Major Media Owning SOPA/PIPA Supporters Whine That They Had No Way To Have Their Message Heard

from the oh-come-on dept

We’ve been pointing out that one of the big reasons why the MPAA/RIAA and others failed in their efforts to rush through SOPA/PIPA was that they have been totally and completely tone deaf to what’s happening online. And it appears that’s continuing. The LA Times had a bizarre article over the weekend, where people were suggesting that the MPAA needed to “do a lot of test messaging,” to see what would work in convincing the public that censoring the internet is a good thing. Test messaging? Seriously?!? They still seem to think that this is about a lobbying or PR campaign, rather than actually engaging and hearing what people have to say.

Even more ridiculous is the new talking point that both the MPAA and the RIAA are apparently “test messaging” currently. And it’s that they — who own all of the major media outlets around — are somehow at a disadvantage in communicating their views to the public. I’m not kidding. In that article above, Chris Dodd from the MPAA is quoted as saying:

“You’ve got an opponent who has the capacity to reach millions of people with a click of a mouse and there’s no fact-checker. They can say whatever they want.”

Yup, that’s the new MPAA talking point: “if only you moron internet kids couldn’t actually say what you want!” Does anyone actually brief Dodd about how best not to make it totally transparent that he wants to censor the internet?

But the RIAA is passing along the exact same message. Dodd’s counterpart at the RIAA, Cary Sherman, is quoted as saying basically the same thing in the NY Times:

“It’s very difficult to counter the misinformation when the disseminators also own the platform.”

First of all, this is ridiculous on all sorts of levels. Was it true that some of those against the bill weren’t completely up on the facts? Yes. But, lots of us were clear on our facts, cited specific language in the bill, and were quick to correct those who stated things that were incorrect.

But much more to the point: we’re talking about all of the major media companies in the world who were in support of this thing, and they’re seriously claiming that they didn’t have the means to get their message out? Who the hell do they think they’re fooling? They own all the major TV networks, all the cable news networks, the majority of top magazines, a bunch of top radio stations… and most of those media outlets refused to give critics of these bills the time of day. But suddenly they’re claiming they couldn’t get their message out? Give me a break.

Even worse, let’s compare the two platforms: SOPA/PIPA supporters completely own TV. But TV is a broadcast medium. They could put on whatever propaganda they wanted, and there’d be no way to guarantee a right to a response on TV. The internet, however, is a communications medium, where anyone can take part. So unlike the reverse situation, the supporters of the bill had every opportunity to counter the claims of people online if they felt they were being misrepresented. The real problem was that, for the most part, they weren’t being misrepresented. The problem was that people were saying what the bill would actually do, and Hollywood wanted people to focus on what they wanted people to believe the bill would really do. Reality, it seems, has a strong anti-Hollywood bias.

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Comments on “Major Media Owning SOPA/PIPA Supporters Whine That They Had No Way To Have Their Message Heard”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I believe that the SOPA/PIPA supporters would love this bit from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Particularly the final sentence I’m quoting.

[please don’t sue me for pasting these two lines, whoever is the current copyright holder]

“…though it cannot hope to be useful or informative on all matters, it does make the reassuring claim that where it is inaccurate, it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it was always reality that’s got it wrong.”

John Thacker (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Indeed. Perhaps a law that says that no other pesky corporations (like Google, Reddit, Wikimedia Foundation) are allowed to engage in electioneering, because “Corporations don’t have Free Speech.” Of course, as media corporations, we’ll still have freedom to speak, because we’ll have a special exemption for “Freedom of the Press.”

Not only will this shut down the major anti-SOPA/PIPA voices, letting all us pro-SOPA/PIPA voices have an open field to get our message out, this “reform” will be supported by many of those who hate SOPA and PIPA. We’ll look “progressive!”

Anonymous Coward says:

Not giving up

From the linked LA Times article:

After a week in which their anti-piracy legislation got derailed by the full force of the Internet lobby, the mood in Hollywood was one of anger, frustration and a growing resignation that the entertainment industry will be forced to accept a much weaker law than originally envisioned.

(Emphasis added.)

Hollywood still expects to get some law out of Congress, even if it’s ?a much weaker law?.

