Smoking Gun: MPAA Emails Reveal Plan To Run Anti-Google Smear Campaign Via Today Show And WSJ

from the editorial-independence? dept

If you talk to the reporters who work for various big media companies, they insist that they have true editorial independence from the business side of their companies. They insist that the news coverage isn’t designed to reflect the business interests of their owners. Of course, most people have always suspected this was bullshit — and you could see evidence of this in things like the fact that the big TV networks refused to cover the SOPA protests. But — until now — there’s never necessarily been a smoking gun with evidence of how such business interests influences the editorial side.

Earlier this month, we noted that the Hollywood studios were all resisting subpoenas from Google concerning their super cozy relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, whose highly questionable “investigation” of Google appeared to actually be run by the MPAA and the studios themselves. The entire “investigation” seemed to clearly be an attempt to mislead the public into believing that it was somehow illegal for Google’s search engine to find stuff that people didn’t like online. A court has already ruled that Hood pretty clearly acted in bad faith to deprive Google of its First Amendment rights. As the case has continued, Google has sought much more detail on just how much of the investigation was run by the MPAA and the studios — and Hollywood has vigorously resisted, claiming that they really had nothing to do with all of this, which was a laughable assertion.

However, in a filing on Thursday, Google revealed one of the few emails that they have been able to get access to so far, and it’s stunning. It’s an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood’s top lawyers in the Mississippi AG’s office, discussing the big plan to “hurt” Google. Beyond influencing other Attorneys General (using misleading fake “setups” of searches for “bad” material) and paying for fake anti-Google research, the lawyers from Hood’s office flat out admit that they’re expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories:

Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera) to see about working with a PR firm to create an attack on Google (and others who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy). This PR firm can be funded through a nonprofit dedicated to IP issues. The “live buys” should be available for the media to see, followed by a segment the next day on the Today Show (David green can help with this). After the Today Show segment, you want to have a large investor of Google (George can help us determine that) come forward and say that Google needs to change its behavior/demand reform. Next, you want NewsCorp to develop and place an editorial in the WSJ emphasizing that Google’s stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed.

In other words, Jim Hood and the MPAA were out and out planning a coordinated media attack on Google using the editorial properties that supposedly claim to have editorial independence from the business side. Notice that with the WSJ piece, they flat out admit that the editorial will be based on the ideas that “we” have developed. If you work for the WSJ, your editorial independence just got shot down. Remember when CBS stepped in and interfered editorially with CNET for giving an award to Dish at the same time that CBS was in a legal fight over that same device? That resulted in reporters quitting.

This is worse.

This is an out and out case where the MPAA is admitting to a plan whereby it will use mainstream media properties to run bogus and misleading stories to “attack” Google, to further the MPAA’s (believed, but misleadingly so) business interests. Is this really how the Today Show and the WSJ pick their editorial topics?

The “plan” goes even further after that, getting the MPAA to find (and almost certainly pay for) a lawyer to work with the “shareholder” previously identified to file legal filings against Google.

Following the media blitz, you want Bill Guidera and Rick Smotkin to work with the PR firm to identify a lawyer specializing in SEC matters to work with a stockholder. This lawyer should be able to the [sic] identify the appropriate regulatory filing to be made against Google.

As Google notes in its legal filing about this email, the “plan” states that if this effort fails, then the next step will be to file the subpoena (technically a CID or “civil investigatory demand”) on Google, written by the MPAA but signed by Hood. As Google points out, this makes it pretty clear (1) that the MPAA, studios and Hood were working hand in hand in all of this and (2) that the subpoena had no legitimate purpose behind it, but rather was the final step in a coordinated media campaign to pressure Google to change the way its search engine works. It’s pretty damning:

The document thus shows that the CID was not the foundation of a legitimate investigation?rather, it was a ?final step? that would be issued only ?if necessary? to further pressure Google to capitulate to the demands of AG Hood and his supporters.

The court has yet to rule on what else Hollywood needs to turn over, but just from what’s coming out already, serious questions are being raised (1) about Jim Hood and his office and what they were up to as well as (2) the editorial independence of the media arms of the MPAA studios, including both NBCUniversal (“the Today Show”) and NewsCorp. (the Wall Street Journal).

