MPAA Exec Admits: 'We're Not Comfortable With The Internet'

from the and-it-shows dept

There have been a ton of post mortems about the whole SOPA/PIPA fight, with many trying to figure out where and how the MPAA “went wrong.” After all, this is a group that is very used to getting its way inside DC. And it got slaughtered. We’ve already discussed our thoughts on why the MPAA failed, but what stuns me is how every time someone from the MPAA opens their mouth, they seem to make the situation worse by demonstrating just how tone deaf they are to the online community and what their concerns were. Whether it’s just blaming Google or thinking that the solution is more backroom dealing, each response just sounds like a group of people who are playing a different game, and still don’t realize the rules have changed.

The Hollywood Reporter’s version of the postmortem is a good read, even though it covers much the same ground as many other such recaps. Still, it’s worth reading to get a good feel for Hollywood’s view of the world. But the really stunning part is the quote from Michael O’Leary, the MPAA’s number two guy, who makes what may be the most tone-deaf statement we’ve seen to date in this fight:

The MPAA’s O’Leary concedes that the industry was out-manned and outgunned in cyberspace. He says the MPAA “is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we’re not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.”

Yes, even when he tries to say that they’re trying to learn about that confounded internet thingy, he sounds ridiculous and dismissive. But the real point is his inadvertent admission within that statement: the MPAA (and the rest of “old” Hollywood) simply “is not comfortable with” the internet. And that’s really what SOPA and PIPA were about. Rather than trying to understand this new platform, and learn from the many entertainers who do get the internet, they did what the MPAA does and simply tried to regulate that which they don’t understand and fear.

Furthermore, even more ridiculous is the end of that sentence: “an opponent that controls that platform.” As the article makes clear, he means Google. Which shows that he still doesn’t get it. First, Google didn’t lead the protests. It came late to the game, after the grassroots had already taken off with this stuff and run with it. But, more to the point, contrary to what O’Leary and the MPAA seem to believe: Google does not control the internet. No one does.

This, of course, explains why the MPAA wants to “negotiate” with Google these days. But that’s not going to work. The folks on the internet don’t want a backroom deal, whether it’s negotiated by Google or someone else. Either way, this suggests that the MPAA is desperately in need of new leadership. They need leaders who don’t try to regulate that which they admit they don’t understand. They need leaders who aren’t so clueless as to think that Google controls the internet (or that Google is somehow “the enemy”). And, really, most important, they need leaders who recognize and understand that the internet is their future too — and any leadership needs to not fear the internet, but understand it and learn to embrace it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that the MPAA is going to find such leadership any time soon.

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Comments on “MPAA Exec Admits: 'We're Not Comfortable With The Internet'”

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Robert (profile) says:

Re: MPAA learning the internet?

I hope one of the first things they learn is exactly how much money business makes over the internet, both national, and international. They gave a greatly inflated number for the amount of money they have lost from Piracy, at about $250 billion. US business make or prevent the lose of several times that much money per day!

I think the first thing MPAA should learn was how much money the internet makes for them personally.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

You know, the MPAA is totally right: I’ve been hearing about this internet thing for awhile now, and although I still think it might just be a fad, it really does seem to be gaining momentum… In fact I know quite a few people who use it! It could be the next big thing. I guess it’s time to get comfortable with it so I can get in on the ground floor.

Mesonoxian Eve (profile) says:

To O’Leary:
Use Twitter. This way, your ridiculous commentary isn’t drowned out by the flooding of the crocodile tears. Leave the acting of emotions to Kristen Stewart, star of the Twilight series.

I’m always appreciative of a business terrified of Google, who must deal with the FTC and their rules of “We want you to block rogue sites, but if you program that, we’ll charge you with anti-trust violations for limiting the results.”

Let’s hope that IF the MPAA learns how to use the internet, they’ll educate our even less knowledgeable government.

Loki says:

Re: Re:

Let’s hope that IF the MPAA learns how to use the internet, they’ll educate our even less knowledgeable government.

The internet is to the MPAA/RIAA what Communism was to J Edgar Hoover. No matter how much they try to “understand” it, they will never be able to effectively use it, because behind the internet is an ideology they simply cannot embrace.

Jay (profile) says:

Time to let go...

Mike, I know… We had some good times with the MPAA. They’ve focused on content protection. They’ve screwed the indie artists, the actors, and the public for decades. And the law is more in favor to them.

But look in the eyes of the MPAA. Don’t you see that wild disregard for the profits? Can’t you see the hurting hypocrisy as they complain that people “just want free stuff?”

No… We have to hold down this organization. Take away its tentacles, the 2.2 million jobs, the $58 billion dollar profits, and the ability to destroy platforms. And though it brings a tear to my heart, we have to say “Adios”…

And pull out our Colt 45, shoot the MPAA in the head, take out a cigarette and walk off into the sunset with a tear in our eye. It’s the humane thing to do.

*The End*

Michael Bennett (profile) says:

Hollywood: Jealous Socialists

I think they’re just jealous because Google’s revenues rival all of hollywood’s revenues. There’s also a twisted expectation that everyone else should subsidize hollywood. The very fact that blank media is taxed to subsidize the mafiaa is beyond revolting.

My biggest question about SOPA was who is going to pay for this? The entire process oozes socialism.

I guess the 2008 financial crisis made America okay with socialism, since the bail outs are/were, as Lawrence Lessig put it “the stupidest form of socialism”

crade (profile) says:

Re: Hollywood: Jealous Socialists

Google and the other companies who actually build things are supposed to pay for it. Thats the whole point of making them liable. I don’t know that it’s exactly socialism.. It’s a tax on one company to pay to another.. Socialism is more taxing the people to create public services and such. This is just an attempt to break capitalism by redirecting the money between private companies ๐Ÿ™‚

Steven Van der Werf says:

Re: Hollywood: Jealous Socialists

yo what?