Hollywood may be right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Not giving up

Tell me about it! I mean, if I want to kill off a site/business, I want it done NOW! None of this ‘gathering of evidence’ crap, no ‘due process’, none of that stuff!

If I say a site is a dirty haven of pirates and lawbreakers, I want them shut down Right Now, not given a chance to put together a legal defense, and most certainly NOT given a chance to try and fix the problem to the best of their ability! And no I don’t have to provide any verifiable evidence of my claims, my word is good enough!

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

“You’ve got an opponent who has the capacity to reach millions of people with a click of a mouse and there’s no fact-checker. They can say whatever they want.”

We have an opponent who has the capacity to reach a few people with millions of dollars with the click of a pen. There is no fact-checking if the check is big enough. We can say whatever we want and they back us.

?It?s very difficult to counter the misinformation when the disseminators also own the platform.?

It is very difficult to counter the bald faced lies when the people telling them hand out the checks as well. We pay them enough to even ignore their own reports showing us as liars.

Dear **AA’s… your dinosaurs JUST F*CKING DIE ALREADY. You’ve been bitching for at least 20 years your dying, I’m starting to think your just hypochondriacs. Die off already… put up or f*ck off.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It most definitely should.

But an “unregulated” internet means that “we the people” may rise again to blow their carefully crafted, badly worded bills and bought and paid for politicians out of the water again.

Beware that when these bills reappear there will be language in them that will prevent another Web strike from ever occuring again. Not under the guise of censorship, of course, but as something less odorous and more salable like “national security”.

No one who blacked out this past week “owned the platform”. The content companies could have responded using the web as well and, perhaps, even defended the their position. Maybe. But they long ago surrendered the Web and the Internet to “we the people” and “we the nerds and geeks”.

And now they complain. They surrendered the medium, never did learn how to use it, make money at it or figure out that the Web isn’t the printed page so what works on the printed page doesn’t work here.

They ignored the reality that it doesn’t take all that much poking around to figure out who was funding who. All perfectly legally.

They didn’t take the technical high ground, they mocked it. They didn’t take the moral and cultural high ground because they gave those up decades ago.

And now they’re surprised they lost.

Now they’re worried that the day of “government of, for and by hollywood” is over. Darn good thing, too.

BTW, I refuse to call them the content industry as, at least on the web, they produce only a miniscule part of the content to be found and often the worst parts of it.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Beware that when these bills reappear there will be language in them that will prevent another Web strike from ever occuring again. Not under the guise of censorship, of course, but as something less odorous and more salable like “national security”.”

Reality, you scary.

After the blackout and public outcry I immediately thought of the government trying to pass some law limiting the ability of people to support/oppose laws under the guise of finance reform. But the idea of preventing blackouts of sites “too big to go dark” hadn’t occurred to me – and it’s equally plausible, given the people we’re talking about.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Because it is not in their best interest.
My comment over on boingboing about MU being seized sorta sums it all up.

“Well it is so nice to see that CNN is being so very unbiased in the coverage they are providing…

“”Hacktivist” collective Anonymous took credit for taking down the sites Thursday after the arrests of leaders of and shut down the popular hub for illegal media downloads.”

The news comes as lawmakers have turned their attention to anti-piracy legislation. Protests erupted both online and offline this week against two bills under consideration in Congress: the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA).

The bills are aimed at cracking down on copyright infringement by restricting access to sites that host or facilitate the trading of pirated content. But the legislation has created a divide between tech giants, who say the language is too broad, and large media companies, who say they are losing millions each year to rampant online piracy.
(Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, is among the industry supporters of the legislation.)”

We really should have laws against yellow journalism.

Our government is corrupt, our media is corrupt, at what point do we do things more than just wring our hands about how horrible these things are. “

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“You’ve got an opponent who has the capacity to reach millions of people with a click of a mouse and there’s no fact-checker. They can say whatever they want.”

My immediate response to that is: so do you, you frigging idiots. Until you actually succeed in removing net neutrality and killing sites you don’t like, you have exactly the same reach as every other company or organisation. You have the same net audience, you have websites, emails and everything else at your disposal. You don’t have control over the content of the message or the discussion.

That’s why this is a problem. They’re used to controlling the flow of content and information, they’ve only just woken up to the fact that said control disappear years ago and now they’re in a democracy.