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Companies: comcast, google, mpaa, nbc universal, newscorp

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Comments on “Smoking Gun: MPAA Emails Reveal Plan To Run Anti-Google Smear Campaign Via Today Show And WSJ”

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andy says:

Re: Federal grand jury

This was the first thing i saw, they are discussing using their power and position and that of the AG to influence stock pricing and damage Google if they did not get what they were demanding from Google.That on top of using supposedly independent news channels to spread their lies is nothing more than pure evil in its base form, this is not as bad as murder but then again in America a business is a person and has the same right as a person this should be seen as a clear case of planning to kill someone and all involved imprisoned and questioned as killers would be.

If the court does not refer all involved to federal authorities and ask for an intensive investigation then there is a serious problem with the way things work and all laws become invalid.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: To all the Ayn Rand haters out there ...

… they are discussing using their power and position and that of the AG to influence stock pricing and damage Google if they did not get what they were demanding from Google.That on top of using supposedly independent news channels to spread their lies …

I don’t want to hijack this story away from focusing on Hood or the MafiAA, but this needs to be said.

Whether you like it or not, this is exactly the sort of crony capitalism and regulatory capture she warned about in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. She called these people “moochers” for seeking legislative or legal favours from our elected (or appointed) representatives in return for bribes or other corrupt considerations.

You may not like how she said it, or approve of her as a person (we all have our flaws), but this was her message. A freely functioning democracy doesn’t allow favoritism. Ours is broken and she was warning us as far back as the 1940s. The truth hurts, I know.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re: To all the Ayn Rand haters out there ...

“You may not like how she said it, or approve of her as a person (we all have our flaws), but this was her message. A freely functioning democracy doesn’t allow favoritism. Ours is broken and she was warning us as far back as the 1940s. The truth hurts, I know.”

Yeah she also claimed that all corporate leaders would be proper and good corporate citizens and never abuse their positions of power. So, yeah, wrong, and fuck her for being so naive to think that its the institution that predicates the good or bad behavior, and not the fact that all of human history shows that all people will become corrupt given the chance and the means.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:3 To all the Ayn Rand haters out there ...

Wrong. She says it straight out in Atlas Shrugged: Corporate leaders would be the only people to do right in the world, and would be just and responsible as they were the makers, and the takers (the govt, the moochers) would all be corrupt without a single good soul among them.

RoundAbout says:

Re: Re: Re: To all the Ayn Rand haters out there ...

I don’t think anyone would disagree that crony capitalism is a problem, and Rand was hardly the first person to point it out, in some form it has been a problem in every government ever. I think you will find that the reason most people dismiss Ayn Rand is that she offers no solutions. Her incorruptible and infallible heroes can complain about moochers, but other than running away to an island, they do nothing to fix the problem.

Even William F. Buckley called “Atlas Shrugged” “One thousand pages of ideological fabulism…”. If you want to get into a useful and functional view of Libertarianism read Adam Smith. He is much clearer about solutions, and he doesn’t dress his work up as crappy fiction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: To all the Ayn Rand haters out there ...

Ayn Rand was a paranoid, adulterous control freak who ran her social circle like a personality cult; but her worst sin was that the message you so highly esteem was not original. She cribbed virtually all of it — all the parts worth keeping, anyway — from Frederic Bastiat, John Stuart Mill, Joseph Schumpeter, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, and Carl Menger. Murray Rothbard and Nathaniel Branden, both of whom were “excommunicated” by Rand, were far more eloquent and persuasive exponents of libertarianism than she ever was. Continuing to hold up Ayn Rand as the epitome of libertarian thought is the single biggest PR blunder the movement has made.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Federal grand jury

Yes but playing the business like people card works two ways, the tech companies are killing the MPAA, so wouldn’t it be “Self Defense”, though I guess it more a “stand you ground” thing, as the media industry could try to embrace the changes to content delivery that modern technology has given…

Bergman (profile) says:


No, this was tactical and strategic planning.

Planning this detailed is enough to get convictions for conspiracy to commit murder, to commit bank robbery, to commit terrorist attack (just ask the FBI).

So why is it not sufficient in your mind to prove collusion between an AG and a business interest?

tqk (profile) says:


… nothing happened.