SOPA is about as far from Socialism as it’s humanly possible to get.
The 2008 bailouts, likewise, were not Socialism. That was crank capitlism at it’s absolute raging worst.

Socialism is putting the People fist – not banks, not corporations. Under Socialism, arsehole executives wouldn’t be able to pay themselves millions while exploiting and firing their workers, banks would be directly answerable to their customers, and all health care would be free at point of use.

Socialism does not mean what you think it means.

Michael Z. Williamson (user link) says:

Re: Re: Hollywood: Jealous Socialists

Can you actually name any socialist society that “put people first” (ahead of the government and cronies)?

Take your time.

Socialism does not mean what you think it means.

Conversely, a capitalist invests capital in a venture, at some risk, in exchange for commensurate return. There’s nothing in there about, “having the government steal money from people to cover my bad gambling choices with vapor assets that never existed.”

Capitalism doesn’t mean what you think it means, either.

Sure is a nice world you live in, though. How far from Earth is it?

mickmel (profile) says:

Fast, not free

Here’s the short lesson for them: Users on the internet expect to get their content quickly, not necessarily for free. Organizations (and ill-informed people such as Bill Maher) confuse that with users wanting to always get their content for free. The primary motivation for piracy is a lack of a legal alternative.

Napster –> iTunes is the perfect example. Once Napster launched, it seemed that people just wanted free music. Granted many did, but if you give people an easy way to legally purchase music they will — to the tune of roughly 20 BILLION songs song on iTunes. Do the same with movies, instead of these horrible “windows” and geo-restrictions, and the same thing will happen.

Kyle Reynolds Conway (profile) says:

Re: Fast, not free

I agree with your main point, but iTunes still isn’t what I want (I couldn’t even use it if I wanted to as a Linux user).

Can we add “truly ubiquitous” (read: open) as a criteria as well? I’ve had digital conversations with recently signed musicians about downloading their content in a lossless format and they apologize that their new label only sells physical disks and lossy format downloads.

Guess who I’m still not listening to?

vesey says:

Re: Fast, not free

Although i agree with your basic point, let’s face it, many of the same people complaining (correctly so) about sopa/pipa were also taking sides with Megaupload which is clearly a criminal enterprise which does nothing but make money off of other peoples efforts. Until people are willing to understand the need for copyright protection in some form, groups like MPAA are going to continue to fear the internet users in general and see a bunch of freeloaders even though for the most part that opinion is not justified. We want groups like MPAA to be both reasonable and partner with us but we need to show maturity also and respect for their concerns………….

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Fast, not free

many of the same people complaining (correctly so) about sopa/pipa were also taking sides with Megaupload which is clearly a criminal enterprise which does nothing but make money off of other peoples efforts.

If that is proven in court with appropriate due process, no problem. Of course, it won’t solve any copyright holder’s problems if it’s shut down, or the operators fined or jailed. That’s one major issue for me: this is all futile.

Until people are willing to understand the need for copyright protection in some form,

We’re still waiting for someone to prove that copyright is needed.

We want groups like MPAA to be both reasonable and partner with us but we need to show maturity also and respect for their concerns.

When their concerns are deserving of respect, yes. Right now they’re concerned with lobbying for increasingly draconian laws, and curtailing everyone’s freedoms in order to avoid adapting their business model. Why should we respect that?

Michael Z. Williamson (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Fast, not free

As you may note, I’m an ardent opponent of SOPA.

Copyright is needed because that’s how I make my living–I tell stories, people pay me for them. Most will do so even if there are illicit downloads.

However, if those illicit downloads are considered perfectly okay, then people will have trouble paying me for my stories, because they won’t know they’re mine.

This means I’ll be working for months on end to entertain people, for no return. In which case I’ll stop doing it.

This is even more significant if I were writing nonfic for educational or development purposes, which required lengthy research or experimentation, costing money out of pocket. Without a process for recouping the work, it’s not worthwhile.

The intellectual monopolies (limited in duration) that Jefferson came up with created an explosion in development, as patronage was no longer needed.

But hey, if you like patronage from nobles, go right ahead.

In my experience, those who argue against copyright tend to be retards who are incapable of creative endeavor, hoping to benefit from the fruits of their betters.

This doesn’t mean (c) should be eternal. But a creator is certainly entitled to income from their work, and a means to stop others from using it illicitly.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Fast, not free

However, if those illicit downloads are considered perfectly okay, then people will have trouble paying me for my stories, because they won’t know they’re mine.

This means I’ll be working for months on end to entertain people, for no return. In which case I’ll stop doing it.

What you’re missing is that there are ways to profit from creating content other than by selling copies of it.

In my experience, those who argue against copyright tend to be retards who are incapable of creative endeavor, hoping to benefit from the fruits of their betters.

You’re not likely to ever understand their position if you assume they’re retards and inferior to you.

and then... says:

Re: Fast, not free

an asshole company locks said MP3 songs in DRM encrusted music files so you can’t possibly use them anywhere else.

Effectively, you’ve traded one form of subsidy for another.

Thank god Amazon was big enough at the time to release plain-jane MP3 files to “convince” other companies go DRM free as well.

RadialSkid (profile) says:

They simply can’t grasp that the internet is a communications medium, not a broadcast medium. They’re used to the snobbery of thinking that the suits control everything, and the public has to be lead along by the collective nose. They’re not used to the public at large biting back, and when it does, it utterly confounds them.

Robert (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Now it is mare than a Communication medium. I think you would have a very hard time finding a Business not connected to the internet in some way, most of them including ways to order products and/or services.