John Doe says:

They should try informing the public themselves

They were so busy trying to pass this bill in secret and didn’t alert the public to their “message” because they knew this was a bad bill. They could have brought the public in anytime they wanted but they knew that the public wouldn’t like it. I cannot believe these people can sleep at night knowing what they are actually trying to accomplish here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: They should try informing the public themselves

They’ll sleep soundly once their pockets are securely lined with everyone’s money…

What keeps them up at night is the worry that they’ll become irrelevant and have to do something constructive and innovative in order to continue their extravagant lifestyles.

Anonymous Coward says:

That’s like conservatives complaining that the media is all against them, ignoring the fact that they have a blatantly right wing 24 hours a day news channel. A news channel that not only covered the Tea Party, but had some of their own news people like Glenn Beck think up the Tea Party in the first place and SCHEDULE the first national Tea Party rally day, with lots of Fox news cameras at most of the events.

Did any other so call ‘liberal’ news organization declare a day the national occupy wall street day? Nope. Did liberal news networks rush out to cover the Occupy protests for the first few weeks? Nope.

People like that will always complain that the news media is against them whenever they lose, even when it doesn’t match up with reality.

Colin Samuels (profile) says:

Changing of the Guard

Implicit in this whining — if indeed it amounts to anything more than simple whining — is old media’s recognition that its power has waned to such an extent that it can no longer realistically compete with social and new media. Certainly it maintains an advantage on most issues where its message is consistent versus a fragmented and distracted internet; where, as with the PIPA/SOPA backlash, the social and new media turn their attention to an issue and muster something like a unified voice, old media cannot hope to compete.

Their strategy is clear to both them and us: they need to employ greater subtlety. Money still talks but it needs to speak more quietly, and when the noise from the internet deafens on a sensitive issue, no reasonable amount of money will overcome it with anything like political certainty. PIPA/SOPA is probably going to be instructive, as the entrenched powers in Hollywood and Washington test the waters every so often with smaller bills, “debated” more secretly and enacted when we’re not paying so much heed, building PIPA/SOPA by layers rather than in one fell swoop.

Money will be the means to accomplish old media’s ends, but we can continue to fight the good fight and make this as time-consuming and expensive for them as we can. Cost them enough on this and other issues and they will be deterred in the future. There is little deterrent now — relatively little money and effort in Washington will get them what they want — but when those costs go up, that’s when their business model will start to change.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Changing of the Guard

Yes totally agree with this as I saw the same thing happen in Australia. Internet censorship was proposed, was condemned by all and was shelved only to have other measures imposed upon ISP’s that achieved the same outcomes only without the public debate.

I expect not to hear about the next round of this battle.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

The media companies had locked up the message. Opposition became so strong that new methods for getting the message out had to be invented.

What really happened was analogous to screwing down the pressure release valve on a boiler. Eventually the pressure builds to a point where the steam finds its own way out. The results are usually not pretty.

Reddit, Techdirt, and other groups became the focus of protest because traditional media was controlled. I don’t know the actual readership stats, but I am guessing that SOPA did wonders for viewership and discussion at the protest sites. Unfortunately for big media, some of that new readership will stick around.

Even sites like Facebook were lit up with anti-SOPA messages. The traditional media were not getting out the message, so people found other venues.

Now that the boiler has ruptured, the MPAA, RIAA, and other SOPA supporters are going to have a much harder time controlling the message in the future. Even media outlets who are friendly or subsidiary with SOPA supporters are being forced to provide more balanced coverage.

Media industry hubris is the ultimate cause of the problem.

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

Strike the 'could', they DID

“””Even worse, let’s compare the two platforms: SOPA/PIPA supporters completely own TV. But TV is a broadcast medium. They could put on whatever propaganda they wanted, and there’d be no way to guarantee a right to a response on TV.”””

Saw the first t.v. commercial encouraging us to support SOPA this weekend. Made me gag a little.