It’s always a shame when someone intent on committing a crime is found out beforehand and stopped prior to actually committing the crime. It would be so much better for everyone if they’d just have waited so we would have a real verified victim to avenge.

I wonder why cops hand out all those traffic tickets. Wouldn’t it be better to just allow the carnage to happen, then clean up the mess and incarcerate the offenders?

Anonymous Coward says:


Feeding stories to the media isn’t a crime, it’s PR.

An Attorney General has a ethical obligations on top of his constitutional obligations.

If an Attorney General, under color of state law, deprives anyone of their civil rights then it is a federal crime.

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States . . .

Google’s basic allegation is that General Hood was retaliating for Google’s refusal to censor their search results.

And stock market manipulation by an Attorney General is just … … tacky.

Anonymous Coward says:


P.S. And let’s not forget about the money that changed hands, either.

Hollywood v. Goliath: Inside the aggressive studio effort to bring Google to heel”, by Joe Mullin, Ars Technica, Dec 19, 2014

 . . . Perrelli’s plan met with approval from the MPAA. By the end of April, the question wasn’t whether they would move forward with funding an investigation of “Goliath”—it was simply a question of how much to spend.

The e-mails discuss different proposed amounts, but the most definitive budget comes in a missive that Fabrizio sent to the studio GCs on May 8. “Option 1” involved spending $585,000 annually, with $500,000 of that going to Jenner & Block, Perrelli’s law firm, and another $85,000 to be spent on “comms.” The “comms” spending would go towards keeping the media informed about AG actions against Google, “amplify negative Goliath news” and “seed media stories based on investigation and AG actions.”

A larger budget proposed spending more than $1 million. It isn’t clear from the e-mails which budget the group ultimately selected. . . .

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

That’s just as good as using a sentence’s context to deduce sarcasm – i.e. the reader often doesn’t make the leap with the writer.

Dotcom’s main definition is not as the guy’s name. It’s still use to refer to online sites, and it’s still regularly used to refer to the bust of 2002.

one current example:
US Senate’s DOTCOM act of 2015

David says:

Re: Re:

Oh nonsense, this is the executive. It is paid for by the tax payer and cannot do wrong. If police are incapable of being convicted of murder, an AG will most certainly not be convicted of corruption.

Never mind that some of the cases dismissed out of hand clearly max out the scale of murder or corruption. Some of the dismissals are for stuff that just can’t be any more murderous or corrupt.

No Grand Jury will ever be assembled or instructed in a manner where they’d even think of indicting Hood.

If murder will not go before court as a rule, why should corruption?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Problem is that the only thing that could possibly stick legally would be on mister Hoods relation with MPAA. The rest are morally extremely repulsive manipulation, but nothing of it seems illegal as such (though that middle man “non profit dedicated to IP issues”-trick sounds like a routine action for RICO-targetable fine businessmen).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I wouldn’t be so sure on that. This is becoming the sort of thing that someone has to take the fall for. Perhaps not the people who truly deserve it, but I would not be all that surprised if when all is said and done, Hood and/or the MPAA lawyers he was working directly with don’t get out of this intact.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

This is becoming the sort of thing that someone has to take the fall for.

Thinking on it overnight, General Hood’s best defense would be that this ProposedPlan.BostonMeeting.docx was after all merely a proposed plan. As soon as he heard about it, he vetoed it. It was never put into action. And former Special Assistant Attorney General Meredith Aldridge is no longer with the Mississippi AG’s office.

That would be his best defense. After thinking on it overnight.

Roland says:

Re: I've been as "unplugged" as I can be for years...

“…where can I find an ISP that the MAFIAA doesn’t own?”
Search for ISP+YourZipCode. There are lots of small mom-n-pop ISPs (like mine) that deserve your support, even in the metro areas. So many people immediately go corporate for services without thinking of the consequences, apparently because they think ‘it’s better’.

John David Galt (profile) says:

Re: Re: I've been as "unplugged" as I can be for years...

Search for ISP+YourZipCode. There are lots of small mom-n-pop ISPs (like mine) that deserve your support,

I’ve used a mom&pop ISP for years. But they get their feed through a major phone company.

