Entertainment Industry Still Can't Get Grassroots Support For SOPA/PIPA, Resorts To Trying To Buy Support

from the buying-support-is-all-they-know dept

We’ve written about CreativeAmerica a few times. This is the astroturfing operation set up by the major Hollywood studios, pretending to be “grassroots.” Of course, as we’ve noted, they can’t seem to find very many supporters at all. In the entire month of November, when there was a ton of news about these issues, it appears that a grand total of 161 new people signed up for its letter-to-Congress offering. In contrast to that, folks protesting SOPA were able to get over a million emails sent to Congress and over 87,000 phone calls in just one day. And how did that happen? Because those of us opposed to SOPA and PROTECT IP just asked our communities, and they did so.

The major Hollywood Studios do the same… and they get 161 new supporters over an entire month. It’s kinda pitiful, but it really shows how little the public supports Hollywood in this campaign to censor the internet.

Either way, it appears that Hollywood is now trying to do what it does best: buy support. Since its efforts to just rally the troops directly has failed miserably, it’s kicking off a big ad campaign, buying TV commercial spots on both broadcast and cable TV. The commercial itself is incredibly misleading and repeats a bunch of the standard myths:

It also goes with the standard scare tactics of “evil content theft.” It’s amazing that the industry bigwigs still haven’t figured out that no one believes that claim (well, other than some folks in Congress). Either way, it’s yet another example of the stark contrast in how the public views this bill. Those in favor have to buy their support, while those opposed just talk to people and tons of people speak out. One of these days, perhaps folks in Congress will realize that these people vote.

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Companies: creativeamerica

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Comments on “Entertainment Industry Still Can't Get Grassroots Support For SOPA/PIPA, Resorts To Trying To Buy Support”

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Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Maybe there’s a bit disparity of support due to the fact that there are 300 million people who stand to benefit from freeloading and a small fraction of that depends on copyright to earn a living. Just a guess.

If 300 million stand to benefit from ignoring copyright law then it should be abolished. The justification of copyright is only that the 300 million benefit (at least indirectly). If you admit now that they don’t actually benefit then you have absolutely made the case against copyright.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Re:

@ Richard (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 4:46pm

If 300 million stand to benefit from ignoring copyright law then it should be abolished. The justification of copyright is only that the 300 million benefit (at least indirectly). If you admit now that they don’t actually benefit then you have absolutely made the case against copyright.


You went IRREDEEMABLY off the rails by substituting “copyright” for “freeloading”. The 300 million who don’t produce the content benefit from it being produced. You wish to remove the legal protections that /allow/ expensive products to be made (garage bands don’t count) by having an exclusive on its distribution. Without that (practically) guaranteed, the whole system will collapse. — A frequent assertion, you (standardly) scoff? Well, the notion of “intellectual property” has served us well up to the present — and still can if people would respect the rights of others — as it’s based on the simple moral principle that WHO created it should have control over it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“You wish to remove the legal protections that /allow/ expensive products to be made”

False Dilemma. Content will be created without IP laws and I’d be more than glad to have whatever content IP is responsible for producing not being produced if IP is abolished. It’s a ‘risk’ I’m more than willing to take, my freedom to freely copy is more important to me than the (alleged) value of whatever content that results from IP laws.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You went IRREDEEMABLY off the rails by substituting “copyright” for “freeloading”.

I replaced a loaded, emotionally charged word with an objective one. So I went of the rails by trying to make the discussion more rational and less of an emotional rant. Sorry – you are the one who is off the rails not me.

If the 300 million can be persuaded that it will benefit them (by allowing expensive things to be produced) then you will win the argument – good luck with that.

My thesis is that the 300 million don’t actually WANT the expensive products – or not enough to pay for them – so under those circumstances they should not be produced.

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

OK, let’s counter these ‘points’.

You wish to remove the legal protections that /allow/ expensive products to be made […] by having an exclusive on its distribution.

Content doesn’t need to be expensive to create.
Also copyright doesn’t need to last forever. And you can still make money on stuff that’s not covered by copyright anymore. You can still sell it.

