Denial: MPAA Pretends That No Big Sites Have Joined SOPA/PIPA Protests

from the living-in-denial dept

Living in what can only be described as pure denial, the MPAA announced today that the SOPA/PIPA protests “failed to enlist big sites.” Honestly, there’s really not much more to say about that. Google. Wikipedia. Facebook. Amazon. Craigslist. All participating. Let’s just stare in wonder at the MPAA’s hubris and ability to deny reality.

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Companies: google, mpaa, wikipedia

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Comments on “Denial: MPAA Pretends That No Big Sites Have Joined SOPA/PIPA Protests”

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Loki says:

Re: Re:

They have always been desperate. Their biggest advantage has always been so few people have ever compared their statements (like their response to the recent White House memo) against the actual facts. when you sit down and compare what the RIAA and MPAA say something said or meant against what was actually said or meant you have to question if they even really understand the English language. They are either the largest collection of pathological liars I have ever encountered, or are so divorced from reality I question how they manage to stay out of mental institutions. The fact that I used to be one of their biggest supporters just makes shake my head in dismay.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And yet they link to an article that says the opposite.

Yeah. Is reading even a prerequisite to work for the MPAA?

From the article that the MPAA linked to:

“Something this big – which looks to be the largest and most prolific online protest ever in the short history of the Internet – that’s bound to get the attention of lawmakers across the board,” said Jeffrey Silva, an analyst at Medley Global Advisors.

Anonymous Coward says:

I just took a look at the MPAA’s Twitter account. Wow. Some people really are thick. They nitpick quotes from various sources. But only quotes that they take out of context and appear to support their own positions. They quickly make tweets about “people upset about Wikipedia outage” and so on (including tweets about other companies/sites offering to take up the slack for Wikipedia, for today obviously), then they pretty much insist that they’re doing everything they can to work with others on this legislation, meanwhile they say Wikipedia and others are blocking any such attempts at cooperation.

I thought yesterday’s statement by Chris Dodd was as “pot calling the kettle black”/hypocritical/ironic as it could get. I stand corrected.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Wikipedia

I hope the “reading comprehension” comment wasn’t aimed at me personally. I know Wikipedia did not have an outage. I’m merely quoting and stating what was being tweeted from the MPAA Twitter account.

And the “Wikipedia outage” was from one of their tweets. As were “reports” that people were upset about this and blah blah blah. It was pretty far fetched and truly grasping at straws to denounce/belittle today’s events.

Like I said, they were putting a spin on everything going on today, as well as things that have been happening lately.

Karl (profile) says:


Here’s the kicker: that WAS the headline in the Reuters article. You can still see the original article at

However, now that same Reuters URL (I believe – it’s the one linked from the MPAA’s Twitter feed) is singing a different tune: Pockets of Internet go dark to protest piracy bills. The article is completely re-written.

It’s pretty obvious that Reuters thought the protest would fizzle, and wrote the story yesterday. Now that it’s actually a big deal, they’re scrambling to cover their tracks. Pretty amusing, actually.

Loki says:

Re: Reuters

Plus, they are assuming because sites like Google didn’t completely go “dark” or that Facebook didn’t join the blackout they failed to participate. Wrong. I’ve seen at least 50 wall posts of Google’s SOPA page on Facebook today, as well as a large number of posts from various sites such as Reddit, Gizmodo, Wikipedia, and a host of others and I’m seeing more and more people cross-posting those various links. Facebook is actually doing more by not doing anything, allowing a much wider selection of protest information to disseminate than would occur if they just put up a single link to their own anti-SOPA/PIPA protest factsheet.

Anonymous Coward says:

google? yeah, that’s small, only the worlds largest/most used search engine.

Wikipedia? pfft…insignificant. The worlds largest encyclopedia should offer it’s website in Klingon, then it might be ‘big’

Reddit? Please…only about 100 mil unique hits per month. They need to somehow offer their site to the world’s penguin population,’ll be big!.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) says:

Quick Fact Check

Google is the #1 largest site on the web. Facebook is the #2 largest site on the web. Wikipedia is #6. Amazon is #9. Heck, the Alexa list of largest sites in the world reads like a directory of SOPA opponents; essentially ALL of the largest sites in the world oppose SOPA.

For fun, MPAA is #96,830, RIAA is #146,123.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You have to go waaaaay down the list of biggest sites in the world to find anything that doesn’t benefit financially from piracy to some extent. Linked In (#16) is the only one on the top 50 (counting only ones whose titles are in English and thus that I can read; and 50 is where I stopped looking) that plausibly does not derive any income from piracy.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“And what does that tell you?”

That the people passing laws that go after anyone deriving any benefit from piracy are absolutely and completely clueless. That almost everything – including the old media industries – derives some level of financial benefit from piracy, and it’s extremely difficult to find something that doesn’t to any extent.

Forgotten Voter (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As has been said by this site many times in the past, the answer to piracy isn’t passing stupid, draconion laws

Its this:

Piracy is a service problem.
The way to defeat piracy is to
provide a better service than the pirates.

Not take a shit on the First Amendment!


rubberpants says:

Yet Another Analysis of the MPAA's Statement

People often say far more than they intend to simply by the words they choose. Even carefully crafted PR statements contain hidden insights.

“Only days after”

The date of the blackouts was determined before the white-house released their statement. The use of the word “only” implies that having the timing of the blackout was somehow improper, unreasonable, or wrong.

“the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation”

Intentionally grouping the White House and chief sponsors together so that it is unclear who the actions and positions in the rest of the sentence are attributed to.

“responded to”

“Responded to” doesn’t mean removed, fixed or addressed. Responded means anything other than silence, up to and including “screw you.”

“to the major concern”

Note the singular of “concern.” They acknowledge that there are other concerns, and that they did not respond to them.