The MAFIAA are the big 8 media conglomerates worldwide. They own most phone companies, TV and radio stations, newspapers, and the movie and music studios. I’m trying to find or create an alternative to them, because once they control the Internet they’ll tighten the screws and narrow political debate to what it was 50 years ago.

Reality Cop says:

Re: I've been as "unplugged" as I can be for years...

Start with Time Warner Cable, since they’re the last major ISP I know of that still allows you to use the bandwidth you pay for (i.e. Mbps, without an unadvertised GBpm limit where the gigabytes per month rate can be run out in less than 24 hours of the megabits per second rate (which really ought to be classified as false advertising and therefore illegal, since the GBpm rate is mathematically unequal to the advertised Mbps rate)), then, since TWC’s DNS servers damage Netflix / Amazon / Youtube etc. routing, change to Google’s DNS servers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If only we had people charged with upholding the law…

U.S. DoJ Public Integrity Section

The Public Integrity Section (PIN) oversees the federal effort to combat corruption…

Raymond Hulser
Chief, Public Integrity Section

Public Integrity Section Direct Line
(202) 514-1412

Veteran Prosecutor to Lead DOJ’s Public Integrity Section”, by Jenna Greene, Legal Times, May 7, 2015

Longtime prosecutor Raymond Hulser was named Thursday the new chief of the Public Integrity Section at the U.S. Department of Justice…

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m sorry, but seeing ‘DoJ’ and ‘Integrity’ in the same line, never mind the fact that they actually use that name with a straight face, I just can’t help but give you a funny vote for that one.

‘Integrity’ should never follow ‘DoJ’, unless the sentence or title also includes such words as ‘has no’ or ‘utterly lacks’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Dont forget the Wall Street Journals constant deference to the government on various NSA and CIA programs.

My favorite was the article on Snowden that on the front page sounded like it was for him, and then when you turned to the next page to continue reading suddenly the article in essence said he was aiding terrorists and should be locked up. #Towtheline

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Corruption getting worse.

I think corruption is getting worse with time, as is to be expected in a system like ours with progressing regulatory capture, but I also think corruption is more visible given the internet provides a vector by which news is disseminated without interference by media owners and sponsors.

Right now, it seems companies are still unused to the new leaky information model so were seeing a lot of of their malfeasant behavior that they’re used to doing without consequence.

Optimistically, this will prove an influence to reduce corruption due to fear of consequence. Cynically, I suspect they’ll just start internet disinformation programs of their own in order to obfuscate real news that leaks.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Corruption getting worse.

The War for control of the Internet is already in full swing, by the Five Eyes nations and their non-white, non-english-speaking, dues-paying associate members.

What we’re seeing here – the exposure of the rats in the barley silo – is one of the main reasons that the POTUS had to insure that the latest copyright deal – or “trade deal” to the uninformed – gets made into law as soon as possible through his introduction of Fast Track – or Anti-democratic secret legislation initiation program.

The Internet’s days, as we know it, are numbered, and the public, unaware of all but hollywood produced propaganda, are helpless to prevent it.

The internet has already set the plan back more than a decade and the perps in power are not getting any younger.

What’s the point of Ruling the World if your too old and feeble to enjoy it.

markm says:

Re: Re: Re:2 That's the way capitalism works.

All governments become corrupt. Power => opportunities for corruption, and honest politicians and bureaucrats will lose out to those who are willing to take those opportunities. What has been increasing in the USA is the size and power of government, as well as the number and complexity of laws and regulations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Might be the fact is they need to be constantly after a big evil pirate or big evil pirate enabler to justify their salaries. SO if they don’t have one……

I wonder if the true losses to piracy are greater than the combined salaries of everyone involved in trying to stop it? I bet you it’s not. Maybe it’s a big government funded make work project for out of work lawyers and someone forgot to tell anyone about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The reason that they keep hammering on the pirate drum is because it is a good excuse to try and gain control over the Internet. The real threat to their income is all the legal content on Youtube, and Vimeo etc. If the can destroy Google, then the also take out a main competitor, Youtube, as intended collateral damage.

Anonymous Coward says:

MAFIAA, and the Oligarchs behind it, are not simply interested in shutting down P2P. They want to shut down all information that they cannot control.

This is not just about a bunch of corporations representing the interests of their shareholders.

It is about control over the behavior and believes of entire populations.

