News Corp. Wonders If There Could Possibly Be Any Arguments Against Anti-Piracy Efforts

from the apparently-paying-attention-isn't-a-core-competence-at-murdoch-and-co. dept

The International Institute of Communications is hosting a particularly one-sided “roundtable seminar” in Hong Kong this week about “content piracy.” Just from that phrase, you should know the deck has been stacked against a reasoned analysis of the nature of internet communications. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the RSVP email is actually from News Corp., or that the “agenda” of the session is entirely one-sided, and suggests a pretty impressive tone-deafness to the worldwide protests against SOPA/PIPA and ACTA. For example, the final question is particularly amusing:

Are there arguments against actions aimed to reduce the impact of these overseas rogue websites?

Apparently, all the concerns about collateral damage, free speech, due process, internet security and the like fell on deaf ears at News Corp. Instead, they seem to be wondering how anyone could possibly have an argument against the next SOPA. An intellectually honest discussion would at least admit that there are arguments being made both for and against these kinds of actions, and actually explore the reality. As we’ve noted plenty of times in the past, it’s no secret that online infringement represents a challenge for established players, but that doesn’t mean the immediate reaction should be to go on the attack in a way that creates many more problems, and is unlikely to solve the problem they think they’re attacking. So, the argument “against” going after such websites is that it won’t work, it’s a waste of time and money, it will have tons of collateral damage… and you can better deal with the “problem” by providing more quality legitimate services without restrictions and at better prices. See? Not that hard.

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Comments on “News Corp. Wonders If There Could Possibly Be Any Arguments Against Anti-Piracy Efforts”

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PaulT (profile) says:

“Are there arguments against actions aimed to reduce the impact of these overseas rogue websites?”

Short answer: yes, FFS.

Long answer: so long as such actions are confined to those that have the least impact on innocent & incorrectly targeted parties, and are combined with actions aimed at reducing the demand for such websites in the first place, then most people will support them, at least cautiously.

So long as the actions drive roughshod over free speech, target innocent consumers and 3rd party services, remove rights to due process, first sale rights and others, and are combined with the delusion that regionally- and format-restricted, heavily rationed, often poor quality product is workable in the modern age? No, there will be plenty of objections if the fools in charge of these companies lower themselves to actually listen to their own customers.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The notion that News Corp would listen to its customers or adapt is almost laughable. The same would apply to Hollywood and others in the so-called “content industry” who want to retain a pre-1989 marketplace where the basically dictated what the customer could or would get. And let’s not forget various attempts at DRM.

I won’t bother holding my breath to see if these outfits finally learn it’s not web sites that have gone “rogue”, its their customers looking for services and products the “content industry” refuses to give them. And, no, it isn’t wanting freebies. If it was iTunes would have gone bust on day one.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“the so-called “content industry” who want to retain a pre-1989 marketplace where the basically dictated what the customer could or would get”

The hilarious thing is that situation never even existed. They had more control, perhaps, but they still failed to meet customer demand, still had piracy and other media to compete with, and still had people getting things for free. Piracy was rife in the 1980s, no matter how much these people try to pretend it’s a new thing with dawn of the internet.

The problem is that they profited mainly from things that were naturally-occurring obstacles back then. You had to buy albums to get individual tracks, because it wasn’t economical to split them up. Imports were expensive, and thus not popular. Differing TV systems meant that the video market was fragmented, while language and other obstacles meant that region windowing made sense. Format shifting from vinyl to tape happened, but people re-bought albums on CD to get the extra benefits in greater number, and so on.

Their problem is that now that these natural obstacles have been removed, they’re not only failing to take advantage of the many benefits they would give them, they’re actually trying to enforce market realities that simply don’t exist today. It’s their own dated practices that mean that, say, Hulu and Netflix aren’t available worldwide, while it’s their own failure to deal with reality that means that they lose money when people decide to buy the 99c track instead of the $15 album. It’s their own fault they haven’t dealt with massive competition from the internet and video games as alternative entertainment sources, and so on…

“And, no, it isn’t wanting freebies”

I’ve been saying this since Napster. Some progress has been made, but this ridiculous argument not only prevails in spite of all the other evidence, they actually use it as an excuse not to compete!

Anonymous Coward says:

An intellectually honest discussion would at least admit that there are arguments being made both for and against these kinds of actions, and actually explore the reality.

OMG, really? You’re whining about someone else not being “intellectually honest”? That’s rich, Pirate Mike. Nobody is more intellectually dishonest than you. Nobody has a worse case of confirmation bias than you. Nobody lies about IP law day in and day out as much as you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Your contributions to an ongoing, meaningful discussion are lacking in substance, maturity and content.

Your continued unwillingness to provide meaningful discussion does nothing to sway people to your side or make one curious as to what benefits there are to your point of view.

