Because There Aren't Enough Anti-Piracy Lobbying Groups…
from the we've-got-another-one! dept
There are already a ton of lobbying/industry groups out there that push “anti-piracy” campaigns. You’ve got the RIAA, MPAA, BSA and ESA, each covering different industry segments. Then, of course, a year ago, a bunch of entertainment industry companies got together and put together the ridiculous Copyright Alliance, whose main mission in life seems to be to spew utterly false propaganda in favor of stronger copyrights at every turn. But, apparently, that just wasn’t enough. So, word came out this week of a new anti-piracy lobbying “supergroup” with the innocuous sounding name “Arts+Labs.” The big difference here? Well, the entertainment companies convinced a few tech companies to join up as well: AT&T, Microsoft and Cisco. AT&T, of course, has been drifting towards filtering its network — and Cisco wants to sell filtering equipment. Microsoft, of course, has always been vocally against “piracy” even while quietly admitting how much piracy benefits the company.
This new group will be headed by Mike McCurry — who you may remember as the former head of the anti-net neutrality group “Hands Off the Internet” who had a slight problem in that he couldn’t stop lying, and simply ignored it when people called him on it. My favorite, of course, was his claim that Google didn’t pay a dime for its bandwidth, and net neutrality was all about making others pay for Google’s bandwidth usage. I challenged McCurry to swap his home broadband bill with Google’s (which, according to McCurry was “not a dime”) to which, Hands Off responded with deafening silence — though, the group had no problem then lying about our positions on things when it suited the group (and, again, not responding when I asked them to correct their false statements about us).
So, expect a string of similar tactics from this group.
To begin with, the group appears to be positioning “piracy” as something similar to “viruses” or “spam,” suggesting an equivalency that should lead to widespread use of filtering equipment. Of course, they seem to be missing the fact that piracy isn’t about others with nefarious intent trying to harm or scam you — but about people getting content that they want. But in Mike McCurry’s “up is down, down is up” world, piracy is apparently something that consumers themselves need to be protected from:
“We want consumers to have exponentially greater opportunities to access creative content in a variety of formats, and with confidence that they are safe from viruses, hackers, malware, illegal file trafficking and other net pollution that puts them at risk.”