None of the corruption and abuse we see in government would be possible if the media wasn’t still dominated by bloodsuckers like Rupert Murdoch.

There is no editorial independence. Oligarchs do not buy media to inform and enlighten the citizenry. They do it to protect and expand their empires.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Wasn't RICO made for this?

Not quite.

Its purpose was to aid in bringing down the competition.

The MAFIA was simply not on board back then and thus posed a threat to the Corporate Power Players.

Its no longer a threat, now that its a partner.

I expect all of this “Hollywood VS the Google Monster” talk will be “Look Over There!!!” fixed in the very near future by something like an (NSA orchestrated) ISIS massacre of US kids, and then forgotten altogether forever after, followed by a number of Judicial “Suicides”.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: A pin drop

I wonder if there is a law in the US yet, against public printing and dissemination of news copied from places like TechDirt and Reddit, via passing out self printed handbills in public places.

There has to be some kind of software available to “paste-up” a typical newsletter format for printing.

Might actually restart the notion of a Free Press.

Of course, copyright laws would be totally against it, exactly as designed.

That One Guy (profile) says:

That's nice but...

I’m still waiting to see evidence showing why they’ve been fighting so hard to keep everything secret. Surely blatantly planning a smear job, involving bought and paid for ‘reporting’, followed by buying some legal action if that didn’t work, surely that’s not the reason, right?

I mean, I’m sure all of that is perfectly above board and legal, and won’t even get a second glance in court, from judge or jury, right?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: That's nice but...

I wish that wasn’t likely to be the case, but yeah, that is most likely exactly what will happen.

Not a single person will be willing to actually prosecute or even bring charges against Hood, and the entire matter will as a result just be brushed under the rug as a perfect example of the high-court/low-court ‘justice’ system we have in the US.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

MPAA is even using strawmen in this case to pay for the PR campaign. We are talking the usual methods to obscure the end-points we see in tax evasion setups…

In that way they may be able to offload the dirt on the strawmen officially! This will cause MPAAs image to bleed further, but will the corporate media they have “good connections” in actually cover this story? Likely MPAA will suffer huge rage among computer users and fringe media, while the mainstream media will ignore it and thus the broader public will stay in the dark. The mainstream media have some large moral holes in their angling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Google is pro-speech and MPAA is anti-speech.
Google is pro-innovation and MPAA is anti-innovation.
Google is pro-freedom and MPAA is anti-freedom.

See how easy it is to label things?

And lets not forget that one person doing something allegedly wrong doesn’t mean it’s okay for another person doing something allegedly wrong.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Please explain how Google is “pro-piracy.”

Well, its not, of course.

What Google is though, is uncooperative.

It will not join the Fascist Fold and follow their Corporate Government Masters orders unquestioningly like all the other Top 500 US Corporations have done.

If the perps in power could, they would have framed Google for Child Molestation, Promoting the sale of Child Pornography and Snuff Films, and added printing Terrorist Treatises for good measure.

They had to settle for “infringement”.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Aye, they would indeed have me and thee believe that particular falsehood to be fact, but a little research into who actually started peer to peer and who actually developed and distributed the software used for peer to peer, discloses that the same corporations now screaming “pirate, pirate!!”, were the ones responsible for the invention and spread of the entire process of peer to peer trading, on websites created specifically for that purpose.

And we have all here seen, time after time, how these same corporations refuse to do the simple little things that any good company would automatically do to stop infringement utterly overnight – offer a quality product, on time, at a decent price, in a manner that the public wants.

Infringement is a make believe “crime” they created, in order to have an excuse to demand the initiation of legislation – and phony trade deals – that would eventually give them control of the internet and public domain and turn copyright laws into an eternal corporate ownership right, and public censorship process.

They are criminals of the first water, as this article shows most clearly, and if the process of peer to peer file trading is a crime, then it is the corporations who started it that should be charged with its inception and perpetration.

Until then, I refuse to see the copying and trading with others, of something I and they have over-paid for in full, as a crime at all.

MPAA Lover says:

Re: Re:

Google is pro-piracy and the MPAA is anti-piracy. They’re clearly in a full-scale war against each other. I don’t really see what is surprising here. The MPAA isn’t doing anything Google hasn’t already done with their political connections and astroturf groups. Shrug.

