MPAA Attacks Demand Progress With Ridiculous & Unsubstantiated Claims
from the getting-desperate dept
Demand Progress is an online activist group that runs campaigns to get lots of people involved on political issues that impact the internet, innovation and free speech. You can see the list of campaigns that it’s working on currently, and you’ll see lots of stuff that we regularly talk about. The organization has been doing a bang up job trying to point out problems with the PROTECT IP Act, and apparently the lovely folks over at the MPAA finally noticed, and decided that rather than respond with facts, it was instead going to smear the well respected organization in a blog post (which, of course, you can’t comment on, because the MPAA knows that very few people actually support its stance).
Karl, who pointed this story out to us, highlights the ridiculous nature of the blog post:
1. Demand Progress is an “ally” and a “partner in business” with “criminal enterprises that have a strong, direct, personal and commercial interest in continuing to steal from American creative workers and businesses.” It source for this? A screenshot where someone from Demand Progrss posted about COICA on Demonoid’s message boards. That’s right: merely posting on a forum makes you a “partner in business” with the site. Update: Demand Progress clarifies: the message board post wasn’t even by someone at Demand Progress, it was just someone at Demonoid who posted the info…
2. It says the signatures from Demand Progress are fakes. This is backed up by a claim that they tried using fake emails to sign the petition, and it worked. Demand Progress now has a system where emails from their site are sent to representatives directly, and asks for addresses and emails. However, other than their two fake emails, they show no evidence that any other signature is actually fake. Furthermore, the way Demand Progress usually works is that you sign their mailing list; they send an email to that list; and in that email is a link to sign the petition using your signup info. That system is hardly condusive to abuse.
And we should talk about the fact that they called Demonoid a “rogue website.” In their very next post, also from May 24, they quote Floyd Abrams (their hired lawyer), who claimed this:
“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,’ or websites that are not ‘primarily’ used for infringement.”
If Abrams is right, then Demonoid should NOT be considered a “rogue website.” Their forums constitute “commentary or socializing,” and is a “significant use.” Yet the MPAA presents this “commentary or socializing” as evidence of criminal consipiracy!
Separately, in looking at the MPAA’s blog post, I noted that it had no byline other than “MPAA.” As far as I can tell, every other blog post that the MPAA has put up has been signed by the person who actually wrote it. Kinda makes you wonder if whoever wrote this particular blog post knew that it was full of crap, and didn’t want their name associated with it.