They gavea inflated number of $250 Billion as what they lost from Piracy. The US people most likely spend more than that much on the internet in a few days. When you add in American Major Business making large orders for basic material, they use the internet to organize more money than that in a just a few hours!

I bet most of the MPAA’s legal orders for their movies went through the internet most likely several times before they were finially bought by a consumer using Amazon or Ebay!

Major Emergency systems are also connected to the internet, like electrical power, fire, police, Federal Emergency services, even traffic lights!

The other business companies should be very, very concerned about that, not even with the problem with infringing on the 1st admendment of the US constitution, (a action that will really upset the entire US population).

jakerome (profile) says:

MPAA in denial

I hope their employees read this. Nothing demonstrates how supremely out of touch the MPAA & the studio executives are than this sentence, “Instead, the studios believe Google’s real agenda was protecting revenue from advertising on illegal sites.”

Yes, that’s what this was all about. Adsense on illegal sites. Adsense to start is what, 10-30% of Google revenue? That includes most major web outlets. I can’t imagine that even on the high end more than 1% of ads are on sites that the MPAA would deem “rogue.” Maybe 1/10 of those are actual rogue sites dedicated to piracy. So 0.1% of Google revenue, at best, is from pirate sites.

So stay out of touch with reality MPAA. Live in denial, convince yourselves it was a single company manipulating the entire internet into supporting wholesome legislation, with only the valiant MPAA fighting the hordes of Google Zombies in order to preserve Hollywood, nay, society itself from being destroyed by the Evil Masterminds at Google. Sounds like a plot from…

Wait a second! It all makes sense now. The whole self-serving narrative that the MPAA has constructed is as transparent as a Hollywood storyline. And just as fantastical. That’s why they’re so into it, they think they’re actors in their own adventure. My goodness, it’s worse than I thought!

Get me rewrite!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: MPAA in denial

“So 0.1% of Google revenue, at best, is from pirate sites.”

The rest of the argument is spot on, but this line is ignoring MPAA ‘logic’, which is as follows: “Any site that is making money, and is either not run by us, or not paying us, is a rogue website”.

So following that brilliant ‘logic’, most of the google’s revenue is indeed coming from rogue websites.

Chris ODonnell (profile) says:

An opportunity...

If the MPAA thinks Google controls the Internet, then maybe Google should sit down with the MPAA, negotiate something reasonable, extract an ironclad, contractual agreement from the MPAA that as long as Google does X, they will not sue, litigate, or otherwise harass anybody about anything that is happening on the Internet. The MPAA will think they’ve won, and Google will have done the world a huge favor.

And the rest of us can safely ignore what Google agreed to, because they in fact don’t control the Internet.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: An opportunity...

If the MPAA thinks Google controls the Internet, then maybe Google should sit down with the MPAA, negotiate something reasonable, extract an ironclad, contractual agreement from the MPAA that as long as Google does X, they will not sue, litigate, or otherwise harass anybody about anything that is happening on the Internet.

Except that X will boil down to “stop piracy”.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: An opportunity...

X actually boils down to “give us control over content distribution”. Stopping piracy really isn’t going to save these guys, and I’m pretty sure they know it. They need to be *neccessarily* for distribution. They know full well it’s not going to matter if people can sell their own art without going through them.

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

O'Leary is clueless

“””This was a fight on a platform we’re not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.”””

An opponent? WTF? Does he think he’s up against Skynet?

Mr. O’Leary, I’ve got news for you, you’re not just up against one opponent. If I may paraphrase the great poet Jay-Z, “You’ve got 9,999,999 problems and a bitch aint one.”

Mike42 (profile) says:

**AA leader's problems

The biggest problems facing the “leaders” of the MPAA and RIAA really come from the extremely wealthy people they represent.
Dodd gets his marching orders from a small group of fatcats who have nothing but contempt for the public. And as log as Dodd has to relate to them, he will be unable to relate to the public, and be unable to understand the internet. They are just too different.
In 20 years, when the senile power-mongers are put out to pasture, this will be a non-issue. Assuming that we don’t lose here and now.

Henrik says:

While I do agree that the MPAA is so far out of touch with actual reality nowadays it would be similar to a Laika trying to run on earth again, I must say this article was a bit of a quote mine.

He didnt say they were uncomfertable with the internet as a whole (even though they do seem like it). What he did say was that they are uncomfertable taking a fight on the internet. Thats 2 completely different things.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m not so sure about this, I don’t think it’s possible to read the quote that way, if it is you would really have to twist the words to read it that way..
“This was a fight on a platform we’re not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.” “

It’s obviously the platform that they are not at this point comfortable with. It whole lot simpler to say This is a fight we are not comfortable with if the platform is not the cause of the discomfort.

Not sure who their opponent is supposed to be, I assume that’s probably just a lame attempt at villifying google, but if they are talking about the electorate then they are spot on.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: The Internet 101 and it's children

But, you see , that’s the problem. The Hollywood execs think the internet is a series of old mail tubes that span the globe, controlled by Google, made use of my billions of pirates and this all MUST, just HAS to stop!

To get them to the point where they can realize it’s a digital network run mostly using open source software (which just has to be the height of piracy cause no one pays for anything yet somehow makes money so it has to be from Google and its ads) rather than good old closed source and that it’s really a commuinications medium not for entertainment alone…well, I could go on but it gets both complex and ridiculous.

The answer, of course, it to have these fat cats talk to their preteen grandchildren who understand it just fine, thank you, and will explain it. All except for the piracy part cause they, too, are freetards!

The Original Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Look at it from their (uneducated) viewpoint

By uneducated, I don’t mean that they haven’t been to school. I mean that they aren’t techies and don’t understand the ‘net.

