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CCIA Slams Congressional Representatives Who Unfairly Attack US Companies For Speaking Up Against SOPA

from the good-for-them dept

The folks over at CCIA have made a really good point. One of the most offensive parts of the SOPA debate is how supporters of the bill, mainly Lamar Smith, have missed absolutely no opportunity to slam Google at every turn, while at the same time going on and on about how he’s just trying to protect American jobs. Google and other SOPA critics are American companies with legitimate concerns. Attacking them by claiming they just want to profit from “piracy” isn’t just disingenuous, it’s an obnoxious and misleading attempt to avoid substantive debate:

The stimulative efforts of our companies in promoting freedom, democracy and more open societies is matched by no other industry in modern times. In the Middle East and around the world tech companies have stuck our necks out to be true to our principles. In contrast, we can think of other industries and companies that have sometimes worked hard to protect themselves and their markets by propping up status-quo repressive regimes.

Our companies have helped the Arab spring evolve and made it more possible for Russians to protest suspect elections. Our companies have sacrificed profits to withdraw from countries that would use our platforms to violate human rights. The most significant example was the costly decision by Google to pull search out of mainland China – the largest Internet market. That voluntary act, taken because of a commitment to principle and concerns about security and free expression was uplifting to many, though mocked by those for whom profit matters above all else.

It is, therefore, especially outrageous to suggest that any of our companies, and especially Google, who are opposed to this immature legislation do so because they greedily want to do business with rogue sites.

We are also proud that 3 of our members, among the largest US Internet companies [Yahoo, Microsoft and Google] have formed the GNI to defend global Internet freedom and condemn filtering and censorship.

It really is a pretty offensive political smear, considering the widespread opposition to SOPA from all sorts of individuals and companies that have absolutely nothing to do with piracy. Furthermore, even the idea that Google “profits from piracy” is pretty ridiculous. As we’ve seen from the various cases against sites, these sites make almost no money… and it’s extremely unlikely they make money from Google. Most don’t even appear to have Google ads, and for those that do, Google only makes money if people click on the ads, and people surfing these so-called “rogue sites” aren’t likely to be people clicking on ads.

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Companies: ccia, google, microsoft, yahoo

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Comments on “CCIA Slams Congressional Representatives Who Unfairly Attack US Companies For Speaking Up Against SOPA”

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128 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Google only cares about one thing: money.

Why do you think they should be able to profit off piracy?

Answer that question.

BTW, trying to change the topic to “why should the AAs be able to make a profit” isn’t answering the question. Attempts to avoid the question will be mercilessly mocked and snickered at, ultimately leading to you being completely tuned out and ignored.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“BTW, trying to change the topic to “why should the AAs be able to make a profit” isn’t answering the question.”

Building a strawan only makes you look like a fool.

“ultimately leading to you being completely tuned out and ignored.”

That’s why you have to come to Techdirt to get an audience, because starting your own blog doesn’t get you one. Everyone merely ignores you and no one will visit your blog. You come to Techdirt because Mike and others aren’t ignored and so that’s where the audience is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re right, record labels never pay musicians. That’s how all those musicians that used to never tour, who “already made enough money”, bought their cribs, right?

The Beatles, who stopped touring in 1966, had to go get day jobs in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s because they never made any money off record sales, right?

Moron.

Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Oh look, it’s another dork on Techdirt that thinks he understands the music business.”

Enough to understand what a complete and utter scam it is to sign with a major record label. Anyone with a funtional brain can figure out how to type “music industry indentured servitude” into a search engine and read a slew of horror stories from industry insiders who know what they’re talking about.

“Go look up the difference between sales royalties and publishing royalties, bozo.”

Don’t need to — I’m well aware of how it all works by now. I’ll reiterate what I said: Any artist that doesn’t sell a million copies can forget about seeing any significant profit, and even many that do sell as much never see a dime. Furthermore, when someone signs a deal with a major record label, they may as well be signing away all the rights to their work because the labels will do everything in their power to retain ownership.

I highly recommend this short interview with Dick Dale who gives artists the advice they need:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AJxc3Lxn4o

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The RIAA is one of the last trade unions with any power in the US. Well, technically, it’s a trade organisation, but pedantics. *handwave*

Why should Disney be able to profit off cultural theft of the public domain? Why should unoriginality be awarded in the arts world? Why are you too cowardly to register? Why do YOU profit of f of pirating the AC moniker?

hmm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually technically the RIAA its just a bunch of organized criminals constantly ripping off artists for everything they can and threatening to sue them (and occasionally threatening their families).

RIAA/MPAA, and all the big labels have at one time or another been found guilty of organized crime and racketeering, but they always manage to bribe their way out of it.

