Compare And Contrast Two Systems To Let People Notify Elected Officials About Their Feelings On PROTECT IP

from the who's-about-creativity? dept

A few weeks ago, we pointed out the totally laughable push by Universal Music to get people to alert their elected officials to the reasons why they might support PROTECT IP. What was really ridiculous about it was that the form was completely uneditable. There was no option to change the wording or add anything. Anyone who used the form sent the identical message to their elected officials (pretty much making sure that those letters get ignored). On the flip side, however, we have the EFF’s form, which makes it easy for you to tell your elected officials why you disapprove of PROTECT IP and would like them to vote against it. Unlike Universal Music’s form, the EFF form appears to be totally and completely editable. There is a short suggested text, but the EFF (again, totally unlike Universal Music) asks you to adjust and personalize your message based on your own thoughts and opinions.

I find this contrast to be quite telling. On the one side, we have an industry that claims to promote creativity and uniqueness — and which abhors the idea of copying anyone else (at least in its statements). On the flipside, we have the EFF, often derided as a bunch of “piracy apologists,” who just want to copy everything and have no concern for creativity. Kinda shows how wrong those views are when you look at how they treat this effort at public participation, doesn’t it? Of course, the other thing that it shows is that Universal Music doesn’t trust people to actually say what it wants. The EFF, however, has plenty of trust that people will use the form intelligently.

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Companies: eff, universal music

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Comments on “Compare And Contrast Two Systems To Let People Notify Elected Officials About Their Feelings On PROTECT IP”

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49 Comments
Hephaestus (profile) says:

Mike, this is the case with every astro-turfing group, industry biased blog, and one sided news organization. It is an easy way to spot them.

If they do not allow commenting. If they moderate their comments and only allow one side of the argument. If they close comment threads early when the comments do not fit with what they are attempting to sell. If they only allow one choice for email. Then you know them for what they are … afraid of the truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Of course, the other thing that it shows is that Universal Music doesn’t trust people to actually say what it wants. “

It’s that Universal doesn’t trust that people will say what it wants them to say, because deep down inside, Universal knows that the people do not want what Universal wants and because Universal doesn’t want a government to do what the people want unless what they want is what Universal wants.

The EFF, on the other hand, wants the government to do what the people want, even if it’s not exactly what EFF wants, and so they give the people a better opportunity to speak for themselves.

Aerilus says:

I used the demand progress one i wonder if they are just filtering through the eff’s form. there’s was completely editable (if its not a word it should be)as well. they had a petition with 300k+ electronic sigs which the mpaa said was fake so they asked people to use a form to write congress they said they had 35k forms submitted

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“Dear Congress,
I know entertainment just wants to rip me off (again) with their BILLIONS in profit every year. Why aren’t they satisfied with MILLIONS? And WE get called GREEDY by their trolls?

Obviously, none of you actually ever WORKED in music, not even your trolls. Do you know how much a musician makes? Not much… but the labels are all billionaires? dot dot dot”

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s amazing what a bunch of naive rubes you are. Why would Universal allow opponents to direct their supporters to use Universal’s tool to send opposing messages from its address? That kind of false flag messaging has been around for quite awhile. What would happen if I go to EFF’s website and claim to be a member who supports PROTECT IP. Or took it a step further and even mobilized my friends and send several hundred e-mails through the EFF site telling representatives that EFF members are divided on the issue, with many opposing the EFF official position. When staffers check to see where the e-mail came from, they’ll see it was from the EFF sponsored site. That, of course will give creditability to the claim of disunity. I’d be willing to bet that this is already happening.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re:

This is why you and most of the people at EFF spent most of your high school years walking around with a “kick me” sign taped to your back. You’re a bunch unsophisticated rubes who view the world as you wish it was instead of how it really is.

And who were you in high school? The asshole putting signs on people’s back and laughing?

That in itself is telling as to where your ignorant elitist attitude comes from.

I’d rather spend my time with the sign wearers over you, any day of the week.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“And who were you in high school? The asshole putting signs on people’s back and laughing?

That in itself is telling as to where your ignorant elitist attitude comes from.

I’d rather spend my time with the sign wearers over you, any day of the week.”

Sounds like you’re still wearing yours. I’m guessing the world is kicking you in the ass and you’re still as clueless as ever. The good news is that there are a lot of your brethren here at Techdirt who rail against the world they live in, but simply don’t understand it. At least you have company.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re:

Sounds like you’re still wearing yours.

Actually, I never had a sign put on my back at all. I was generally liked by everyone.

I’m guessing the world is kicking you in the ass and you’re still as clueless as ever.

Heh…no, not at all. I have everything I need. A roof over my head and the woman I love in my bed, to paraphrase Darius Rucker. And I am pretty sure I actually do have some of the clues.