There are millions of people out there who regularly use the internet for things and don’t have a clue how it works. The day that “google” became a verb, as in “I’ll just google it”, Google did become the internet to many of these folks.

I’m on the faculty in a program for training network techs and many of these folks start out the same way. When in their intro course we ask them to open a web browser, they say “Oh – you mean I should start the internet” and when we ask them to use a search engine to look for xyz, their eyes glaze over until we tell them to go to Google or Bing.

Hopefully by the time they leave we’ll have fixed these problems, but it’s just an indication that most “internet” users have this view of the on-line world because when they start up their browser it automatically displays the Google home page or at least has a search box built into the tool bar at the top that’s hooked to Google.

We have done this to them. We have no one to blame but ourselves for giving them this narrow view of the ‘net.

Rekrul says:

Re: Look at it from their (uneducated) viewpoint

Hopefully by the time they leave we’ll have fixed these problems, but it’s just an indication that most “internet” users have this view of the on-line world because when they start up their browser it automatically displays the Google home page or at least has a search box built into the tool bar at the top that’s hooked to Google.

It’s infuriating the number of people who don’t know the difference between the address box and the Google search box. I can’t count the number of people I’ve seen type a web site URL into the Google box, then look through the search results.

We have done this to them. We have no one to blame but ourselves for giving them this narrow view of the ‘net.

The problem goes much deeper than that and extends to virtually all aspects of computing.

Because ISPs usually set up a web-based email account for users, most people think that that’s what email is. They have no idea that you can install an email client with many more features that responds much faster than any web mail site.

Because most every program automatically saves stuff to My Documents, nobody today has any clue how to find the files if the program doesn’t go right to them. Nor do they have nay real idea of how to organize files, move files, etc. I blame MS and their unintuitive Cut/Copy/Paste functions for working with files. A two pane file manager makes it much easier to visualize where you’re moving the files to, not to mention having buttons marked Copy & Move. True, you can open two windows and drag files between them, but most people never manually open a window. They only ever save files from inside other programs.

Because MS’s picture and fax viewer automatically shrinks every picture to fit on the screen, people today have no concept of how large a 4 or 5 megapixel image really is. They think it’s this little, web-sized image rather than being poster sized and they’re confused when a web site or application says that the image is too large.

Because Windows now automatically pops up a box asking what you want to do when you insert a disk or a USB drive, most people today don’t know how to open a window and manually browse to the required drive.

People don’t know about file extensions because Windows hides them by default. They don’t know about file sizes because Windows only shows you icons and filenames by default. They don’t know about changing file associations manually because every program you install changes them automatically. They don’t know how to edit the startup and can’t understand why their system gets slower and slower over time.

Of course, nobody actually wants to learn any of this stuff. They’d rather have someone else do it for them, even if they have to pay that person.

The Original Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Look at it from their (uneducated) viewpoint

Now I hope that readers don’t think that I was saying that it was wrong for the IT world to build stuff so that even the unwashed masses can easily access all the information that is available over the ‘net, it’s just my observation that by creating these services (see the list of things that Rekrul posted above) we’ve also dumbed down the entry level for use of the ‘net.

However, just because many, if not most, of the people who use the ‘net these days don’t have a clue about how it works, just like many people who drive cars don’t have a clue about how the internal combustion engine works let along their car’s computer, that doesn’t mean that folks who lack the knowledge of how things work should be allowed to pass laws concerning the usage of said things.

This is no different than just about every other situation where people sit in positions of authority and make laws, rules, and regulations about how the rest of humanity should behave. Would it be a good thing to have people on a school board if they weren’t able to read or write? How about placing people into positions in a regulatory agency where they would write rules about how a particular industry has to behave when they have no experience in that industry?

If the people in these positions would do the ethical thing, they would either educate themselves in the particular area or resign for the good of their subjects. Do I think that the folks in the MPAA/RIAA and their cronies (both in and out of government) will want to learn how the ‘net works so that they can make money off of it without destroying it? Not in my lifetime. It’s easier and less expensive to simply file law suits.

MikeVx (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Look at it from their (uneducated) viewpoint

I tend to take the position that is is wrong to hide the underpinnings so thoroughly that the slightest variation from the usual paralyses people into helplessness.

There have been any number of times I’ve made myself bleed by having to bite my tongue over being called in to solve a problem that only existed because the user of the system treats it as a magic box, simple problems that would have been easily solved if the user had even the faintest clue of how computers work.

In an era where people take pride in ignorance (how else could you explain books with titles like “X for Dummies” or “The Complete Idiots Guide to X”?) bad regulation of technology is pretty much the only way things can go.

While I’m generally against the idea of law as a way to solve a problem, perhaps we need a law that says no one is allowed to regulate some subject until they can converse about that subject with subject matter experts without those experts laughing, crying, screaming or vomiting.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is not the first time the RIAA/MPAA got slaughtered on proposed legislation.

Back when they were trying to get the DMCA law passed, it got slaughtered by the rest of the big corporations when they figured out just how restrictive the original was going to be and what it was going to cost them each if it was passed.

Just about every major international corporation not involved with copyright came out against it and it died in it’s first version. It was taken back to the drawing board and what we have today is the result of that redrawing.

Every once in a while they get so big for their britches in what they want, they forget they are a tiny portion of the GDP, not the major part they wished they were.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

But remember, they did get the DMCA passed, with nearly everything they wanted in it. They just had to negotiate and have the immunity provision added, something that they’ve been trying for a decade to weaken in the courts.

Why do you think they suddenly became willing to negotiate with Google and tech companies? All they see is a temporary setback in their long term strategy.

Gwiz (profile) says:

…and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.