I agree! But you forgot to mention that Google eats babies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Google is pro-piracy and the MPAA is anti-piracy. They’re clearly in a full-scale war against each other. I don’t really see what is surprising here. The MPAA isn’t doing anything Google hasn’t already done with their political connections and astroturf groups. Shrug.

This comment is actually the thing that is most amazing to me: this is the way copyright maximalists thing. They actually think that Google is “pro-piracy” and thus it makes sense to literally “attack Google.”

But that’s not how Google thinks at all. And, this isn’t a “defend Google” comment at all. Google wants to make a profit and will be cut throat in doing so, but it does so by providing search results that people want. It’s not what Google wants, it’s what users want.

Contrary to this comment above, there’s no one at Google or any of its so-called “astroturf groups” saying “how can we attack the MPAA.” Because that doesn’t make any sense at all. The “attack” focus is entirely one-sided. Google is focused on “how do we make our search better so we can make more money in ads with more people using it with higher margins.”

There’s a very big key difference in strategies here. Google’s is “how do we make more money buy building a better product for our users.” The MPAA’s is “how do we tear down this company we don’t like.”

The differences are striking.

To argue that the MPAA is doing something that is “no different” than what Google has done is wrong. Is Google aggressive in using its political connections to help it make more money. You bet. But it’s not using those political connections to attack companies. Very, very different.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The MPAA’s is “how do we tear down this company we don’t like.”

I think it’s more in the vein of “How do we counter this threat to our business model”, which is where things go out of skew.
What the entire content industry should be saying is “How can we re-align our business model with the technology-driven changes in consumer habits?”.
That, of course, would likely require the current top brass to step aside for the good of all, not least the industry itself.
Since this kind of altruistic consideration is anathema to the corporate creed, they take the Titanic option, which means they’ll rather stay on the bridge and ram that cursed iceberg than stand aside and save both themselves and everybody else.

David says:

Re: Re:

Uh, this is Mississippi. It has a long and proud tradition of the upper class getting away with actual murder. They fought a war for that right. They may have lost that war, but it’s not like there is a strong occupational force checking up on them regularly. Eisenhower was the last one to send in the Army in order to have them maintain the conditions of their surrender.

But not much since then.

Monday (profile) says:

Moot Points

This news is really no surprise. What I am a little surprised at, and I’m sure someone has more clarity on this than myself, is, can the MPAA even afford this? This must cost a ton of money, and Google could drag this out until the Chinese have a base on the Moon, but I thought MPAA lost backers, and credibility, and fight after fight, so where is the money coming from.
Is Hood as AG free?
Who foots the bill for the ‘Media blitz’?
Is this a case of loser pays? MPAA and AG Hood?
I’m know I’m missing something here… Google picked the fight maybe?

Anonymous Coward says:

Google is a prime target because they are so widely used. They do not need any media outlet to get the information out there. How many see the google banner, when they go to to perform a search? How many use gmail? I see two highly visible methods for the dissemination of this an related corrupt/illegal/unexpected acts should the media at large fail to properly cover the story or cover it in such a way as to misconstrue the reporting to paint google as the devil, which we all know it is damn baby eater.

OldMugwump (profile) says:

Re: damn baby eater


Those with skeletons in the closet ought to be more careful before provoking that baby-eating, racist, tax-dodging, radioactive monster-incubating Google company.

Google has been remarkably tolerant so far, but if they want to get the word out about something, they sure have a lot of eyeballs looking at lots of nice blank white space.

Those fascist, book-burning, commie torturers at Google are fully capable of defending themselves.

Google can bite, if it wants to.

Keep that in mind.

hij (profile) says:

Could be worse, they could be dealing with Google's competition

I still do not understand why they think that google’s competition, Apple and Microsoft, would be any easier to deal with. If they think that Google is an unreasonable company to do business with then they need to get a dose of the way their competition does business. Then again, I am sure Duck Duck Go would be just lovely for the MPAA to work with as well.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Could be worse, they could be dealing with Google's competition

… google’s competition, Apple and Microsoft …

That looks so weird but, nowadays, I guess it’s true. You’d think it were Yahoo! and Bing (you know, search engines), but I suppose it’ll soon include automobile mfgrs, couriers, geographical atlas publishers, Welcome Wagon, realtors, broadcasters, news agencies, and Consumer Reports. Based on MafiAA whining, I’d guess they’ll take on Netflix next. I wonder if we could convince them to replace our non-functioning gov’ts too.

