Rupert Murdoch Personally Lobbies Congress For SOPA And PROTECT IP

from the wouldn't-he-just-love-that? dept

Well, well. Apparently dealing with the fallout from the News of the World reporters hacking into phones in the UK isn’t keeping Rupert Murdoch busy enough. He showed up in DC last week to make a personal plea to Congress to support SOPA and PIPA and censor the internet. It’s been clear for quite some time that Rupert Murdoch doesn’t get the internet. His history is littered with massive and expensive internet failures. So it’s no surprise that he’s lobbying hard for a law like SOPA and PIPA, which will restrict up and coming online competitors and help clear out some of the field so that maybe he and his son James can finally get their wish to turn the internet into something that looks a lot more like TV: with the big media conglomerates delivering the content, and everyone else just consuming (and paying for) it.

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Comments on “Rupert Murdoch Personally Lobbies Congress For SOPA And PROTECT IP”

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FM Hilton (profile) says:

Rupert is stupid

He doesn’t have a clue-he’s about to lose his shirt over the telephone hackings in Britain, and all he can complain about is the SOPA/Protect IP? In person?

Just because he thinks he’s still powerful enough to do it?

Oh, yeah-he was given a special dispensation as an 1%er to be able to access Congress on everything.

I think it was Newt Gingrich who pushed along his petition for American citizenship. It should be revoked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Rupert is stupid

I’ll tell you why he wants SOPA.

Back in the day, you only had a handful of sources of news: newspaper, radio, television, magazines…Your knowledge of the world was limited to what a few people wanted you to experience. This was great for those people: they could lie to you all they wanted. How would you do fact-checking? Most of the times that would require you to travel across the globe…

With the arrival of the Internet, that has changed. Now any kid can be a reporter: all he needs is guts and an Internet connection. Gather enough “kids”, and you can cover most of the world news, and reach a population of Billions instantly.

This scares the old gatekeepers. They are scared of things like wikileaks. They are scared of things like Techdirt, or basically any site where Intelligent people can gather and discuss world issues.

Rupert Murdoch wants SOPA because he wants the old ways back. He wants to be in control, and SOPA could give him that.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

Re: Re: Rupert is stupid

And that’s why the government wants SOPA too, because they know big media will never pose a real threat to what they do or seriously question their desire for war, and if the press ever does cause trouble, it can be stopped with a few phone calls.

They can’t stop the internet with a few phone calls.

John Doe says:

I can assure you I will not participate

maybe he and his son James can finally get their wish to turn the internet into something that looks a lot more like TV: with the big media conglomerates delivering the content, and everyone else just consuming (and paying for) it.

If that is what becomes of the internet, I can assure you I will not be participating. In fact, I will become the worlds greatest pirate that the world has ever seen.

CommonSense (profile) says:

That friggin guy...

By now, the world should realize that if that asshole (You Rupert, Rupert Murdoch) is in favor of any form of legislation, we need to take a second, and third look at it. This would be like the guys in charge of Enron during that scandal coming out to lobby for a new energy bill so that they could get back in the game… We should know that there are NO good intentions behind it.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Because sites which allow the uploading of user content will be burdened to monitor those uploads such that they will no longer be viable and disappear, or spurious action against them when they fail to catch infringing user uploads will put them out of business.

Either way, those sites will either not be around any longer, or there will be far fewer of them, making for less of an outlet for user generated content.

Was that really so hard?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It seems silly to assume that such a vacuum would not be filled by something else, say like sites owned by the “users” who generate the content, example, or collectives, co-ops, etc.

It seems that you guys are focused on a single solution, and are unable to think outside of that very small box.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If your site is legal, you don’t have anything to worry about – in fact, if someone tried to shut you down that way, you could sue their asses into the dirt for doing it.

The foolish assumption is that a single complaint will get your site shut down. It’s bullshit, you know it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

DAZJ1 doesn’t received that treatment though.

Tens of thousands of DMCA’s are issued against other business, thousands more are just plain wrong almost criminal ones and you are saying people will not abuse a law that has zero consequences for being abused?

You believe in Santa Claus too, which is good maybe he gives you more breaking freedom laws.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The foolish assumption is that a single complaint will get your site shut down. It’s bullshit, you know it.

Yeah, OK, it’s early on a Monday. Of course you are right, perhaps a single complaint of infringement wouldn’t get the site’s funds cut off, but a single accusation of being a website “dedicated to theft of U.S. property” would surely be enough.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If your site is legal, you don’t have anything to worry about – in fact, if someone tried to shut you down that way, you could sue their asses into the dirt for doing it.