Gwiz (profile) says:

I read quite a few OP-ED pieces over the weekend about the blackout and the one thing I found very interesting is that the ones from traditional sources (LA Times and NY Times were two, I think) seemed to buy into the “more enforcement needed” argument hook, line and sinker. Not a single one questioned the need for increased enforcement against copyright infringement.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

The SOPA plan... (totally cribbed, still relevant)

In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the Plan was without substance.
And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.
And they spoke among themselves, saying,
“It is a crock of sh*t, and it stinks.”
And the Workers went unto their Supervisors and said,
“It is a pail of dung, and we can’t live with the smell.
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying,
“It is the container of the excrements, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it.”
And the Mangers went unto their Directors, saying,
“It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”
And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another,
“It promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”
And the Vice Presidents went to the President, saying unto him,
“This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the nation with very powerful effects.”
And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Law.
And that is how sh*t happens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The SOPA plan... (totally cribbed, still relevant)

Here, I’ll re-post the original for others to see.

“In the beginning was the plan, and then the specification.
And the plan was without form, and the specification was void.
And darkness was upon the faces of the programmers.

And they spake unto their project leader, saying:
And the project leader went to the manager, and he spake unto him saying:
And the manager went unto the Director, and he spake unto him saying:
And the director went unto the vice president, and he spake unto him saying:
And the vice president went unto the president, and he spake unto him saying:
And the president went unto the board of directors,
and he spake unto them saying:
And the corporate board of directors looked upon the product,
and saw that it was good!

(courtesy of some random *nix fortune file, somewhere, that I remember from long, long ago.)”

Beech (profile) says:

Sore Losers

What I really can’t get over is how they’re STILL pouting about this publicly. Look guys, you lost. Get over it. I’m sure your highly paid lobbyists are already working on convincing our elected representatives to pass some other abomination, so why stay fixated on this one?

Dodd’s remarks in particular seem just juvinile. It would be like the coach of a football team making a press release at half time bitching about how bad the other team is cheating because his team is down a few points. Then another press release after the game whining about how bad the other guys cheat. Then a week after the game issuing another press release saying, “Hey guys, just so you know, that game last week was gay. The other team was cheating.”

AG Wright (profile) says:

History and messages

It seems to me that their problem is that the *AAs have not figured out that communication has changed.
When my dad was a kid, 1940s there was radio and newspapers. One way communications only. When a small group wanted to get it’s message out they had to print it somehow. Buy a small press, mimeograph or something like that.Telephone was around but it was one to one and not everyone had one.
When I was a kid it was pretty much the same with the addition of TV but it was still one to many. If I wanted to communicate it was still pass out newsletters that I printed somehow.
As I reached early adulthood there were copy machines. Still paper based but easier than printing.
What the *AAs don’t understand is that now one person can get on Facebook and post a message that can, literally in hours, go all across the world if enough others are interested in it.
Some of them are my age and just haven’t caught up yet. They have secretaries that check their email and hire techies to “Do that web stuff.”
They don’t ever get on web sites, can barely get on the internet.They don’t get many to many communications.
This is why they don’t understand what’s going on. Their whole lives have been spent in a one to many world of mass communication and they can’t get used to the fact that in this world there is a many to many form of communication. They aren’t interested in learning and THEY ARE IN POWER RIGHT NOW.
We can wait till they die off but in the mean time they will cause extreme harm to our nation, world and it’s progress and maybe to the internet itself.
Part of our job now is to get through this transitional period without these dinosaurs doing too much damage.

Anonymous Coward says:


Of course you couldn’t get your message out. You were trying to sneak it through congress. It almost worked too. It took many sites going black to finally shed the spotlight on the topic.

What is the need for SOPA & PIPA anyway? Megaupload bit the dust. What more is it they want to ask for? I thought the purpose of SOPA & PIPA was to enable the government to do exactly what the DOJ did with Mega? Apparently what little of message they got out was just ruse to win public support. The government just demonstrated they are fully capable of seizing the over seas pirates anyway.

So what is it that they are really after.. Makes you think doesn’t it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Get over yourself.
Most everyone here has practically begged you to come up with a better business model. Nearly everyone has stated repeatedly that they do not endorse IP Infringement.

Frankly, I love movies and music and books and well, you get the idea. I pay for my media.

Do you really have to look like a whinny child? Come up with a plan! Make yourself even more stinking rich!

Or, continue as you have been and become regarded as part of the most evil empire in the world.