Without that (practically) guaranteed, the whole system will collapse.

What system? The system that creates content? That’s nonsense, people don’t need copyright to create works, as the past has proved, with works being created long before the first notion of copyright existed.

Well, the notion of “intellectual property” has served us well up to the present

“Intellectual property” isn’t actual property. And the idea that it is has harmed us more than it has served us.

as it’s based on the simple moral principle that WHO created it should have control over it.

Copyright holders aren’t necessarily the content creators. And vice versa.

(garage bands don’t count)

And why don’t garage band count? How are they less than those big named bands? (remember, U2 started in someone’s kitchen)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You wish to remove the legal protections

This is where most copyright extremists lose most people. Like it is some inalienable right. It is NOT. It is a TEMPORARY INCENTIVE to assist those in creative fields. That is how society in general views it, that is the terms under which we agree to abide by it. The more the big content industries try to force it into another definition and change the terms of the “contract” with society (regardless of how many member of Congress they can buy off to make laws that favor them) the more people will ignore it.

Well, the notion of “intellectual property” has served us well up to the present

And who’s fault is that, really? Who is it that has been continually twisting the terms of the agreement for the past 75 years or so? We agreed to a temporary incentive. They keep pushing it to a permanent guarantee, which we increasingly reject. The byproduct of which is that copyright gets increasingly ignored. had they just left the agreement alone, they might be doing better.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So let me redeem him, at least in part. It’s the current distribution channels that he’s objecting to and the monopoly rents charged there for that. As noted elsewhere, the creator rarely profits from this arrangement as the MO of “publishers” (physical books, movies, recordings through their cozy arrangements with music publishers) insist the creator sign their copyright over to them. So your oft repeated and incorrect notion that creators benefit directly (or often indirectly) from the copyright regime is false.

As is this” “as it’s based on the simple moral principle that WHO created it should have control over it.” There is nothing in the statue of Anne, the original US copyright laws derived from it or anything that has followed in the English speaking world that speaks of “moral rights” indirectly or directly. Once again….copyright came about largely to protect English publishers from bankrupting themselves by issuing multiple editions of a title by an author all at the same time. One or more of whom might, just might, have tossed the author a coin or three. It’s secondary intent was the promotion of education from which it’s possible to derive that walled gardens of copyright were NOT intended, though in many ways that’s what we have and THEN to provide the author with the possibility of earning a few coins. There is no guarantee of that, practical or otherwise, as the book may not sell diddly squat in which case the author is on the hook for any advances and other investments the publisher may have made in them.

(The same risk applies to the granting of a patent. Just because you have a patent doesn’t guarantee that anyone is the slightest bit interested. There are thousands of them collecting dust that no one, other than the inventor perhaps, has ever turned into a product.)

So it’s clear, even to a moron in a hurry, that copyright and/or patent law was never intended as a welfare scheme for authors/creators or those they signed the rights over to as you seem to think. Along with entities such as the RIAA and MPAA and others.

You also persist in the fiction that signing these rights over to a publisher is an agreement freely entered into by two equal and willing parties. The reality is that is you want your book published (or a fictional movie distributed) you must sign your rights over to the publisher or it’s not going to get printed/distributed. In strictly legal terms this is called signing a contract under duress. AFAIK it’s never been found that way in court because the applicable copyright laws and regulations allow for this. That doesn’t change the fact that the parties are equal or that both parties are willing as one is essentially forced into the arrangement.

Unless, you self publish/distribute. The latter as Mike has repeatedly pointed out has been made so much easier with the advent of the Internet, things like file lockers, the evil and wicked bittorrent and a host of other technologies. None of which insist on signing your copyright over. None of which negates or diminishes copyright despite what you seem to think.

They might, however involve a bit more work. As a publisher will demand that work anyway you may as well just do it yourself. (In the form of book tours, band tours, subjecting yourself to endless interviews with bored and totally disinterested reporters, signing books and stuff till your arm is ready to fall off and so on.)