This mindset will be difficult for Hollywood to overcome. Starting with (and possibly prior to) World War II Hollywood became the government’s “go to” guy for propaganda and one-way broadcast mediums have been the norm. The internet, being a two-way communication system, tends to have an uncontrollable life of it’s own concerning propaganda, you can toss something out there, but what actually ends gaining momentum may not be what you really intended. The internet demands more than a questionable statement repeated over and over again. By it’s very nature, the internet requires sound logic, facts and proof or your propaganda will be pounced on like tuna fish at the crazy cat lady’s house.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re:

Dumb question, but, why do studios have to be in the MPAA? Is that a government forced regulation if they want to distribute movies? Is it all for the rating system?

It’s a voluntary system, but…

Many theaters, especially chains, refuse to show movies that aren’t rated. Many newspapers refuse to carry ads for unrated films. So releasing your film unrated can seriously hamper its distribution and chances of success. So can releasing a film with an NC-17 (and before that, X) rating, for the exact same reasons.

Anonymous Coward says:

Young People Track Web Protests Over Online Piracy Bills

(Ooops… originally posted this under wrong article. That’s what I get for having two windows open at once, I guess.)

?Cruise Ship Accident, Election Top Public’s Interest?, Pew Research Center, Jan 24, 2012

Young People Track Web Protests Over Online Piracy Bills

. . . But the protest by popular websites against proposed online piracy legislation was a top story for young people. Nearly a quarter (23%) of those younger than 30 say they followed news about the online piracy fight most closely. That is about the same as the percentage following the 2012 elections most closely (21%). Among the public as a whole, just 7% say they followed news about the web protests ? which included sites such as Wikipedia going dark for the day ? more closely than any other story. . . .

(Emphasis added.) (Via New York Times, H/T Reddit)

Anonymous Coward says:

More intellectual dishonesty from piracy lover Mike Masnick.

O’Leary said they weren’t comfortable arguing on a platform controlled by their opposition. Which is clearly funded by Google; a giant mega corporation that makes billions on illegally grafted content.

Google tried to hide their funding of it, but they were lying:

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

O’Leary said they weren’t comfortable arguing on a platform controlled by their opposition.

See my above comment because you aren’t grasping it either. The internet isn’t controlled by Google or anyone. Anyone can post a rebuttal to silly statements like I am doing now.

Which is clearly funded by Google; a giant mega corporation that makes billions on illegally grafted content.

Umm, what exactly was funded by Google? Sure, Google lobbies just like any other large company, so what? From what I read Hollywood has spent 10x more then the tech companies on lobbing for PIPA/SOPA.

Google tried to hide their funding of it, but they were lying:

How are they trying to hide it? Your link is to an AP article.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Then you get your news from liars. Like Mike Masnick.

Actually, I get my news from varied sources and quite a few (most main stream media outlets for example) are liars or at the very least liars by omission.

But, that is besides the point, do you have some sort of proof that the 10x figure is not true or are you expecting me to believe you sight unseen?

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Thanks to Karl. Originally posted here:

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Yes, and? Those figures are old. Funny how you consider $10 million (the final, actual number) a ton of money from the opponents, but $94 million from proponents (which is, remember, quite old and vastly under-reported, as you helpfully point out) is not worth noting.

Lobbying is Hollywood’s world. Google’s fighting to gain a foothold; though they seem to be finally figuring out that when you’re against someone who relentlessly aggressive toward you as the media industries you’re gonna have to do some lobbying yourself. The fact that “Google” managed to defeat Hollywood on this makes an interesting statement: Hollywood is a good order of magnitude more wasteful with their money than Google. Wait, did that sound like an insult to Hollywood to you, too?

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Correct, we were talking about Google in particular, and the fact that Google was by far the biggest lobbyist in the tech industry. By definition Google is not the entire tech industry, just like $45 million – the old, stale figure of the amount lobbied by the Chamber of Commerce for SOPA et al – isn’t the entire entertainment industry’s lobbying.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It totally scares you rich fancy folk that there is finally a platform that us poor folk can use……and that you don’t understand it.

WTF else does one have to do to get it thru your thick skull that you, too, could be making money off the Internet if you just adjusted your ways….people are willing to pay….they have shown that time and time again.

I just can’t believe that you can look at your screen, and type those words blaming a huge corporation for your woes because ‘little people don’t matter’.

The Internet is here to tell you……WE DO MATTER… get off your high horse, and put up your wares. We will decide if they are worth paying for or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Pretty sure the DMCA doesn’t require sites to take down links…

?Twitter uncloaks a year’s worth of DMCA takedown notices, 4,410 in all?, by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, Jan 27, 2012

On almost any given day, Twitter receives a handful of requests to delete tweets that link to pirated versions of copyrighted content?and quickly complies by erasing the offending tweets from its site.

That fact itself is probably unsurprising to people familiar with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown process, which gives sites like Twitter a “safe harbor” against lawsuits related to user behavior and uploads?so long as the sites don’t knowingly tolerate pirated material or links to such material.

But Twitter has taken the unusual step of making DMCA takedown notices public, in partnership with Chilling Effects […more…]

(Emphasis added.)

There’s the text of the DMCA, and then there’s the practice of DMCA takedowns.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I’m having trouble figuring out how the text you’ve quoted supports your allegation. Can you show is the relevant parts of the actual law? I looked but couldn’t find anything to support the notion that linking to infringing content is, itself infringing. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, of course.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Check out his last line: “There’s the text of the DMCA, and then there’s the practice of DMCA takedowns.” He’s pointing out that even if the DMCA doesn’t require removing links, that is what actually happens anyway. That has no bearing on whether Google should be removing links, but it’s an interesting point IMO.

Also this is not the same AC criticizing Google.

Michael Z. Williamson (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

And without a court order from a trial, I would tell the government to go fuck itself, and refuse to take down the links.