Anonymous Coward says:

I seem to recall that Google got dinged this year with a hefty fine. If I recall correctly, the fine resulted from Google serving up ads associated with non-licensed pharmacies in Canada, some of which I understand had, to be charitable, lax rules concerning doctor prescriptions for drugs.

While this is not representative of Google as a whole, calling this out is not really any different than opponents doing the very same thing concerning proponents. Six sigma events should be eschewed in any debate on the merits/demerits of the pending bills.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, we are aware of the event

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110824/14531015667/justice-department-to-protect-pharma-profits-well-just-take-money-google.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110830/17182115744/canadian-pharmacies-react-to-us-govt-taking-500-million-google-over-their-ads.shtml

It’s not all that clear that Google did anything morally wrong, even if what they did was technically illegal since it wasn’t in the best interests of big U.S. pharmaceutical corporations.

I think consumers should ultimately have the health freedoms to decide what medicine and medical risks they wish to take and it’s not the governments job to micromanage our health. The government is plagued with corrupt conflicts of interest and is not in a better position to know or care about what’s in my best interest than me. If the government ran our health as well as they ran their budget, or anything else for that matter, we’d all be in very big trouble. No, I want to manage my own health thank you very much.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s not all that clear that Google did anything morally wrong, even if what they did was technically illegal

Since all the Canadian pharmacies were selling authentic name brand and generic drugs, at a lower cost so that those who could not otherwise afford life saving medicines could purchase them, Google was in fact morally correct. It’s the US government that was (and still is) morally wrong by preventing or limiting access to those medicines.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What amazes me is that the U.S. doesn’t want to regulate drug prices under ‘free market capitalistic’ principles but then they turn around and grant pharmaceutical corporations patents, that is an anti competitive, anti-free market capitalistic government established monopoly. Big corporations get it both ways, they get free market capitalism only when it suits them otherwise they get an unregulated, anti free market capitalistic, government established monopoly when it suits them.

Every aspect of U.S. law is (almost) as optimally plutocratic as can be. The list of plutocratic, anti-free market capitalistic, anti competitive, and anti-consumer laws goes on and on and on. Every step of the way the U.S. tries to find various justifications for attempting to choose the most plutocratic combination of laws and rulings possible but there is no justification for it. Our government purely seeks plutocracy and doesn’t care about the public interest. Our government takes away so many of our rights (through the endless impositions of very many government established monopolies) while giving us little to nothing in return (ie: no universal healthcare, not that I support such a thing, I don’t. But at least in Canada, while their government does take away rights, they do have some pro-consumer laws that are intended to be publicly beneficial, like limiting drug prices and providing for healthcare. While the Chinese government does take away rights, at least they do provide for their people). Our government takes and takes and takes while providing us with almost nothing. They want to deny us the legal right to provide for ourselves and they don’t want to provide for us with anything. They want us to work for big government established monopolists who can optimally exercise their government given power to optimally scam the public out of their hard work so that they can optimally benefit from the hard work of others while contributing little.

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Actually, while I agree with almost all of your post, I just wanted to let you know that the comment about China shows you have not lived in China, and know little about it.

While they do have a hypothetical Universal Health care, it in fact is purely academic, and does not in fact universally cover everyone. In fact, if you have no money to pay the medical bills, hospitals will turn you away.

This goes for almost all aspects in China.

Other then this, I agree with most of what you wrote. Just want to set the record straight.

PS. Please let me know if you want to argue, and I will post the information directly from Chinese citizens with links (But you will need to use a translate engine, since the sites are in Chinese. Feel free to visit here if you want to see a real life example of this.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

and to add to this list of anti-consumer laws, much pharmaceutical R&D gets publicly funded and yet it still gets covered by patents often in ways that unfairly benefit the private sector.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110211/21345813068/next-tech-area-to-be-hindered-patents-nanotech-much-it-is-funded-with-your-tax-dollars.shtml

The government seems to have almost no regard for the consumer or the public sector, which is why copy protection lengths last 95+ years and it keeps getting retroactively extended to the point that nothing ever enters the public domain anymore. It’s also why the government establishes taxi cab monopolies and cableco monopolies along with the plethora of so many other government imposed monopolies.

Again our government almost always selects the most anti-consumer combination of laws possible. Free market capitalism only when it helps industry; anti-competitive, anti-free market capitalistic laws only when it helps industry.

Peer review journals often get the copy protections for published works yet they don’t do any R&D, those conducting the peer review are also often volunteers that the journals don’t pay for (talk about supporting the artists, only the middlemen are supported with our laws). The R&D is often paid for by taxpayer money, those who participate in and conduct pharmaceutical clinical trials are often volunteers.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100802/01361110446.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060509/0914228.shtml?threaded=true

“Journals get all of their content for free. They do not pay the authors. The journals often claim the copyright over those works as well — despite the lack of payment. The journals also do not pay the peer reviewers either. The biggest expenses of most publications… not even present in such academic journals. And yet they still charge huge fees for the publication itself. It’s a great scam, and they don’t want it to end.”

