Evidence Suggests RIAA Labels Behind 'Grassroots Citizen's Group' Supporting Canadian DMCA

from the surprise-surprise dept

Well, this should come as little surprise, but as people have started to look into a so-called “grassroots citizen’s group” in favor of Canada’s version of the DMCA, they’ve realized that it appears to be an astroturf site set up by the major US record labels:

The copyright lobby, almost certainly led by the Canadian Recording Industry Association, has launched a major astroturf campaign in which it hopes to enlist company employees to register their support for Bill C-32 and to criticize articles or comments that take issue with elements of the proposed legislation. The effort, which even includes paid placement of headlines on Bourque.com, is still shrouded in some secrecy.  A member list, which featured many record company executives, has now disappeared from public view.  Requests to identify who is behind the site have been stonewalled thus far, with both ACTRA and AFM Canada explicitly stating they are not part of the site (this is no surprise since most creator groups have been critical of C-32).

The heart of the site (which requires full registration) is a daily action item page that encourages users to “make a difference, everyday.”  Today’s list of 10 items is a mix of suggested tweets, blog comments, and newspaper article feedback.  Each items includes instructions for what should be done and quick link to the target site.  For example, users are asked to respond on Twitter to re-tweets of an op-ed by Dalhousie law professor Graham Reynolds.  The suggested response is “As an employee in entertainment, this Bill will protect your livelihood” or “The discussion around DRMs is largely fear mongering.” Other suggested twitter activity includes twittering in support of James Moore and his comment that the Chamber of Commerce represents the best interests of consumers or to start following MPs on Twitter (in the hope they will follow back and later see astroturfed tweets).

I especially like how after someone noticed that all its “members” were execs at big record labels, the membership list disappeared.

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Comments on “Evidence Suggests RIAA Labels Behind 'Grassroots Citizen's Group' Supporting Canadian DMCA”

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36 Comments
Jay (profile) says:

Missed the point

Basically, look hard enough and you find out the execs are behind this. No opinion except the corporate line of “make this bill look good”

It’s like a Sun Tzu principle “attack where your opponent is strong, retreat when your opponent is stronger”

Basically, if they look like a grassroots that is promoting this to the ones in charge, it makes it seem as if people like the motion for draconian DRM

Quite frankly their “opnion” is null and void.

Craig (profile) says:

Who are they kidding?

I don’t know a single hockey-loving-beer-drinking-toque-wearing-maple-syrup-licking Canadian that supports DRM in general or the new DMCA specifically.

We get hosed enough as it is with the blank media tax, so we’re already wary of anything like this.

This is laughable, really. Raise the price of beer and smokes, you get a grassroots response; we may not be the samrtest people on the planet, but we sure as hell aren’t the dumbest, either. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:

And this is yet another place where they go wrong

It doesn’t even make sense. Why would a grassroots organization bother forming for the purpose of supporting the interests of entrenched institutional power? Wealthy companies don’t need grassroots support. They have money and disproportionate influence over governments already. Do they really think anyone will be fooled by the pamphlets being handed out by Citizens United for the Status Quo?

Hobits says:

Re: "Evidence Suggests RIAA Labels Behind 'Grassroots Citizen's Group' Supporting Canadian DMCA"

It’s been so long since you’ve been on the side of the people, that you may have forgotten what “grass roots” means. It’s when ordinary citizens ban together to rise up against injustice being forced down on them by corrupt politicians acting on behalf of oppressors such as yourself.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: It's when ordinary citizens ban together to rise up against injustice being forced down on them by corrupt politicians acting on behalf of oppressors such as yourself.

“It’s when ordinary citizens ban together to rise up against injustice being forced down on them by corrupt politicians acting on behalf of oppressors such as yourself.”

ANS : Cyber-Pirates oppress me.

Please tell “how copyrights for Artists” oppresses you.

—————–
“It’s been so long since you’ve been on the side of the people, that you may have forgotten what “grass roots” means.”

ANs, Not true. I am actually exploring running for NY state assembly from my district ( unofficial announcement– meaning i do not have to file –yet — with the NYC “campaign finance board”
———————————–
[p,s, — in 1990 is did “run” for NYC City Council, but withdrew , because my employer at the time – GreenPeace USA –expanded my portfolio , and i was NOT allowed to do both.]

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's when ordinary citizens ban together to rise up against injustice being forced down on them by corrupt politicians acting on behalf of oppressors such as yourself.

>Okay, I’ll bite. How do they oppress you?

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with… rape.

Hobits says:

Re: Re: Re: It's when ordinary citizens ban together to rise up against injustice being forced down on them by corrupt politicians acting on behalf of oppressors such as yourself.

What are you even talking about?? Copyright *IS* already law.

You’re talking about Islamic justice, where you want a hand (or mouse clicking finger) for every kid that wants to read a book he doesn’t have access to… Copyright law, as it stands is quite draconian (what else do you get caught “stealing” and pay 150k times commercial value for???). What you want is even *harsher* penalties to punish/harm/exact revenge on those who have done nothing to you (in reality). Please help me rationalize this, I hate only grasping one side of the argument. I cant think of anyone more suited to do this than you, as it seems you have spent quite some time rationalizing it yourself, i.e. (those 3rd world kids have enslaved Garth Brooks) or whatever non-sense you had to poison your own mind with in order to sleep at night. Just for reference, if you have to further corrupt government officials to get what you want, it’s usually against the interest of the people, that’s a decent moral guideline.

P.S. I own a software company, so yes I have a vested interest in copyright law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Copyright law, as it stands is quite draconian (what else do you get caught "stealing" and pay 150k times commercial value for???)

that is the point.

society holds pirates is very high disregard

the death penalty would be too extreme.*

however the courts do not see the current fines for piracy as “cruel and unusual” punishment.

* remember in many countries writers and musicians are often considered enemies of the state , and imprisoned tortured and killed — but yet they still go on making art.

are you pirates willing to die for your “right” to download?

artists will die for art.

you pirate coward wimps.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Balance - You must be kidding

Those in favor of “strong” copyright present their position as a “balanced approach to bringing copyright into the digital age”. But it seems that no matter how much “positive” legislation they get from their perspective, it is never enough. Missing from the concept of “balance” is any recognition that the consumers possesses any rights. The term “balance” has become an empty concept with a constantly “shifting” fulcrum that moves evermore in favor of granting all rights to the content producer. This is hardly what “balance” is supposed to mean.

Anon. (profile) says:

Not one mention of the RIAA in the "evidence"

Is it me, or was the connection not made at all between the RIAA and the apparent astroturf campaign? Is this guy saying (without saying) that the CRIA is the RIAA? It isn’t. [“OH, YOU’RE SOOO NAIVE, ANON.”] – but it actually isn’t. It’s really the IFPI (the first “I” is for “international”) that coordinates action for industry associations around the world – to be sure, it is an international effort often at odds with what’s going on in ‘Merica. I also think it’s hilarious that all of these anti-c-32 articles keep refering to the major labels as the “US labels” – Universal is ultimately French-controlled, Sony is very Japanese, and EMI is UK-owned – only Warner is ultimately US-based. Methinks someone is trying to whip up anti-American sentiment so that good Canadians will get all pissed at this affront to our national sovreignty by those bastard yanks – it’s just not as gangsta to rail against the French or the Japanese.

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