The good news is that there are a lot of your brethren here at Techdirt who rail against the world they live in, but simply don’t understand it. At least you have company.

Heh…I think you are severely underestimating the Techdirt community and what it can understand. Have fun with that if you continue to comment here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“You’re a bunch unsophisticated rubes who view the world as you wish it was instead of how it really is.”

Who’s more sophisticated, technocrats on a techblog who probably know a whole lot more than you about math, science, economics, cryptoraphy, etc… or some IP maximist who is too lazy to spend a day in his life studying anything and wants to make money while having everyone else do all the work.

Don’t come here calling us unsophisticated, hypocrite, the people on this blog are educated in technical fields like physics, cryptoraphy, math, and many other scientific and technical fields, and what are you? To you, we’re a whole other species, our sophistication is akin to an advanced alien civilization compared to the primitive brains of the likes of you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Unsophisticated, IP maximists calling technocrats on a techblog unsophisticated. Seriously.

The RIAA can’t go two seconds without contradicting themselves (and I probably need to specify that this is a figure of speech before some brain dead IP maximist misinterprets it and then manages to call me unsophisticated), hardly anything they and IP maximists say makes any sense and much of it is not even understandable, these people have reading comprehension problems, and they call us unsophisticated?

Also see

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090616/1527385253.shtml

and we’re the unsophisticated ones? Give me a break.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

I’m sorry that discussing the substance of various issues and the evidence with an effort to use good logic is too unsophisticated for you, I guess you’d rather ignore the issues in favor of insulting others every time someone makes a point that you can’t coherently respond to.

I think your unsophisticated, knee jerk, responses to everything is indicative of how unsophisticated you truly are.

Karl (profile) says:

Re:

I used the demand progress one

I got that email from Demand Progress too. The MPAA claimed that many of the 300,000 signatures on Demand Progress’s petition were fake.

Within a day, 35,000 people sent personalized emails, not as a petition, but directly to Congressmen, that included their email and street address.

The MPAA also claimed that “one of their partners in this business” is Demonoid.me, which they call a “rogue site.”

Their evidence? A screenshot where someone from Demonoid posted a link to Demand Progress’ petition. Yes, really.

By the way, if you go to the Demonoid site now, it has been edited to say this:

edit: Just a note: We are not in any way or form affiliated to DemandProgress.org and we are not in contact with any of their participants. We are publishing this note out of our own decision. Since it is important that the public is aware of this bill, we urge you to do the same.

Here’s the Demand Progress page about the whole shebang:
http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/pipa_letter/

The MPAA’s blog post is here:
http://blog.mpaa.org/BlogOS/post/2011/05/24/How-to-Generate-Huge-Petition-Numbers-Against-a-Bill-that-Protects-American-Workers-and-Businesses.aspx

It appears you cannot link to the Demonoid post itself, but it’s still on their home page:
http://www.demonoid.me/

And on a different note… Demonoid has forums, and obviously has news items, both of which are a “significant use” of the site. Yet the MPAA calls them a “rogue website”… on the same day that they posted this in their blog:

any website basically engaged in legal activities, such as commentary, socializing or commerce, cannot be pursued under the PROTECT IP Act. Indeed, the definitions of ‘dedicated to infringing activities’ specifically exclude websites that have any other ‘significant use’ […]

Yet the MPAA uses news stories – evidence that they should not be classified as “rogue website” – to claim a criminal conspiracy.

This is a picture-perfect example of FUD.

Jeremy7600 (profile) says:

Re:

Its kinda the whole point of something called free speech. One very important aspect of free speech is ***allowing speech you do not like***. In this case the EFF is obviously coming out on top (And so is DemandProgress for that matter).

That is the very foundation of free speech. Dissenting opinion. To voice grievances. Sound familiar?

So yes, the EFF allows anyone to say whatever they want. Because even allowing the opposing opinion is more just than dictating what you should say (and therefor, think).

And you think this is a bad thing? You’re trying to paint this as some kind of problem for the EFF? you think this is going to hold us back, because the 5 people you might get to go to the site out of the hundreds of thousands might post a differing opinion?

As many others have said, its very telling.

rxrightsadvocate (user link) says:

Letter campaign through RxRights

RxRights, a national coalition dedicated to promoting & protecting American consumer access to sources of safe, affordable prescription drugs, is also encouraging consumers to send letters to Congress and President Obama to state their opposition to the PROTECT IP Act. Similar to the EFF?s form, the RxRights form (http://capwiz.com/rxrights/home/) contains suggested text that is also completely editable so that people can personalize their letters.

For more information, visit http://www.RxRights.org.

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