Copyright Lobby Tries To 'Hire' Demonstrators, Since The Public Refuses To Rally In Support Of ACTA

from the funny-stuff dept

I recently gave a talk at the Innovate/Activate conference, where I discussed where the copyright lobby had been super successful, and where it seemed some of their weaknesses were. One thing I pointed out was that they had completely lost the hearts and minds of the public — and no matter how hard they tried, they were unable to muster up any kind of public or grassroots support. As an example, I showed a photo of the massive street protests against ACTA in Poland, and questioned what a pro-ACTA demonstration might look like. Well, bizarrely, it appears that some in the Copyright Lobby had decided to try to put on a pro-ACTA demonstration… but they needed to hire people to act as ACTA supporters. Of course, when you seem to think — as the industry often appears to — that the only motivating factor possible in the world is monetary exchange, perhaps this isn’t that surprising.

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Comments on “Copyright Lobby Tries To 'Hire' Demonstrators, Since The Public Refuses To Rally In Support Of ACTA”

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65 Comments
PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

A lot of people will do anything for money.

Anyway, fake or not, it does strike me as something they’d try to do. Unless you really buy into the easily-disproven rhetoric coming from the pro-SOPA folks, it’s hard to imagine the general public getting riled up enough to protest in favour of SOPA. Anti-SOPA protesters have a lot of things they’re concerned about, from the bill not being truly necessary in the first place, to its secretive origins and its unintended consequences. Even accepting the promised and active amendments, there’s a lot of problems. I don’t see anything this compelling that would cause grassroots support unless there’s some astroturfing involved.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not the first time an Astroturf group has hired people to show up at protests.

It was discovered a couple of years ago that health insurance companies were paying people to go to town hall events where a US congressmen was speaking and cause & video tape disruptions complaining about Obama’s healthcare bill. They even gave out a list of 15 tips of how best to disrupt a town hall event to make sure the video gets on the news.

bob (profile) says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

Just look at those very generous donations from Big Search to the EFF and Wikipedia. A few weeks later, both were demonstrating against SOPA. What a coincidence.

https://www.eff.org/pages/eff-mission

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Brin_Wojcicki_Foundation_Announces_$500,000_Grant_to_Wikimedia

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/18/brin_wojcicki_grant_to_wikipedia/

It looks like Hollywood is learning from Silicon Valley how to play the game. Now they’ll be able to pretend that they’re “donations” are really just charity.

The eejit (profile) says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

UM, first off, those donations (as you keep linking to them over and over and over and over…) wewre to groups that already agreed with the donating company’s interests. This is NOT IN ANY WAY like that.

Second, nice assessment of the blogpost. What are you, 12?

And finally, why is your comment not behind a paywall?

bob says:

I am a complete moron who has absolutely no idea what he’s saying, I just like to look smarter than I actually am. But with an IQ of 6, that isn’t so hard. I just love spouting off about Big this and Big that. It’s just gotta be Big, Big, Big! And who cares about proof? I don’t! Who needs it? I’m bob, master of self-confusion! Wheee!!! Big! Big! Big! Big! Big! I just love that word! Big!

terry says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

“Just look at those very generous donations from Big Search to the EFF and Wikipedia. A few weeks later, both were demonstrating against SOPA. What a coincidence.”

Bob, The very implication that the EFF would need to be paid in order to be audibly against SOPA makes it obvious to me that you have never visited the EFF website and are completely unfamiliar with Richard Stallman of the EFF, his writings, speeches, work, and personal policies. The only thing donating money to the EFF would have changed is how much they could spend on fighting SOPA. Their beliefs were their own long before and definitely not purchased.

Stallman is more passionate about freedoms, even to the point he won’t use a cell phone that has proprietary technology in it.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Copyright Lobby had decided to try to put on a pro-ACTA demonstration… but they needed to hire people to act as ACTA supporters

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a lobby backed by the MPAA would try hiring extras at a place so likely to both despise the effort and need the money. It’s actually a rather fitting vignette of the overall global trend in IP law.

bob (profile) says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

Actually, that’s not clear. The EFF has been a big campaigner for privacy, but somehow they barely raise a peep about Big Search’s huge databases. They still talk about the NSA, but you won’t find them biting the hand that feeds them.

You’ll find that all of the groups like this change their spots to look like their funders.

bob (profile) says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

I think you’re confused. Richard Stallman doesn’t work for the EFF. You’re thinking of the Free Software Foundation.