I really cannot believe you cant afford some smart guys to figure this out for you…. It’s gotta be better than throwing money at those dishonest politicians…

John says:

Most effective measure to bring the MPAA in line

The one thing that will make the MPAA feel – not just hear – the message of those who are against censorship:
Stop buying their recordings or purchasing any of their media for a few months and watch how the power of the masses will make them change their minds. Shouldn’t be so difficult, meanwhile watch some good movies or read those good old books on your bookshelf …

crade (profile) says:

Re: Most effective measure to bring the MPAA in line

So then they force licensing deals from govs, universities, bars, coffee shops, and/or sue people without requiring evidence and/or put levies on our phones, computers, or whatever that don’t have any requirements for anyone to listen or watch anything of theirs for them to get money. They aren’t going to stop voting themselves money because you stop using their stuff.

John says:

Re: Re: Most effective measure to bring the MPAA in line

Of course they wouldn’t stop whining, but they’ve already been proven to be wrong on the effect that “piracy” really has on their sales figures. No news for many of us, but probably for a lot of industry-bribed politicians:

Transnational Piracy Research in Practice

Game Changing Study Puts Piracy in Perspective

The Media Piracy Report

Anonymous Coward says:

“And it’s that they — who own all of the major media outlets around “

These people complained about the VCR, they complained about CD’s, they complained about audio tapes, they complained about nearly everything, and they did no fact checking at all. Everything they said was totally wrong and it all went unchallenged. This needs to change. Government established media monopolies need to end.

These people used to be more easily able to spew their pro – patent, pro-copy protection, pro-IP position with no fact checking or criticisms whatsoever. Just an entirely one sided message.

They’re happy to put their pro-IP position over mainstream media but they would never allow someone like Mike Masnick the opportunity to criticize intellectual property laws because they know that, in the face of scrutiny, their position is indefensible.

Which is why many of them don’t even allow comments on their blog.

They one sidedly steal from the public domain through retroactive copy protection extensions and the media doesn’t cover it.

These people want to be able to do anything they want, unchallenged whatsoever by any media outlets.

We need to abolish their government established monopolies. The government has no business giving self interested private entities a government established monopoly on information distribution. This has gone on far too long.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

and here is some other nonsense the media cartels would like to make you believe was a huge problem if they could easily get away with it without being challenged by those who fact check.

Underlying the media cartel’s fear mongering is the fact that the media cartel sees this as a potential alternative form of entertainment and hence a threat to their entertainment monopoly.

ImTheRhino (profile) says:


The US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) defines terrorism as “premeditated; perpetrated by a sub-national or clandestine agent; politically motivated, potentially including religious, philosophical, or culturally symbolic motivations”.

The SOPA/PIPA debate clearly falls in the terms of politically motivated terrorism by holing the world population and businesses to ransom.

ImTheRhino (profile) says:


The US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) defines terrorism as “premeditated; perpetrated by a sub-national or clandestine agent; politically motivated, potentially including religious, philosophical, or culturally symbolic motivations”.

The SOPA/PIPA debate clearly falls in the terms of politically motivated terrorism by holing the world population and businesses to ransom.

Anonymous Coward says:

A word from SOPA/PIPA

Censorship is your right, we serve the people, as we have always done so, since the first day you gave us this power.

Your right to share information on a global scale near instantaneously, will never be jeopardized.
We will never pass bills or pay more attention to certain bills with real problems, based on the amount of money my good friend Mr Corporate might or might not give me, Hi Bill.

We will not use buzzwords, such as “PIRACY”, to justify our actions
We will not use buzzwords, such as “PIRACY”, to call people pirates, when they dont support SOPA/PIPA
We dont expect
Husband: Another useless bill *sigh*
Wife : But what will the neighbours think
Husband: Go, SOPA

We will not release information, on fact and figures and not have verbal or documented proof, as to how this information was gathered

We will not release information, or bar access to information that would, incriminate us

We will not release information, or destroy information that would, incriminate us

We will not release information!!!!

LC (profile) says:

Suck it up, princesses

“You’ve got an opponent who has the capacity to reach millions of people with a click of a mouse and there’s no fact-checker. They can say whatever they want.”

Looks like your spin department is working overtime for you to cover your asses after SOPA/PIPA more-or-less fell flat on their faces.

Lets not forget that you’ve got the capacity to reach any member of Congress and offer them a huge paychecks and cushy jobs after tey retire form the house. Give a politician a large enough paycheck or a good enough cushy job after their term is up, logic, reason, facts and public interest go out of the window, and the constitution is ignored completely. Wish we had that, then SOPA would never have been on the agenda to begin with.

