CreativeAmerica Denies Copying; Inadvertently Shows Why SOPA/PIPA Are Dangerous

from the private-right-of-action? dept

Remember how CreativeAmerica flat out copied an anti-PIPA organizing email from Public Knowledge, and “remixed” it to make it a pro-PIPA organizing email from this MPAA-set up astroturf group. It was obviously directly copied text. The style and the text were so close, there was no way that it was developed independently. And yet… CreativeAmerica is now insisting it did it on its own and is pretending that people are complaining about the idea of the email:

But that’s not the case, said Craig Hoffman, a Creative America spokesman. He said Creative America did not copy Public Knowledge’s email but was just encouraging supporters to get in touch with their senators, a common strategy.

“It’s a standard organizing technique,” Hoffman said.

Either Hoffman didn’t understand what happened or he’s being purposely misleading (neither of which makes CreativeAmerica look very competent). No one is complaining about them sending out an email urging supporters to contact Senators. What they’re complaining about is that the text is almost identical, and uses the same three bullet points that folks at Public Knowledge admit they “over-edited” internally, including a long discussion that turned what had formerly been a paragraph into three separate bullet points.

But, ironically, Creative America’s insistence that it didn’t copy the email demonstrates one of the many problems with SOPA and PIPA. It’s that reasonable people might disagree over whether or not something is infringing. I’m pretty damn sure that CreativeAmerica copied PK’s email. But they say they didn’t. Now, under SOPA/PIPA, with its “shoot first, admit you shot the wrong dead guy later” approach to censorship… that would be a problem for CreativeAmerica. Isn’t it a better situation when you guarantee that everyone gets to make their case before we cut sites off…

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Companies: creativeamerica, public knowledge

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Comments on “CreativeAmerica Denies Copying; Inadvertently Shows Why SOPA/PIPA Are Dangerous”

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Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Tomorrow's Possible Non-Sequitur PR Statements

He said Creative America did not copy Public Knowledge’s email but was just encouraging supporters to get in touch with their senators

“We didn’t copy the email; I had waffles for breakfast!”
“We didn’t copy the email; my cat’s breath smells like catfood!”
“We didn’t copy the email; Chewbacca was a Wookie!”

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Well, I wouldn’t expect anything less from an astroturfing group. They’re already pale imitations of the real thing, a facade of concern hastily erected over an unsmiling corporate face.

It’s easy to see why CA can’t be bothered with originality. There’s no percentage in it. Why pay a creative to write compelling stuff for you when a mishmash of borrowed words and boilerplate achieve the same aim: ushering the converted to their phones/clickable buttons.

And I’m sure most of its supposed “army” is composed of other corporate entities and representative groups that are more than happy to speak for the entirety of their respective employees and sign their name in support of this bill, whether said employees agree or not.

All in all, the whole CA effort reeks of pleather trying to pass itself off as homegrown, honest, full-grain leather. All it does is make the wearer look cheap and dishonest at worst and cheap and easily-fooled at best.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think part of it is these companies are just so use to being able to use things without paying for a license. If sony needs to use a song their lawyers just call EMI and say give me rights to that song, you know you will want one of ours later. Same with all these other content companies, they are use to only having to deal with their friends to get the rights to things. Its basically “We never copied anything before because we owned everything, this is strange and foreign to be liable for what we were always nagging others about.”

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The current US law is far more onerous than the ones proposed to deal with foreign infringement. Why do you think the infringement-as-business-model sites have all migrated to foreign domains?

The three most frequently named targets of this bill: The Pirate Bay, Megaupload and Rapidshare… all continue to use their .coms and .orgs.

So. Um. You’re wrong. Try the next talking point on the list.

Brandt Hardin (user link) says:

Living in a Society of Fear

Two frightening pieces of controversial legislation, SOPA and The NDAA only go to further stifle our Constitutional Rights without the approval of the Americans, just as the Patriot Act was adopted WITHOUT public approval or vote just weeks after the events of 9/11. A mere 3 criminal charges of terrorism a year are attributed to this act, which is mainly used for no-knock raids leading to drug-related arrests without proper cause for search and seizure. The laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and censor public opinion without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist?s blog at

Al Bert (profile) says:

Re: Living in a Society of Fear

The provisions of the recent censorship (let’s call them what they are) legislation really does go hand in hand with those prior bills designed to circumvent 4th and 5th amendment rights. Despite the fact that i am very much for copyright and patent reform, this is the one reason i am most convinced that eventually some form of SOPA-like bill will pass. While the entertainment industry wants protections and been effectively demanding custom legislation from governments here and abroad, I cannot help but fear that those with twisted interests in pursuing NDAA and PATRIOT don’t now have a massive hardon for the things SOPA-like laws would provide.

That said, I’m not sure that this is the thread for such soapboxing.

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