adapt -- and continued the MPAA's disastrous strategy of focusing on anti-piracy rather than revenue maximization (or, even worse, believing that anti-piracy is revenue maximization when nearly all of the evidence suggests succeeding at anti-piracy does almost nothing to improve the bottom line).


    Nearly all of the evidence suggests succeeding at anti-piracy isn't even possible.

    Sure. He'd welcome it now. Where was he three months ago when a group of entrepreneurs in the tech sector offered to sit down and meet with him?


    Sitting on the high ground without any need to negotiate rather than simply dictate -- or so he thought. Incorrectly, as it turned out. ;)

    Interestingly reminiscent of the scene in many action movies when the bad guy thinks he's got the hero good, pulls the trigger, and discovers he's fresh out of ammo or the good guys sabotaged his gun.

     

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 5:44am

    There is. Musicians, for one, have always made the bulk of their money touring rather than from record sales. This site regularly discusses lots of other ways for artists to make money without restricting copying of their works.

     

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    Frank, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Well if the movie companies feel so strongly about it, why don't they have a blackout and stop releasing new movies for a month? Oh that's right, because their industry isn't threatened at all and they're just on the latest quest to find another dollar to throw on the pile. If it was really a problem they could make their case to the American public for free, instead they're lining Congressman's pockets with somehow legal bribes in order to make backroom deals.

     

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    gazz, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    wow

    This guy really does not get it does he. How can somebody in such a high profile position be so clueless?
    I find it laughable how he thinks the problem was that they marketed things wrong whilst being completely unaware of peoples legitimate concerns.

    What is more, nothing in his actions suggests in any way that he or his organisation has learnt anything and this should become obvious as soon as they reveal their next attempt to control the internet (which I am sure is well underway as I type).

    If their goal is to reduce piracy to acceptable levels then this goal will never be achieved if they stick to their current tactics.

     

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