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100115/0038317770.shtml

(at least the NIH requires that their publicly funded research becomes publicly available after a year, but other government agencies that fund R&D should also have similar requirements).

I can go on but, the point is, as consumers, why do we tolerate this abuse?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not correct there Josh. Many of the “pharmacies” were shell corporations that were fronts selling fake drugs. Google has admitted in the Non Prosecution Agreement that they knew it was goIng on and even helped companies work around the rules. There’s a reason they got dinged for half a BILLION dollars!

Read the NPA; it’s pretty clear Google is more than happy to break the law if it’s profitable.

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“A Canadian sports doctor sought out by superstar athletes for help in healing from injuries avoided prison Friday for bringing unapproved and mislabelled drugs into the United States for house calls.

Dr. Anthony Galea of Toronto was sentenced to time served Friday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo. The sentence amounted to a single day, that of Galea’s arrest.”
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2011/12/16/sp-galea-sentence.html?

Google could have saved a shit load of money had they just smuggled the drugs in, rather than just giving options of places to buy.

Violated (profile) says:

Collision

This fight is getting pretty nasty pretty quickly. I would not be surprised if some blood is shed before this is all over.

On one hand you have the paid up corrupt politicians looking to force SOPA through and make Hollywood happy. These are some quite arrogant people and of course a bunch of liars and they very keen indeed to seize control of the Internet.

Then on the other side are those looking to protect the Internet and the many lawful businesses who would be abused by such a law. They know this is the worst Internet bill they have ever come up with and there is no way they can afford to let this one pass.

Immovable object meets an unstoppable force. No matter the force behind each side something has to give. Someone may end up with what they can forever call their “SOPA scar” before this is over.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Collision

All Google has to do is to cut off every single Congressman/Senator’s indexing. Let’s see how those fuckers like being censored. Imagine every speech by a politician, every rally, every debate – gone.

The traitorous fuck shoud be shot nand have their assets disbursed to the poorest people, or to Alabama to fix the sewer works and cut down on the costs.

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Collision

I love this idea!

To bad we would not see it happen in reality, because you know if Google starts giving them a taste of their own medicine, the government would find a way to shut them down.

They already take enough issue over their “Bigness”… (Why can’t I find that article where a concern about “How big they are getting” came about? Can someone help me with the link?)

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Collision

looking to force SOPA through and make Hollywood happy.

Hollywood will never be happy, at least until the internet is dead or turned into a locked down broadcast medium they control. If SOPA passes, we’ll go through this all over again in a few years, with something that makes SOPA look moderate.

Anonymous Coward says:

The last thing we need are more laws to complicate business and day to day living. For those who truly are running black market business with fraudulent merchandise that can hurt and cause loss to genuine manufacture, there are already a sufficient amount of laws to get those convictions without more laws. Use what you have and continue to get legitimate indictments and convictions. Don’t mess with free speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

It is amusing to see Mike trying to defend the indefensible: Pirate sites with advertising make at least some money, and they do drive more traffic back to the ad networks, often directly or indirectly Google.

Further, these site often do “click washing”, sending users out via various links on their sites to “third party sites” that they own but are clean as far as Google sees, and targets those users to high dollar per click ads – for a long time it was gambling, these days it seems to be hair replacement and credit card services.

Without the pirated material, the sites wouldn’t exist – they certainly wouldn’t have enough surfers to make enough money to justify their existence.

aikiwolfie (profile) says:

SOPA Supporters Should Be Careful What They Wish For

Part of me hopes this SOPA nonsense succeeds. Because if it does the supporters are going to suffer massively from reduced exposure on-line. And when that happens they’ll have to spend an absolute fortune on advertising. However nobody will be paying attention. They’ll all be checking out the other free stuff on-line.

Big media, big content companies are definitely going to suffer. As will anybody else using SOPA to protect their “copyright”.

I wonder who they’ll blame next for their floundering profits?

Michael says:

Re: SOPA Supporters Should Be Careful What They Wish For

It’s not just the lack of exposure that’s going to hurt but disgruntled people who are going forego anything to do with Hollywood, major labels and so forth as a direct consequence. Count me in — I’ll support independent and foreign stuff. The big media corps are pissed because more and more people are turning away from their mass-produced garbage and turning towards alternatives. This has nothing to do with piracy and everything to do with control, to do everything in their power to prevent competition. After all, nobody’s allowed to succeed except for them, you know.

hmm (profile) says:

Really

I’d love to know how many senators have taken campaign contributions from Chinese companies (read: chinese government) who would LOVE the US to be censored as it justifies (in their own tiny fear & hate filled minds) how they are abusing and raping their own people of their dignity and lives (and kidneys, if they happen to be compatible with those in power).

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