And Richard Stallman isn’t as committed to software freedom as he once was. When it came down to a battle between Oracle and MySQL, he was quite happy to endorse proprietary software. He’s quite capable of being practical.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/burnette/stallman-admits-gpl-flawed-proprietary-licensing-needed-to-pay-for-mysql-development/1426

bob (profile) says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

You guys may chuckle, but there are big differences between how Hollywood and Silicon Valley lobby. Hollywood follows the old format where they pay money into groups that register as lobbyists; Big Search likes to pretend that it’s all a charity. Hollywood pays taxes. Silicon Valley’s non-lobbyists don’t.

I’m sure, though, that Hollywood will catch up and spawn their own non-lobbyist charities now that they understand how the game is played.

And think for a second. Big Search is at least 10 times bigger than the biggest Hollywood studio in market capitalization. It only makes sense that they’re playing catch up.

But you can go on living that making Big Search richer is somehow helping the little people.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

The EFF has repeeatedly gone after Google before and since that donation was made.

Yes, EFF has been quite critical of Google on privacy issues.

I’m guessing that “bob” doesn’t know this because I’m sure bob won’t actually use the technology that would help cure him of his ignorance because that would be helping “big search.” Instead, he’s waiting for a special paywalled search engine to be created just for him.

bob says:

Re:

Conspiracy! Conspiracy! Everything’s a conspiracy! Big Threat! Big Money! Big Loser (that’s me)! Paywalls! Paywalls! Paywalls! Proof? I don’t need proof! I’ve got an IQ of 6! That’s a tenth of the IQ of the average cockroach! I don’t just have a tinfoil hat, I have a whole suit of it! Whee! Mr. Magoo can see better than I do! Whahaha! Gotta keep hating technology, oh yes indeedy! Just gotta hate, hate, hate! I gotta?

We’re sorry, your bob-bot has malfunctioned due to a personality conflict and must be repaired. Please return it to the nearest legacy media company’s headquarters for reprogramming before it adopts the views we have designed it to oppose. We thank you for continued support of our oppression of the working class.

bob (profile) says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

Of course I know that they’ve said a slightly scoldy thing from time to time, but if you measure the effort they’ve put in against the NSA or SOPA, you would see that Big Search gets barely any criticism by comparison.

These days, they’re joined at the hip and they’ll stay that way as long as the “charity” keeps flowing.

https://www.eff.org/event/eff-mixer-google

AC Cobra says:

Similar things have happened

Seems I remember CreativeAmerica paying people who recruit other people to register at their website (which then automatically counts them as an endorser of CA’s message if I’m not mistaken). Also, on a local level, my union local offered to enter people in a lottery for free quarterly dues if they would send a letter or sign a petition to their congressperson supporting PIPA. To the best of my knowledge, few or no members took them up on the offer though, and the offer was regarded with open disgust by many.

“Creator Hater”. Sounds like the anti-christ or something. That’s brilliant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Heck, I would join an Anti-ACTA rally as well if someone told me my music/movie/software/etc. “gravy train” was about to fall off the rails.

What is the ‘gravy train’ exactly?
Many struggling to be noticed artists would no doubt disagree with you.
The problem with posters like you is you talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. For example, according to an political ad in the US campaign, 85% of young people are moving back in with ma and pa.
The president of The Pirate Party in Australia works for a bank for chrissake.
Get out of your mainstream comfort zone, and do something creative yourself, instead of whining that musicians are on a ‘gravy train’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Apparently you missed the rest of the comment, because the point being made had nothing to do with musicians, per se, who labor to create their own original works.

Musicians, per se, who create such works are not on a “gravy train”. That term is generally associated with those free riders who feel entitled to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and the wishes of the author be damned.

Anonymous Coward says:

Entitlement

“Musicians, per se, who create such works are not on a “gravy train”. That term is generally associated with those free riders who feel entitled to do whatever
they want, whenever they want, and the wishes of the author be damned.”

I only feel entitled to copy whatever bits I want with my own physical property. Are you a communist? Do you argue that my right to do what I please with my physical property, my own electricity and within my own house is trumped by another’s claim to hold a monopoly?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“The problem with posters like you is you talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. For example, according to an political ad in the US campaign, 85% of young
people are moving back in with ma and pa.
The president of The Pirate Party in Australia works for a bank for chrissake.”

And that has nothing to do with piracy or IP. Opposing IP is not the same as opposing money.

Jonathan says:

BFD- the creator haters hire demonstrators too

Can you tell me why the EFF wouldn’t have come out against SOPA in the first place, as a matter of policy and mission?

Nope, you’re just here to slime Google. Who put you up to it? Oracle? Florian Mueller? Someone connected with the content cartel and/or Rupert Murdoch? Someone connected with the national security state? C’mon, the jig is up. Just identify your backers and we can all move on.

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