People don’t get jailed because some asshole claims he lost his wallet, and sites shouldn’t be taken down because some asshole says it may have his content.

It may in fact have his content, or mine, and I would hope a professional ISP would go ahead and make a correction, after checking to ensure it is the case. Many do.

But I don’t take orders worth a damn.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I feel the need to shake my head. They control me by giving me other people’s content????? Oh, please. Source, I want.

And which Blogger accounts that give away music illegally? Oh, you mean the ones independent artists blog on and upload their stuff too? I guess it must be illegal to be an independent artist these days, too.

As for ignoring DCMA takedown notices once again, source please.

Now I know you don’t have a source but I thought I’d ask.

Michael Z. Williamson (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What’s your site? Because I’ll file a DMCA notice on it right now. I’m sure you used the word “the” somewhere on your site, and “the” is (c) by me. You can’t use it without permission.

Seriously, though, sometime around 5th grade you should have read that part of the Constitution about “innocent until proven guilty.” Google is under no obligation to take down a page (assuming it’s a page they host, which…oh, wait…) until a trial has been held.

Are you Michael O’Leary? You DO seem to think Google controls the internet.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Maybe this will get you off this whole “The SOPA/PIPA Protest was only Google Zombies doing what they’re told” thing you are stuck on.

“The lesson here is not that the tech industry has millions of people blindly doing what it suggests,” said Eli Pariser, former executive director of and now a member of its board. “I don?t think Google will be able to count on all the people who took action on SOPA not to challenge Google when it does something that feels counter to the ethos of the Internet.” Source

That is basically warning to both Google and Hollywood. The internet belongs to neither.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re:

1) Google does not control the Internet. If Google vanished, another service provider would take their place.

2) The Internet is not funded by Google. It was originally funded by the US Government, but Google most certainly does not fund the Internet, otherwise they wouldn’t need to pay for bandwidth would they?

3) There’s a certain irony in your whining about a “giant mega corporation that makes billions on illegally grafted content” when giant mega corporations like Disney make billions on content they grafted from the public domain, and then they bribe legislators to perpetually and retroactively extend copyright.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Well, blaming Microsoft has become so old hat regardless of their blatant disregard of laws that no one blames them anymore. No point. We know they’re just barely this side of evil. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, they sold out to Hollywood years ago.

So, it just has to be Google. The other baddie would be open source but but how do you demonize that to congress or anyone else?

Open WHAT???? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Michael Z. Williamson (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Odd. I have a dozen novels out in stores, meaning I have skin in this game, and I guess you consider me a “piracy lover.”

My downloads are unencrypted, and I offer three of them for free. That makes me, if I recall the quote correctly, a “Pixel-stained, technopeasant wretch.”

Infringement is a problem, though not a life-threatening one. It is not “piracy.” “Piracy” would be stealing my content and re-selling it under another name, or at least reselling it. Sharing it without my consent is not “piracy.”

In most cases I benefit from name recognition, beyond the royalties I’d make on any particular sale, because that recognition increases sales on the next book.

Someone else debunked your math. I’ll just settle for calling you on YOUR intellectual dishonesty.

f0nZi3 (profile) says:

I think on 01/18/2012, it went down like this...

I believe Michael O’Leary’s home page is He opened up his handy Internet Explorer browser, and saw the black bar over “Google”. He clicked on it, read the information it directed him to and immediately came to the conclusion that: 1) He isn’t comfortable with the message he was being presented with; and 2) Since it was the first link he clicked on, Google must control this magical land called “The Internet”.

SilverBlade says:

It honestly astounds me that 13 yr old can hack the pentagon, 3 yr olds are practically masters of iPads, and yet MPAA Execs arn’t comfortable with the internet.

Wow, just…wow.

The internet and tech industries have literally given the MPAA the technology in order to make money from the internet (streaming, direct downloads, direct payments, etc) yet at every single turn, the MPAA turns them away and complains they are losing money hand over fist.

The MPAA refuses to change because they see change = loss of revenue. (when history has proven otherwise). They still believe they are immune to technological progression and they still want total control of their product like they did before the internet was around.

The genie is out of the bottle now. The more they try to buy laws to stop piracy, the more that the pirates will go underground and will be even harder to spot.

The internet has grown it’s own ‘immune system’. If there’s a threat, the internet goes after that threat and, if needed, re-routes the flow of data around that threat.

The MPAA need to wake up and take a few lessons from their 5 yr olds, or they should disband and die.

Gordon says:

Root of the problem

I think this whole issue has less to do with copyright and piracy than it does with the rate the world is changing. The pace of technological advancement has accelerated to the point that the old farts that run everything can’t keep up. Instead of stepping down (because that’s unthinkable) or taking the time to learn, they’re throwing their money at the ‘problem’ (that is the internet) in the hopes that they can just destroy it. They’ve seen what this new level of communication can do in a society in Egypt, and they’re afraid. Rupert Murdoch thinks he runs the world, and this ‘cyber-world’ cropping up that he doesn’t (yet) have control over pisses him off. Just look at his tweets lol
The world is changing, and the unregulated free market hyper-capitalist tycoons that are destroying our society are losing their stranglehold on the media they’ve been using to control the populace. They know their end is coming. They can see the day on the horizon when the governments of the world serve the people instead of the ‘people’ (corporations). They’re not going down without a fight, though. They’re going to expend all of their ridiculous amounts of wealth tearing down any forward thinking institution they can get their greedy little hands on.
This is the beginning of the technological age’s version of a civil war. The ‘class warfare’ the conservative shills refer to isn’t just an expression any more. It’s only a matter of time before it goes from strong-arming legislators to outright bloodshed. I can see a lot of protesters going missing in the next few years. Mark my words.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile) says:

Re: Google

Bet you could make a similar graph showing a big MPAA and follow all the arrows to the congress critter that they lobbied into office. Throw in all the movie studios and the majors would all be there in the convoluted mind rape of lines with arrows at their tips. Seriously, my only gripe with that graph is that odd yellow orange color used.

anonymous says:

‘explains why the MPAA wants to “negotiate” with Google these days’

doesn’t seem like much negotiating going on in the UK. yet another ‘behind closed doors’ meeting with the entertainment industries and government. according to this post:


if it goes ahead, what will the next step be?

