Motion Picture Association: The Cloud Is A Threat To Us And The Best Response Is Censorship
from the hammers-and-nails dept
The Motion Picture Association is somewhat notorious for flipping out over every new technology and how it will, without doubt, mean death for them. Most famously, of course, the prediction that the VCR would be the “Boston Strangler” to the movie industry a mere six years before home video revenues outstripped box office revenues. However, this seems to be somewhat instinctual behavior. Everything new must automatically be classified as a threat, and the best response is to kill it outright. The latest version of this appears to be the threat of (gasp!) “cloud computing.” At a get together in Hong Kong, in which the movie industry was supposed to be talking about “protecting the screen community in the cloud era” apparently there was the typical predictions of doom with little in the way of suggestions. But there were some. Frank Rittman, the SVP of the Motion Picture Association, explained that the cloud was evil and censorship was the answer:
The news was even worse from Frank Rittman, SVP of the Motion Picture Association, Asia Pacific, who stated that potential pirates have all the digital tools they need to make illegal media sharing more viral than ever. “Digital online technology has enabled new channels of delivery for entertainment media,” he said. “The cloud also represents a threat in that it facilitates piracy, and the pirates seem to have gotten into this space first.”
The answer to both problems, Rittman believes, is pushing for Internet Service Providers to block sites known to be troublemakers when it comes to Internet piracy. He pointed to examples of the practice in Europe, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Korea as models of how this has worked as a low-cost way of cutting down on piracy that has met with some success.
He also complains that Hong Kong won’t pass a law like this because the process has been “hijacked by extremists.” Well, that’s one way of looking at it. The alternative way is that arguing that flat out censorship of entire sites because you have been too slow to adapt, is crazy talk and is significantly more extremist than anything anyone else has been arguing. If you want to go after direct infringement, go after that. But censorship of entire sites is going way too far. And, contrary to his claims, it has not “worked” nor has it “met with some success.” It hasn’t driven people back to paying for movies.
Really, Rittman’s statements are an example of the problem. Here are people so focused on “stopping piracy” that they don’t care about the consequences of their own actions on innovation, nor do they care about whether or not it helps their own bottom line.