Yeah, OK, sure you could. But, of course this would all take place after your funds have been cut off. And who would you sue? The payment processors? Can’t do that because they would shielded from liability. Not only that, the payment processors have lots of reasons to cut you off to avoid liability themselves and absolutely no reason to reinstate if you did somehow prove you were 100% legal.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If your site is legal, you don’t have anything to worry about


if someone tried to shut you down that way, you could sue their asses into the dirt for doing it.

If you are a small group of ordinary people and your accuser is UMG you might prevail in the end – but only by betting you houses and your families’ future. How many are prepared to do that? Frankly your suggestion is just completely ridiculous.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“If your site is legal, you don’t have anything to worry about”

That’s the problem, any site that hosts a lot of content will inadvertently host some infringing content and hence be technically illegal. The whole intent of this law is to stop competition.

Your argument is the same argument that can be used by collection societies that demand money, with lawsuit threats, from restaurants and other venues who want to host independent performers under the pretext that someone ‘might’ infringe. The result is that many venues stop hosting independent performers many whom won’t play infringing content. The result is a reduction in competition and this is an intended result. Your analysis is wrong then and it’s wrong now.

Your argument is little different than the argument that the FCC granting broadcasting monopolies and the government granting cableco monopolies won’t stop free speech because […]. That argument turned out to be wrong, copy protection lengths are 95+ years long and yet the government established mainstream media doesn’t wink an eye and, and as a result, many people are ignorant of laws that they would oppose had they been aware. Government established broadcasting monopolies have resulted in censorship galore. The result is that almost all content, outside the Internet, is sold at monopoly prices. Permissibly licensed content doesn’t make it past government established monopoly gatekeeper distribution channels and the government grants a monopoly on both distribution (through broadcasting and cableco monopolies) and content (through copy protection laws) yet those who question this legislation would never have their views see the light of day outside the Internet.

In fact, the government grants a monopoly on almost everything, from taxi cab monopolies to mailbox delivery monopolies to patents, yet most people are ignorant thanks to a self interested government established mainstream media cartel.

Your wrong. These laws are not in the public interest just like 95+ copy protection lengths. The public doesn’t want them, just like they don’t want 95+ copy protection lengths. These laws are outrageous and are intended to result in the reduction of competition, just like so many other laws in this country does. Why should I believe otherwise? The government passes so many other anti-consumer anti-competitive laws so why should I believe that this law is any different? It’s not. It’s a selfish law that goes against the public interest just like the many many other laws that the government passes.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“If your site is legal, you don’t have anything to worry about…”

BWAH HAH HAH HAH HAH! Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

Not to mention that it’s already been shown that a number of the media companies have already done DMCA takedowns on items that they don’t own and on items they do own but gave to the sites for promotional purposes. I don’t know where you got those rose-tinted glasses but the real world doesn’t look like that.

“…in fact, if someone tried to shut you down that way, you could sue their asses into the dirt for doing it.”

All you need is more money and better lawyers than, say, Warner Bros. Or Disney. Or both, since one could do a takedown the same day as the other. And — silly me — I figured most companies would rather spend their money on generating income than fighting in court.

“The foolish assumption is that a single complaint will get your site shut down. It’s bullshit, you know it.”

Apparently you either haven’t read a single article in the last few months, or you just assume anything you don’t want to hear is bullshit, or your reading comprehension approaches zero as a limit. This is exactly why we’re fighting SOPA — because it requires cutting off of support on a single accusation.

Either that or you’re a shill.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Reread SOPA carefully. It only takes one such complaint to shut it down.

As I run a church site, for example, that allows user content the parish, in theory could end up being accused of liability with a spurious complaint.

I’ve already had one DCMA takedown notice which got responded to with ” please note that a .ca site is Canada and as we are not covered under the DCMA my first impulse was to ignore this. On further investigation the material you are complaining about has the copyright of The Anglican Church of Canada on it and being an Anglican parish we have every right to use it with the blanket permission of the National Church. Please do not waste my time any further and please do your research properly. I can show you how if you wish. We’d want a substantial donation for that. In Christ. John Wilson”

Maybe a bit snarky but it got the point across. Never heard another thing.

But I don’t want to have to monitor constantly because some people seem to feel that Canadians have some “moral” need or obligation to follow US laws in our own country. Not that some Canadians are any better.

The moral is that it’s not the big sites that will suffer because of the bills it’s the smaller ones. The ones where interaction and creativity DO take place.

It’s the places that don’t employ lawyers and watch every twitch on their sites 24 hours a day that’ll suffer and vanish cause they just give up.

But I guess that doesn’t matter cause the bills will stop piracy, right? Or at least put a dent in it. So it’s all worth it.

They won’t of course, far from it. They’re unlikely to put so much as a dent in it.