Violated (profile) says:

Right... dream on

So the MPAA want to win Internet support now? Do they even remember the “Mega” reason why Anonymous have been firing their Ion Cannons at the MPAA website?

Yes lets all sit down to tea and cakes and hear the MPAA say how “Copyright should be eternal with absolute enforcement”

The MPAA has been serving Hollywood’s interests for so long that they are totally out-of-touch with the rest of society and I just cannot see how they can muster up some Internet support… at least without bribing them.

I say again what I have said before in that if they want to tackle this “Internet thing” then they should fire Chris Dodd and to put in charge someone who can understand the Internet they aim to regulate.

The MPAA should well know that their future fights are going to get much harder and if they are to get anywhere they need both understanding and with truthful evidence.

Anonymous Coward says:

“This was a fight on a platform we’re not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.”


“This was a fight on a platform we dont control yet. We will now spend all our efforts to fight our opponents, by any means necessary”

opponent = customers

The Amazing Sammy Moshe (profile) says:


I didn’t find the context of the statement to be especially dismissive. I feel like it’s the first honest thing we’ve heard from the MPAA in a very long time. It sounds like they’re educating themselves, and taking steps towards a bigger online presence. This is good for everyone involved. You are right in that they need new leadership, though.

Anonymous Coward says:

“a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we’re not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.”

Because they have almost complete government established control over most other information distribution platforms and they want just as much control over the Internet so that they can keep us clueless and fight for even worse copy protection expansion and extension and enforcement laws. They don’t want anyone besides them having any media influence. Anyone else having influence or ‘control’ is a bad thing, and then they claim that this isn’t about censorship.

By getting a greater presence in the online community he means getting a stronger means of censoring that which he doesn’t like. He sees this as a fight that he has to win, one where he can get more bad laws passed as if our current laws aren’t bad enough and anyone who resists or criticizes the completely one sided laws that he wants is an opponent to be overcome and censored. and he claims this isn’t about censorship.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Some commenters here have said even more illuminating things.

See, all that technology has EVER given us is new ways to consume media produced by the entertainment sector. That’s it. As such, all technology is absolutely useless without that media to access, and any technology company who doesn’t hold that it is totally and utterly dependent on the entertainment industry is nothing more than a parasite dangerous to its host (the entertainment industry); actual quote: “The parasite [Google et al] will not be allowed to kill its host!”

I seriously would not have been able to imagine people this clueless existed if they didn’t show up frequently to make themselves known.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The point being missed here is that Hollywood IS the parasite here on the Web.

The point being missed here by various AC’s is that the Web gives people the tools to create its own content just as the Internet did before the Web existed.

Sure, some, perhaps even most, of the tools are still new and crude but that’s a situation that won’t last long. Already publishing to the Web has moved to and beyond the level of print.

Music tools have improved immensely the past three or four years to such an extent that someone with a mid-range desktop, some inexpensive tools and know how can set up a decent studio which is partly an explanation of the explosion of independent music the past half decade or so.

Non linear editors, video cameras and the spread of knowledge about how to do it has made independent film making more available and affordable to “the masses” far beyond the realm of LOL cats. (Nothing wrong with LOL cats though.)

This is what Hollywood doesn’t understand. Or won’t understand. The Web is about creation as much or more than it is about consumption of content.

Which explains, to a large extent, the “so what” attitude of Hollywood’s “we provide the high quality content” attitude when the Web just as capable, or soon will be, without the “ownership” attitude and desire to build walled gardens, release schedules, geographic restrictions and on and on as Hollywood traditionally has.

And it’s the Web that went dark. Not Google. The Web.

SOPA and PIPA weren’t just threats to free speech and a danger to the Internet itself, they were threats to what the Web is. It’s a medium of creation and consumption at the same time. It does both, unlike radio, television and the phonograph which are one way passive mediums.

The Web is a two way, active medium. No one controls it. No one owns it.

That’s the power of the Web and the Internet.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“This is what Hollywood doesn’t understand. Or won’t understand. The Web is about creation as much or more than it is about consumption of content.”

To take this idea one step further, this goes beyond just the web. Their brains are hardwired into the traditional western way of thinking about arts: producers produce, consumers consume; bands play, fans listen; writers write, readers read. It’s a rigidly unidirectional path from source to sink.

This results in various exercises in absurdity. Only the professional producers are allowed to own content, and “consumers” cannot truly create; any derivatives or compositions thus also belong to the creators of the original work, regardless of who actually made the thing in question. Fan-fiction belongs to the authors of the original work, not to the people that actually wrote said fan-fiction. Covers, mash-ups, etc. belong to the creators of the original material, not the ones who actually created the cover/mash-up/etc. Or so the conventional wisdom goes.

Technology is changing that; moving us in the direction of non-western models (traditional African music comes readily to mind). In this model, the line between producers and consumers is fuzzy at best. While it may not always be a 1:1 ratio, fans actively participate in the production of music at concerts, books and other works of literature, etc. Not only can “consumers” produce for other “consumers”, but “consumers” even contribute material to “producers”, resulting in a big feedback loop. That is the new reality, and as you can see it’s making a lot of heads in Hollywood and the RIAA explode. As put in Dilbert, that popping sound is “a paradigm shifting without a clutch”.