As a total and complete aside, though you brought it up, bands such as U2 got their starts in a garage not a stadium. It then follows logically and realistically that garage bands do, in fact, count.

What Richard is saying, in reality, is that if the citizenry has removed its support for, and by extension, support of copyright then it IS time to goes. Not that I want to see that outcome but that WILL be the case if maximalists like you don’t compromise.

bigpicture says:

Re: Just a Guess

Maybe the general public are getting sick and tired of a privileged few getting handed the right to monopoly from the Government, while the folks who make the “real” useful products are always at risk of “anti trust” litigation.

On the one hand there are the merchandise producers who have a real cost to make copies of their product and are at risk of monopoly charges from the Government, and on the other hand you have intangible producers with little or no cost to making countless copies of a single effort/event and want monopoly privilege enforced on the “copy technology” (another “real” product which they did not invent) by the Government. So they can sit on their collective asses and collect money for a “one time” effort. The working public who have to make an effort 24/7 to collect an income are sick and tired of that. Just a guess.

Use your fucking brain says:

Re: Re:

Are you that ignorant that you think these bullshit buzz words hold any truth? Its been proven time and time again from steam to netflix to rhapsody to spotify, that piracy is a distribution problem. But then again people like you dont rely on things like fact now do you? Im sure you would have agreed with the same people when they said Cassette tapes would ruin music, then VHS would ruin Movies, then again music would be ruined by MP3 players, then movies again with handheld video recorders, then music and movies once more with the internet. You see a pattern yet? Fucking imbecile

Anonymous Coward says:

The ad is just funny.

– They need to conflate piracy with other things that are more serious because not even them believe their claims are strong enough on their own.

– They keep using the same language over and over trying to make it acceptable when most people just get pissed off by it.

Stopping piracy by encouraging censorship is not an option.
Stopping piracy by damaging other legitimate business is not an option.
Stopping piracy by forcing others to do your job is not an option.

And I am starting to think that piracy shouldn’t be stopped but encouraged, that way everybody would be able to get a shot at making some money instead of the holder of a monopoly that shouldn’t be that long to begin with.

MrWilson says:

“They’re stealing American ideas…”

Um…there are no IP laws that protect ideas, American or otherwise, and there are none that could unless the law enforces mind control.

Also, if you’re referring to innovative things like patents, look to American history and ask where we got a bunch of our innovative patents – oh, yeah: we stole them from the British.

Anonymous Coward says:

The thing about all this BS about counterfeits for the US army that I don’t get is that to build a manufacturing plant it costs a billion dollars, which the US army can expend 100 times that just procuring hardware for it, if they need to secure production of hardware and guarantee reliability they should not trust a third party with it, they should build their own factory and produce the vital parts they need there, make a joint venture with Intel or someone else and have physical control over the production of those items.

Companies get in with the expertise and know how and the US Army with the installations and money to pay both.

Have that been tried yet?
I know for a fact that the government can screw up things badly once they get their hands on a business, that is why they need to provide only the physical installations and the security protocols the management of the rest will be by the other half of the coin.

It has the advantage that it will produce the parts in loco and use local human resources which means local jobs.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

I am wondering if this is going to backfire. The ad is going to bring more attention to the issue. The ads may become a point of discussion on a wider range of blogs and traditional news outlets. Those reports are not likely to be favorable if they start looking at the claims in the ads. Some of the sheep in the media are waking up to the reality of what is going on with SOPA and Protect-IP.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is why lobbying should be made illegal, as it is just a form of legalized bribe. Lobbying completely skews the idea that every citizen has an equal vote, because if say 1000 people send a letter to the Congressman against SOPA, and the companies backing SOPA give him $1 million in donations – guess which way he will vote?

In this country X donations = Y number of votes, and it shouldn’t be like that at all. The votes themselves should be all that matters, and the donations should come mainly from voluntary donations from real individuals, with a cap on how much they can donate to prevent “abuse”.

out_of_the_blue says:

It's just that nobody on the MPAA side falls for "astroturfing"!