Cry me a fucking river.

ceoholla (profile) says:

The Pot calls the Kettle Black- ..AND Justice, SOPA and Pipa for All

The hypocrisy of this act solely supporting corporate objectives is troubling. We, Independent Artists, have been fighting for these same protections FOR 2 YEARS…Because the same pot that’s calling the kettle black, owns the media,contributes monies we don’t have to their campaigns and control the media, WE HAVE BEEN IGNORED..THUS FAR!Our message is simple…one Nation, under god, indivisible, with Liberty and SOPA AND PIPA FOR ALL!
Our intellectual Property rights are just as important to us as theirs are to them! Before the Internet and Occupy, we had a difficult time getting our message heard…The playing field is now level…

John Thacker (profile) says:

Clearly they're just upset about Citizens United...

See, if Citizens United hadn’t been handed down by the Supreme Court, then Google, Reddit, the Wikimedia Foundation, and all those other corporations could have been banned from their electioneering. However, those major media corporations would have been free to cheer for SOPA and PIPA, under the theory that the First Amendment has a special exemption for media corporations.

Citizens United was about a bunch of people getting together to put out their own documentary to people who were willing to pay for it. People who oppose the ruling apparently believe that only these major media corporations, these SOPA/PIPA supporters, should be able to broadcast political views. Non-media groups, whether grassroots or whether Reddit, Google, or the Wikimedia Foundation, should shut up, because they’re not the right sort of corporations.

Violated (profile) says:

You got to be kidding me.

It was very clear during this SOPA/PIPA revolt that mainstream services were ignoring this as best they could. Then the likes of CNN and Fox News were saying in not so many words “We cannot accurately report this news when our owners are SOPA supporters”

The mainstream news services that the majority of the population listen to did ignore the 6000 websites and 8 to 15 million people who revolted.

To now turned around to say these same “censors” were not heard is remarkable. I can only say “Thank God for the Internet” the one place where you can actually read news not corrupted by corporate media whim.

Oh how they fear us… but ignore us.

james says:


Hollywood, and BIG MUSIC,
Please understand, as long as my rights as an American are under attack, then expect no support from me. If you idiots really didnt want to lose money, then America would get 2 weeks earlier releases. Do your homework morons, most of them movies are pirated from other countries. SO STOP TRYING TO STEAL MY RIGHTS… USE YOUR BRAINS AND LEAVE ME ALONE. I could run both your pathetic industries as 1 person than any of you can as a team. Losers

Surfing By says:

Great Historical Irony in MPAA Actions

I find it ironic that Hollywood became the center of the American film industry, in large part, to avoid the patent and licensing requirements for film equipment enforced on the east coast.

A couple of wiki articles offer an interesting perspective. Edison parlayed his patents into a consortium of corporations that controlled all the materials needed to produce films, e.g. film, projectors, cameras, etc. This group MPPC (Motion Picture Patents Company) suppressed independent film makers on the east coast via court injunctions, sending private investigators to collect evidence. Sometimes they even used mafia enforcers to harass independent film makers and destroy unlicensed film equipment.

LA area provided not only good weather (often mentioned in newspaper pieces), but also geographical distance from MPPC east coast enforcement. Out west, companies sprung up faster than injunctions could be issued. Additionally, crews could also put further distance between themselves and patent/licensing enforcers by filming in nearby Mexico. MPPC’s patents from the mid-1890’s expired in 1913 sabotaging the legal suppression strategy. Additionally, MPPC’s monopolistic practices were found to be in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1918.

Amazing how this pattern plays itself out over and over again: Original creative patent or copyright holders make an innovative or creative breakthrough, then use the laws and courts to stifle competition and innovation. Eventually, these companies collapse under their own lethargy and the wave of new innovation. And the process starts again.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

What They Mean Is ...

… their great ?mainstream media? propaganda machine has spent all this time reaching the wrong audience. It has been indoctrinating the pliant, docile sheep, while the subversives with the temerity to think for themselves have been communicating and organizing via the Internet.

What they need to figure out is how to do is force the subversives into watching mainstream media, while filling the Internet full of pliant sheep.

Pass a law, maybe?

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