MPAA Hypocrisy: We Must Protect Culture! But We're Not Interested In Protecting Culture!

from the all-depends-on-the-question dept

Ah, the blatant hypocrisy of the MPAA. The organization and its supporters freely and frequently throw around bogus claims about how it’s important to give it all the things it wants in terms of copyright laws and protectionism in order to protect culture. For example, just look at how MPAA VP Greg Frazier responded to a question in Brazil about Brazil’s newly proposed copyright laws by saying:

Now, if you do not believe in the value of creativity, the importance of protecting it and to reward those who produce, then maybe you can justify [copyright infringement]. But in this case, you’ll be doing great harm to the culture.”

You see, copyright is important to protect culture. In the very next question, he’s then asked about Creative Commons and how it has great support in Brazil. And his response is completely the opposite:

Well, not sure. They [supporters of Creative Commons] do not always agree with what we preach. And you’re talking about democratizing culture, this is not one of our interests. It really isn’t my interest.

So, got that? The MPAA says culture is important… when it makes the MPAA money. Otherwise… eh… not so important.

Of course, what this is really about is that the MPAA got spooked by proposals to Brazilian copyright law last year that would have gone quite far in terms of making a much more reasonable copyright law. It would have done away with notice-and-takedown and said that service providers would only have to remove content with a court order. It would have created penalties for inhibiting fair use or the public domain. And the scariest proposal of all to the MPAA? One suggestion to completely legalize file sharing.

Now, if we want to discuss the cultural situation in Brazil — something Frazier really didn’t want to get into — why not point to the massive success of technobraega music in Brazil. The technobraega trend really is a wonderful example of democratized culture, where the creators of this music go to great lengths to give it away free, encouraging people to share it widely, even supporting the creation of “counterfeit” CDs to help the music spread, knowing that the more it spreads, the better they can do with live shows. Technobraega music in Brazil is a huge phenomenon, and an excellent case study in how a music industry can thrive and make money without copyright concerns, with free sharing… and do so in a way that really does “democratize” culture. Exactly what the MPAA is most afraid of.

That’s because the MPAA and the big studios it represents don’t want to help protect “culture” at all. They want to help protect the limitations on culture, such that they get to continue acting as a gatekeeper to culture.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: mpaa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “MPAA Hypocrisy: We Must Protect Culture! But We're Not Interested In Protecting Culture!”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
MrWilson says:

"When I want your [culture], I'll give it to you!"

“And you’re talking about democratizing culture, this is not one of our interests.”

This is the key component. When they refer to culture, they’re referring to monetized, curated, one-way-broadcasted culture. So they’re really not talking about culture at all.

Taking a couple denotations from Wikipedia:

“An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning”

“The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group”

Note the phrases “human knowledge” and “shared attitudes, values, goals…”

Culture is shared. It can’t be one-way. It can’t be locked down by DRM or copyright. If it is, it isn’t culture.

Culture isn’t just buying Star Wars on DVD. It’s fans making ridiculously stupid cosplay outfits and going to Comicon to show off. It’s Robot Chicken and Family Guy making fun of Star Wars. It’s bad fan fiction. It’s modding Star Wars games to create your own stories and new characters or adventures. It’s mashing up Star Wars and Star Trek to prove that the Death Star could totally blow up the Enterprise.

If you can control culture, it isn’t culture. Culture is a dialogue and unless you have a split personality, you can’t be the only one speaking in a dialogue.

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: "When I want your [culture], I'll give it to you!"

“This ‘culture’ you refer to, can you describe it?”

“What do you mean?”

“Is it green?”

“Why yes. Yes it is.”

“Does it have numbers in the corners?”

“Yes! Yes it does!”

“And a portrait in the middle?”


Anonymous Coward says:

“And you’re talking about democratizing culture, this is not one of our interests. It really isn’t my interest. “

Yes, what they want is plutocracized culture. and outside the Internet, that’s exactly what they have.

Culture, music, art, innovation, etc… will continue unabated without these IP laws. The problem is that, outside the Internet, big corporations have a government imposed monopoly on the information distribution channels necessary to distribute and share that content. The result is that, outside the Internet, the consumer only has easy access to content that they must pay monopoly prices for. It’s unacceptable, and instead of seeking to correct the problem that our legal system is wrongfully responsible for, our politicians are doing nothing short of trying to turn the Internet into the same plutocratic system that they have turned everything outside the Internet into. It’s unacceptable and citizens need to wake up to this nonsense and force our government to work for us.

Eduardo (profile) says:

Technobrega is a hit

As a Brazilian, I can state that Calypso, which is probably the biggest technobrega Brazilian band travels to their shows in its won private jet. They make millions of reais with their marketing strategy. Their shows are always packed.
I think what MPAA means is that it wants to democratize culture as long as you pay for it. Hahahahahahahahaha!

gridsleep says:

Those who cannot do, seek to profit by control through the rul of law and force of the gun. Name one MPAA executive who is actually a working musician. Ask any working musician if they would rather wear a suit and sit behind a desk barking orders all day. Never the twain shall meet. We can live without executives and the MPAA. We can’t live without music.

R.Phillips says:

as it states in the article, when it comes to the MPAA making money they want to protect “culture” yeah, THEIR culture, of profiteering on the hard work of Musicians, no one else’s culture.

if Live Gig’s became the norm as they were many years ago, (which is basically just more so than now) then the MPAA and the “people” they represent would see a larger drop in their profit margins, sales would continue even if the Technobraega concept (something that even Metallica was once into before succumbing to the almighty $) were to take off world wide, Bands want legit albums and profits from them, they also want success in the live arena, if the MPAA had their way, bands would all be locked in studio’s never performing live.
The MPAA have shown themselves to be Liars, and taking profits through lies is theft, they call FileSharing Piracy, how is the MPAA any different when they lie to the Legal Reps and the Paying Customers, how when they charge people for things they have not done, or charge them with illegal downloads when the person actually owns the Original CD.

and on top of that I would be happy to bet that if any of the MPAA exec’s were to be raided for illegal downloaded music in thier homes IT WOULD BE FOUND.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...