The ad campaign is just standard, more like habit than any expecting results. Only you freetards believe that signing some on-line “petition” will affect the outcome. Geez. Inflated sense of importance must go right along with the sense of entitlement to steal the work-products of others. You take a skewed sample of freeloading pirates who’d be directly affected by cutting off their precious “Twilight” and other crap, mix it with shrill “end of free speech”, always a rabble rouser for those whose contribution to the discourse is to write one line of cliched contradiction, and then assert that the public has overwhelmingly decided. Get over yourself, Mike.

Oh, and QUIT wasting time on such posts. You’ve still got a lot of work to do on “Step2: ?????”. (I’m using that for a while, since can’t hope for you to explain your movie example, after 4 years, and idiot fanboys gleefully dodge my point with it.)

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: It's just that nobody on the MPAA side falls for "astroturfing"!

It’s not being gleefully dodged. You’ve had many suggestions. Your problem is that most of them involve a little something called WORK. And THAT you don’t want to do.

If you want a custom solution from Mike I’m sure he’ll be happy to sign on as a consultant at the usual inflated consultancy rates with 50% up front (pretty much standard), hand it to you and you won’t get all that much that’s different than you’ve gotten here. It all involves that dreaded four letter world beginning with W and ending with K. Something you appear to be allergic to.

Anyway, you’ve not given anyone enough information to give you anything but the most general response. All you’ve told anyone here is that you want to make a movie and it’ll cost $100 million to make (a suspiciously round number and probably just pulled out of the air). I wouldn’t invest in that much less offer any advice. Nothing at all about your background, if any, in film making or videography, experience in directing, screen or play writing, not even the broadest notion of the plot line (after all there are only 7 general plot lines possible), experience in editing and cutting and on and on it goes.

IF you came to me with a pitch like that I’d kick your ass out the door.

So you’re not being dodged, the question itself is lacking so much information it’s impossible to answer in any meaningful way. At least meaningful for you.

So I’ll pass on a freebie. WORK on making a pitch and leave your over sized attitude, sense of entitlement and ego in the parking lot. Perhaps the next three towns away, in your case. Come with a CV and a believable figure complete with a cost breakdown TO THE PENNY, and maybe, just maybe as you’re a total unknown in the industry (even porn, I assume) someone might be interested. I wouldn’t count on it though. Hollywood has been counting its nickles and dimes since a disaster called “Waterworld”.

So in the end, you’ll get what you’ve gotten now, lower your expectations, don’t expect to make a blockbuster first time out, get some experience and DO IT YOURSELF. Save the hundred million dollar stuff till you have some experience.

Now toddle off or take a valium or both until you have something new and remotely constructive to contribute.

At the moment you’re nothing but a troll and I just fed you. I sincerely hope it tasted horrible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Speaking of paying for signatures; a few months ago the business agent of my union local was offering tickets in a lottery for quarterly dues (worth about $65.00) in exchange for signing an online petition that is roughly equivalent to Creative America’s. Even with the cash incentive not too many signed though.

Anonymous Coward says:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
— President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864

Anonymous Cowards says:


“I enjoyed a couple of hours tonight with real people, who see how piracy dilutes their revenues, pensions, benefits. I have read their union contracts, which rely on the after-markets that piracy devastates. Could you please get facts before you pontificate? We’re really dealing with human beings”

I work as a grip in the movie business, under union contract. The vast majority of us derive no pension, benefits or any other kind of income from residuals. I am theoretically eligible for a small annuity but the chances I will ever qualify for it are slim, and as retirement income it amounts to a pittance. Most of the people who do derive significant income from royalties/residuals (producers, directors, some camera department) are fairly well off and well paid to begin with and have other retirement investments to take care of them. The exception is actors, many of whom are low to middle income and derive significant income from residuals. I’m not sure about writers.

The truth is the vast majority of film workers get little or nothing from residuals.

I’m a real person too. I don’t have a lot of money and stricter copyright enforcement isn’t going to change that, but at least I have a free Internet (for now)

BTW: I’ve witnessed a lot of said producers, directors, actors, camera dept. etc. engage in casual sharing of DVDs and music.

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