Overcast (profile) says:

I bet… in 1945, many book companies weren’t ‘comfortable with TV’, and perhaps in 1920, many other companies were ‘comfortable with radio’.

You know MPAA/RIAA – there will *always* be criminals – much of the media you put out deals and even glamorizes just that: Scarface, Good fellows and fine examples.

But there are many people who are more than willing to pay a fair price for digital media – I’m sorry, but you can’t keep gouging per title, but you can make up for it in sheer quantity of sales. You have a goldmine, just not the savvy to mine it.

Anonymous Coward says:

“”is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment.”

and what’s most telling is that the ‘solution’ has nothing to do with Hollywood changing its behavior. It has nothing to do with Hollywood not getting more bad laws passed, it has nothing to do with correcting the existing bad laws (ie: reducing copy protection lengths and infringement penalties, making copy protection opt in and requiring all works to be stored in various LOC databases for others to reference and so that they can be released to the public when they enter the public domain, increasing false infringement takedown penalties, abolishing government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies. Making the law so that it won’t be too legally risky and expensive for restaurants and other venues to host independent performers, so that it won’t be too legally risky and expensive for bakeries to allow children to draw their own pictures on birthday cakes). Their solution has nothing to do with them correcting Hollywood accounting or their own bad behavior, their solution is for them to blame everyone else for their failures and find new and deceptive ways to get more one sided laws passed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

They refuse to acknowledge that the reason everyone is against them is because their position is purely self serving. They pretend that the reason everyone is against them is because they don’t have a strong enough presence over the Internet, they don’t have enough control over our communication channels. Everyone else is to blame for their bad reputation and not their own self serving behavior.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

and also, instead of apologizing for all of the harm they caused (ie: Their Hollywood accounting, they are partly responsible for our insanely unacceptable copy protection laws), they are basically saying that they aren’t sorry and they will continue to find new ways to seek to cause more harm through bad laws and more Hollywood accounting. They aren’t sorry for anything they did wrong and they haven’t really learned anything, they plan to continue causing more harm and they think that the solution to getting public support is brainwashing/censorship (what they do over their government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies) and more marketing. The lesson to be learned isn’t that they need to act more ethically going forward, it’s that they need to do more to convince others not to oppose them despite their unethical behavior.

If they want public support they should apologize for the sad state of copy protection laws and seek to correct them. They should apologize for all the harm their Hollywood accounting has caused their artists and seek to compensate them back. But, no, an apology is out of the question because they aren’t sorry for what they did and they haven’t learned anything. Yet they expect to somehow get public support.

Twilight (user link) says:

Here's how my old boss phrased it...

My boss was president of a large organization, within a larger conglomerate. Upon graduating with my masters, I took a temp job as a receptionist, and then was temporarily bumped to his executive assistant, before moving on in life.

It was an eye opener. Here’s what he said:

“Look, I hear what you’re saying about email and the Web and all that, it’s just… The Internet is computers. And actually, computers are just typing. And typing is for secretaries!”

Note that, in actuality, he did not know how to type. He had made sure that he didn’t know how, so that he wouldn’t ever be asked to do it, as a mark of his executive status.

So I showed him how to get his fave baseball teams scores every day off the “computer thing” in his office, and he was on his way. (That, and responding increasingly slowly to dictated responses — via audio tapes — to his email, which I’d had to print and put in his in box up to that point.)

Maybe someone should show the MPAA execs how to pull up baseball scores.

Anonymous Coward says:

The take down of Megaupload, is like a main highway closing you still have all the other roads, and new roads are being built faster than before.
US corporate content needed to take out Megaupload before they got Megabox fully up and running.
What some one should do is startup a program like Megabox and give the real content creators a place to do their thing and make money.

Bob Jones says:

Fast, not free

The MPAA, reasonable?

You’re smoking crack.

The MPAA sees EVERYBODY as walking wallets. They don’t want to partner with anyone, they want everyone’s money. Every single person is a target to them.

You can’t co-operate with a predatory organization.

If the MPAA were to completely fire their entire leadership and hire people with a completely different mentality (pro-consumer, pro-open internet, anti-legislation) then maybe.

Otherwise, it’s a waste of energy to even try.

The MPAA should fear us, always. The internet has its own wrath, and groups like the MPAA/RIAA mean DEATH for the internet. For legitimate users and file-sharers alike.

File sharing is not stealing. Period.

Stealing is depriving an individual of the original possesion so it cannot be sold by them to make a living.
File sharing merely takes a copy of that information, depriving the original owner of nothing. (And if you assume that every file “shared” equates to what otherwise would have been a “sale”, you’re delusional, that’s the same argument the MPAA/RIAA make in court cases.)

This is why they can never co-exist with the internet. Better just to disband the MPAA/RIAA.

Bob Jones says:

MPAA in denial

Who cares what RIAA/MPAA logic is?

The fact that collectively, they all don’t have the IQ of an autistic 3 year old.

When someone deludes themselves with made-up “facts” and lies, which they themselves believe, who cares how they think? They’re sick, they need fixing.
A bullet to the temple should do nicely, then send them the bill for the bullet. Just like is done in China when executing criminals.

painkiller1961 says:

MPAA must die

Hollywood and TV are drying up so are their sponsers.
I quit TV because of the lame advertising,they only get dumb old people buying their crap(boner pills,weight loss,exercise equipment) and the smart people now buy off the internet CHEAPER! and i now record my favorite shows.

they will try another DRM scheme next or change the name next year of the SOPA bill to “SAVE THE CRACK BABIES” bill to make you look bad for voting against it.

thats how hollywood/media works with “SPIN”

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