Remember to say hi to Santa Claus on the 24th. I’m sure you believe in him and the tooth fairy too.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

say like sites owned by the “users” who generate the content

You sir, have hit the nail on the head as to what SOPA is really all about. Problem is, will a music blog/video site allow me to post videos of my RC airplane doing maneuvers? Will it allow me to post videos of my niece singing in her Christmas play? What, a music blog won’t allow non-music videos? Or videos with music it doesn’t own? So now I have to post my niece singing on the right label owned site? But then they will not post it because I don’t have it licensed even though my niece singing in a play should be fair use. Not to mention the fracturing of the web because you have to figure out what site to post your video on.

Oh, and the RC plane video could get me thrown in jail or an RC plane video site shutdown because I happened to show the plane doing stunts to dubbed in music. What site could afford to take that risk? Fair use or not, no way to risk getting your ad revenue shut down. But then again, there will be no ad revenue because there will be no site.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“It seems silly to assume that such a vacuum would not be filled by something else”

So you admit that a ‘vacuum’ will be created? Everyone must be inconvenienced to work around these overarching laws to create another, less efficient, solution?

That’s unacceptable. Why should we allow a few corporations to dictate laws against the public interest, laws that will force society to substantially change how it operates to its detriment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“It seems that you guys are focused on a single solution, and are unable to think outside of that very small box.”

Because the existing solution is more efficient. If these other solutions were more efficient we would have adopted them already. Why should we be forced to adopt a less efficient solution just to meet some overreaching laws?

The intent of these laws is to force everyone to adopt a less efficient solution because that would make it more difficult for independent content to compete with those who benefit from government established monopoly power. You even seem to almost admit this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

At least you admit that these laws will force many who don’t partake in illegal activity to substantially change their behavior. It will have a huge impact on legal behavior and not just on ‘rogue’ sites. and this impact on legal behavior is the intended result, to negatively impact legal behavior that competes with the existing government established monopolists.

out_of_the_blue says:

And Google has failed at times too! It's called experiment.

Don’t recall a figure off top of head, but Google lost several hundred million in obviously loony experiments, notably the “cheaper than coal” project, and yanked away numerous “platforms” after foolish developers put time into them.

So Murdoch’s failures, much as we’d all like more, seem to only point up that the advertising model doesn’t work on the Internet. — The main point about the Internet is that one can, through use of “technology” avoid much of advertising. As Google spreads and becomes more obnoxious, more people will block it through the simple method of the “hosts” file and Noscript. And then the whole Internet monetizing scheme collapses, as the media parts relies on products made elsewhere, obtained “free”, paid for with eyeballs on ads.

JarHead says:

Re: And Google has failed at times too! It's called experiment.

Let me get this straight, your argument is cos Google and their ads are getting more intrusive, people will block it, hence ads couldn’t be delivered to users, then internet monetizing scheme collapse?

AFAIK advertisement is only one business on the net. There are others, like stores offering digital goods and cloud services. So if the advertisement industry do fall down, it doesn’t necessarily bring the entire internet monetizing scheme down with it.

More over, today the software vendors like to use “online activation“, or DRM if you like, not to mention delivering update patches to their products to the user. This make the user have to weigh in the pro and cons of having insulate his/her devices like that.

So, for your scenario to play out, if we thought for the moment the advertisement industry is the whole net industry, everyone needs to use “pirated” copies (circumventing the DRM) and forgo vendor’s auto update, or everyone migrate to the open source variant. I for one have a hard time imagining the feasibility of the 2nd option especially for business/enterprise level users. That leaves the 1st option, everyone is or will be a freetard.

Kevin H (profile) says:

Re: And Google has failed at times too! It's called experiment.

Google has lost money on a number of projects, but so has any other company that tries to be innovative. When working in R&D there really isn’t anything that is a clear cut failure. You have now learned one more way in which your goal cannot be acheived. The only ones who would call that a failure are execs who care nothing about what a success may mean, and are only interested in dollars spent.

Google and Facebook are living proof that advertising on the internet can be wildly successful. Where Rupert and other legacy companies got is wrong is that they tried to treat it like they do TV. Its not TV, and there continued push to make it one will hopefully be doomed to failure. Having them tell us HOW we get our content will not be tolerated. We are the consumer and we dictate how we want things to be. Not the other way around.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: And Google has failed at times too! It's called experiment.

Ad Block works much better than NoScript for that sort of thing. But Google text ads can’t be blocked that way because they form part of the HTML that’s delivered to the browser from the site you’re viewing. So that’s pretty much impossible to block with hosts allowed and hosts denied which most people don’t know how to use at all if effectively. Might be able to do it if you script something that identifies where links are going as a site comes in but it strikes me that’s a total waste of time and energy.
There’s also been the prediction of the death of internet banner advertising because it’s intrustive, ugly, chews up clock cycles, leaves cookies all over machines and all of that stuff. It hasn’t yet. In fact, if anything, banner ads are growing.
What’s most interesting is the fact that the most intrusive, annoying, clock and memory consuming ads are on media sites and not much else.
In many cases ads are paid for by eyeballs as well as click troughs. If you’re an advertiser you’re willing to pay more for an ad on the NY Times given it’s very high traffic outside the pay wall which results in more eyeballs and more clicks. Even better if you can geo-locate the browser and serve up ads that will attract users in that area.