“expressed by opponents”

By using the word “opponents”, they reveal that they see this as a game. There are many other words they could have used there. The game theme keeps popping up later as well.

“and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together,”

They just finished saying that they see people who don’t support the bill as their challengers in a game, that there are concerns they didn’t respond to, and then somehow think we’ll believe that they want all parties to “work cooperatively together.” This is clearly a lie. The other things they’ve said indicate that they don’t want that at all.

“some technology business interests”

“Some” is a pretty weak word to represent a quantity that tends to mean “not many.” They want to minimize the number. Including the word “interests” evokes the term “special interests” and the negative connotations associated with it. (I find that particularly interesting as this is coming from an organization that’s whole reason for being is to influence policy. Where as the “technology” businesses are actual businesses.)

“are resorting”

They use “resorting” to imply desperation or a last-ditch effort, that they believe the blackouts were a hasty reaction and not well thought out or carefully considered. That’s not true. We know there was lengthy discussion, advanced planning, and careful coordination between many parties before hand, especially in the case of Wikipedia.

“to stunts”

You know, “stunts”, like Evel Knievel jumping a flaming car or a seal balancing a ball on it’s nose; implying hollow and pointless entertainment with no real purpose or effect. It’s too soon to see all of the effects of this, but early indications are it’s been quite effective.

“that punish their users”

This is an attempt to persuade people that encounter the blackout that the site isn’t punishing the MPAA – it’s punishing them. (Again, interesting coming from an organization that not only literally threatens to punish it’s users every time they use their supporters products with a red warning about big punishments but has also actually punished it’s users, including children and elderly people by suing them for enormous sums of money.)

“or turn them into their corporate pawns”

Again with the game metaphors. The MPAA doesn’t produce or sell anything they simply follow the orders of the companies that fund them. Pawns. Furthermore, the whole point of the MPAA is to influence policy makers with campaign contributions and lucrative private-sector employment opportunities. Pawns again. But somehow, when someone is encouraged to contact the person elected to represent them, they’re pawns.

“rather than coming to the table”

They are making clear here that they don’t want the direction of the country being determined by the voice of the public, but by big players in a closed room sitting around a table making deals. First chess, and now poker.

“to find solutions”

“Solutions” plural. These bills are not the end, in other words.

“to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.”

We know that all do not agree. It’s hard to tell a blatant lie through, it causes psychological discomfort. So, they had to add the word “seem” to soften the statement. The fact that they even put this phrase in there, shows that they know this isn’t true. When someone is writing about drunk-driving, do they bother to write that “all now agree it’s very real and damaging?” Of course not, everyone already agrees with that. Also, by trying to strengthen “real” with the word “very”, they are betraying that they suspect it isn’t real but they want us to think it is.

“It is an irresponsible response”

They are saying that the blackout was reckless and that someone just like you could get hurt by it. Classic appeal to fear.

“and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services.”

They are admitting that people “rely” on their opponents. If someone relies on you, then you are essential. I’m surprised by this and think it was a slip up on there part.

“It is also an abuse of power”

They are acknowledging that the Internet is powerful and they resent that.

“given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.”

This is clearly a threat. They’re saying that these companies have too much freedom and they can take it away. “Those are some nice freedoms you have there. It would be a shame if something were to happen to them.”

“It?s a dangerous and troubling development”

“Dangerous” is, again, an appeal to fear. The use of the word “development” tries to suggest that these actions are a surprise and were not provoked or precipitated by any events. It’s an attempt to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

“when the platforms that serve as gateways to information”

I’m surprised they would use the word “gateways” here. It’s a common criticism that they are the “gatekeepers” of content and they just want to lock it up. Perhaps they are trying to imply that “those other guys are gatekeepers too, see!”

“intentionally skew the facts”

“Skew” is a pretty weak criticism, akin to “tilt” or “spin”. They could have said, “they are lying”, but they didn’t because that of itself is a lie and would be too strong for comfort. It also would be too hard to fact check them on that – whereas “skew” could mean anything.

“to incite their users”

“incite” is clearly an homage to mob violence and implies coercion rather than persuasion. (Shouldn’t they have said “induce” just for kicks and giggles?)

“in order to further their corporate interests.”

They are saying, “See, we’re not the only ones with corporate interests. Everyone is doing it so it’s okay.”

“A so-called ?blackout? is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one,”

We know it’s called a blackout. Everyone is calling it a blackout. “So-called” is an attempt to weaken the term. “Yet another” is trying to imply that there were previous actions that were also “gimmicks.” (Writing a letter to congress is a “gimmick?”)

“designed to punish elected and administration officials”

This is a deflection of blame and criticism away from themselves to congress. Guess they’re not true friends after all.

“who are working diligently”

They are pointing out that the congress who can’t get anything done has a chance here to look like they’re doing something and they want us to stop being so hard on them and just give them this chance to save their careers.

“to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”

Of course, “jobs” is the buzzword of the year so that’s no surprise. The big old “American” and “foreign criminals” is an appeal to nationalism and patriotism. They went one step short of saying “terrorists.” That might have worked ten years ago.

“It is our hope”

“Hope” here shows that they doubt this will work.

“that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ?blackout? to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts”

Again with the deflection. “You guys tell them, we’re too scared to.”

“and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.?

They are implying that they are engaging in some efforts but those efforts are not meaningful. Notice they didn’t say “effective.” “Meaningful”, implies moral righteousness which gels with their line that “piracy is illegal” and therefore must be stopped – no matter if it’s actually harmful or the laws practical to enforce.

The Luke Witnesser says:

Here lies the truth about SOPA/PIPA that Techdirt has not been reporting: what MPAA, RIAA, and Hollywood execs do not want you to see.

The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even TechDirt realizes.

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