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.