Murdock’s failures have little to do with advertising on the internet. It’s his and his son’s complete failure to understand the internet, the opportunities it brings and the risks and dangers. Like the RIAA and MPAA they’re more interested in attempting to regain control of the supply chain where they dictated what came out and the customer be damned. Now it’s the customer who has incredible power and they have to adapt fo that or die. Murdock’s not adapting.

His son’s meanwhile have been too busy hooking up illegal wire taps in England (a criminal act) it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they could be spending some time “at Her majesties pleasure” in an English jail, most of which make American jails, even maximum security ones, look like a country club holiday. The continuing apologies are running thin now.

And what media parts rely on product made elsewhere obtained for free? Are you talking print or tv?

Or Internet? On that you’re out of your mind. Cisco routers pretty much have the entire show at that end. Linux and BSD servers have the vast majority of internet servers, The dominant web and file sever presence is Apache with Micosoft second and Netscape a distant third. You have a point regarding hardware but even then for high efficency and high throughput servers the design and assembly is largely done in North America notably Silicon Valley, Boston and the Ottawa Valley and the Pacific North West from Tacoma in the south to Vancouver in the North. Most closed and open source software is written by the best people they can find find for the job as the internet has made location immaterial to what’s eventually released.
I don’t know where you get the idea that Google’s text ads are all that obnoxious but fine you have a well known hate of for Google anway. But the largest distributor and sever of banner ads, the stuff than can be stopped by AdBlock and NoScript comes from a Microsoft owned company called doubleclick.

Thing is though that Internet advertising is increasing, not decreasing. So it must be working at some level or another. Even in display advertising it’s actually getting better and more creative that anything on TV and less obtrusive that it was before.

Not that I like it. But I’m not at all sure that it’s failing as badly as you think. And the Internet itself doesn’t need monetizing it’s sites that do. There are many ways to do that besides having annoying ads.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not a good idea Murdoch, when you run such a polarizing news network like Fox News you’re bound to have people abuse the law to fight back at your perceived propaganda network. It wouldn’t be too difficult for me to see the following abuse of SOPA happening.

1) Daily Kos or some other liberal blog posts something outrageous, hoping one of Fox News talking heads covers it.

2) One of Fox News talking heads covers liberal blog’s story, mainly to heavily criticize liberal blog for saying such an outrageous thing and to paint them as unamerican.

3) Fox News publishes a story of their criticism on the Internet, and a video of their talking heads talking about the story published on liberal blog.

4) The liberal blog goes to ad companies and demands they cease all ad revenue to Fox News & other news groups owned by Murdoch for copyright violation.

5) Other liberal blogs realize that SOPA is a great way to fight Fox News and other Murdoch owned news groups, and start doing the same thing, or just issuing baseless demands to ad companies to cease all ad revenue as soon as the previous one is lifted.

6) Conservative blogs decide to retaliate by doing the same thing to every news company that’s not owned by Murdoch, since Fox News is the only news station most conservatives listen to.

7) Everyone loses, just about every media group loses a lot of ad revenue money by being labeled too liberal or too conservative by one political group or another.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here is what I believe it will happen again.
When the internet started nobody wanted commercial interest in it, I do remember the first people who tried to use it to make some money in the early 90’s(i.e. a couple of lawyers announcing their services) they got a tone of hate mail, that was the beginning of the greedy into cyberspace, people found a place where they could express themselves and exchange information and those other people came right behind it, is not them that build things, is all of us, without nobody to listen they have no market, so they can transform the “legal” internet into something they like, the rest of us just will move on to another layer the freeworld(free as in freedom) where all the critical parts become distributed and thus censor resilient and again those clowns will come banging on the doors trying to get in, the difference will be they will have no control over it, cyberspace is a place with infinity layers.

ken (profile) says:

Murdock says he will break fair use.

This from a man who destroyed his flagship paper the Times of London and to this day will not admit it was a mistake even after causing the Times to lose all relevance in world news and even hurt the dead tree addition. Many reporters have jumped ship because why write for a paper no one is reading.

Murdock says he will break the concept of fair use through the courts so we know where he is coming from.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Rupert the Red nosed reindeer
Had a very shiny cause
But all the other people
wouldn’t even say it glows

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
All of Congress said
“Let’s all pass the SOPA bill
And make it law instead”

Rupert the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny cause
and made the lawmakers sing
to follow all the money aglow.

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