As far as I can see, given you lack of effort, other than to chide, your ability to discuss any controversial topics is on par with a 12 year old. Basically resorting to base insults and name calling.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Re:

I wish whoever it is would actually speak up about why they spout this stuff. I’m sure it would be an absolutely fascinating insight into either the workings of corporate propaganda, a study of the psychology of obsession or at least increase understanding of the vagaries mental health. My best guess for now is that Mike must have been really really mean to a puppy particularly beloved of this person at some point in the past.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“I could probably whip up a script to replace this person.”

If website=Techdirt & Author = Mike then insert “Pirate Mike!!!”

If article contains the words “free speech” insert “Freetard!!!!”

If article contains the words “intellectually honest”
insert “bias and lies!!!!”

AG Wright (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And your point is? Coming on here and posting insults calling people pirates is “intellectually honest”?
If you have an argument to make say something. Argue with us. PLEASE SAY SOMETHING NEW! We’d like to hear it but coming on a site that supports copyright reform and going neener neener neener doesn’t make your point or convince anyone of anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Nobody lies about IP law day in and day out as much as you.”

[citation needed]

Since your entire post is a lie then apparently you do. But I suppose it’s OK for you to lie by falsely calling others dishonest.

and who are you anyways? I know who Mike is so I can reference the integrity of his track record but I can’t do the same with you.

John Doe says:

Your solution is too simple

The problem is your solution is too simple. It does away with committee meetings, planning/strategy sessions, international treaties, PACs, buying members of governments, smear campaigns, education campaigns, lawsuits, criminal trials and the list goes on. Please Mike, come back with a much more complicated, convoluted, expensive solution if you want to be taken seriously.

ottermaton says:

intellectually honest

An intellectually honest discussion…

I’m surprised you would think the News Corp, the folks behind Fox News, are even capable of an intellectually honest discussion, either in terms of intellect or honesty.

(Note: this is not a reflection on their ideology: they can subscribe to whichever ideas they choose. It is a statement against them pretending to be “Fair and Balanced” when they are so clearly not.)

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: intellectually honest

I’d prefer John Stewart, who’s far more honest and fair than CNN, ABC, CBS or Fox News.

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I watch Jon for the fair and honest news (though I realize he has a bias, he is clear with it and has a lot of fun with it, especially his “Socialist” play two nights ago,) and Stephen for his making fun of the real news outlets.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 intellectually honest

The thing about bias, is that everyone is biased. If you’re not biased, you might as well be a robot, and place “sources say” before every single sentence like a good little mainstream newspaper, and try to show “both sides of each story” as equally valid, and never having to ask any sharp questions.

You can be biased and still say things that make sense… but some, like Fox networks, will say things like “teachers are fatcats, oh lawks woe is me, I’m just this millionaire and I have to pay taxes, how unfair” 😛

Anonymous Coward says:

There is a lot of reasons to not go down that path.

– Exclusionary powers are censor powers if for nothing else this should be the first and foremost point of all, what right do others have to censor people? Basically IP law is the biggest threat to democracies everywhere today since it is attacking fundamental foundations of it like free speech, ownership and so forth.

– Some proposals today have severe consequences for today security that at the very least could delay implementation for a decade or so until people can plan and come up with a new method and probably will hamstring future deployment of security features.

– Mercantilism was abandoned a long time ago, specially since it harms the creation of business, which in turn harms economy, but most importantly it harms deployment of technologies. Granting monopolies is not the way to go forward. I thought the people who studied those things made it clear that the next stage of social evolution is services, but those can’t happen in a place where at every turn you need to get permission from dozens or hundreds of parties that is just not possible, anything you want to do today have been sliced and it is owned by dozens of others people that want rent and not really work how is that any good for creation of wealth which is not the same thing as economic growth you can have wealth without money, you can’t have wealth without goods though and IP law severely stop the creation of goods and services since the bar is so high today to enter the market.

Those also branch to more reasons, the domino effect is huge, and I just can’t understand why anyone would like to do that to themselves it harms everyone.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:


The question is worded to skew the answer.

“Are there arguments against actions aimed to reduce the impact of these overseas rogue websites?”

Of course there are no arguments against legislative/enforcement actions aimed at criminal endeavors, but that isn’t the issue. These “rogue websites” only have an impact because the do what the content providers are unwilling to do. They offer cross platform media solutions at a reasonable price. Maybe they should change the question to:

Are there any arguments against our industries innovating new services and busniess models aimed at reducing the impact of these overseas rogue websites?

Marvin says:


Would that be the Newscorp run the Mr Murdoch judged unfit to run a company by the UK Parliament for lack of integrity? The Newscorp that considers criminal spying a valid means to gather “content” for their papers?
Why would they have concerns about monitoring and censoring the internet, the very internet btw they haven’t managed to turn into a Newscorp cash maschine?

Anonymous Coward says:

Murdoch believes any action he can dream up to combat competition is legitimate. There is nothing surprising here, and it’s not really worth bothering over.

Though I do think it’s funny he’s bothering to hold a conference around a question when he thinks the answer is “no”. Most of us have learned to move on from those questions. Maybe there’s a little doubt there after all, and the guests need a group hug before they can go off and commit yet more perjury, bribery, and fraud?

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