… they need to get a dose of the way their competition does business.

How do they do business? Which one are we talking about?

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Could be worse, they could be dealing with Google's competition

I still do not understand why they think that google’s competition, Apple and Microsoft, would be any easier to deal with.

Because they are already working with Google’s competition.

The MPAA is singled out here – and it’s justifiable, since they’re the worst offender – but they didn’t act alone in bribing Jim Hood to go after Google.

Another partner in Project Goliath was an organization called FairSearch. This is an anti-Google coalition started by competing search engines (Expedia, TripAdvisor, etc.), Oracle, and Microsoft. They’re also the ones who are behind the Google antitrust case in the EU.

Read about them here:

And, there’s also organizations like Arts+Labs. It is funded mostly by major telecoms, and was later joined by music organizations like BMI and the SGA. It was set up as an anti-Net Neutrality organization, and later went on to support SOPA.

Read about them here:

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Chris Castle (of Music Technology Policy/Trichordist infamy) being interviewed as part of Arts+Labs, pretty much admitting that they’re an astroturf organization:

Of course, like a classic astroturf group, they seem to have disbanded after their policy advocacy failed; their site is offline.

…There’s a lot more of course, but I think you get the idea.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Could be worse, they could be dealing with Google's competition

I still do not understand why they think that google’s competition, Apple and Microsoft, would be any easier to deal with.

Because they are already working with Google’s competition.

Documents in Sony leak show how state attorney general was cozy with Hollywood”, by Russell Brandom, The Verge, Dec 18, 2014

 . . . A few days later, on the [January] 21st [201?], an email from Perrelli talks about coaching Hood before the meeting:

I spent more time with Hood after the meeting and, I hope, got him focused on the key issues and the asks. He really does care a great deal about piracy – and he doesn’t get sidetracked by some of the things that Microsoft prefers. He wants Google to delist pirate sites and he is going to ask them to do that tomorrow.

Taken together with other documents, it makes a strong case that Hood was being directed by both the MPAA and Microsoft in his investigations into Google, and casts many of those investigations in a new light. . . .

(Emphasis added.)

Unfortunately, Russell Brandon’s story in The Verge does not provide links to the full text of this “other email” and “other documents” so we can evaluate them for ourselves. I just quickly looked through the New York Times documents and related article linked from The Verge story, and they don’t seem to be there. I believe they may possibly be available at Wikileaks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Could be worse, they could be dealing with Google's competition

I believe they may possibly be available at Wikileaks.

Wikileaks indeed has a Jan 21, 2014 email from vans_stevenson at which forwards another email:

From: Perrelli, Thomas J []
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:22 AM
Subject: Meeting with AGs

The body of this forwarded Perrelli email contains the text that Russell Brandon quoted in his story in The Verge.

That is just one supporting email though. I have no idea what other “other emails” and “other documents” that The Verge story relies on.

Anonymous Coward says:

so perhaps now Google will take more of an initiative against Hollywood and the entertainment industries, start standing up for it’s customers and stop bending over and grabbing ankles at every opportunity when the industries demand them to! also, perhaps some politicians in powerful places will finally see that everything they have been doing for the industries, is just to keep them in control of things, how it was 30 years ago, holding back progress in every field, not just the entertainment ones, rather than joining the digital age. progress has been retarded enough by those studio bosses who want nothing other than to get as much money as possible or inflict as much harm to people as possible instead of doing what they should. and remember, if anyone else had been caught with emails threatening someone or a company with certain actions, that someone would have been locked up and the key thrown away! it’s also time those same politicians already mentioned got into bed with the people who keep them voted into positions in government and started to look after them rather than just doing what their friends in the ‘make believe’ industries demand they do!

DannyB (profile) says:


Dear Mr. Hood,
Please consider:

Isaiah 1:4

Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! [. . .]

Job 36:18

Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside.

Proverbs 17:8

A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn.

Proverbs 17:23

The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.

Proverbs 29:4

By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.

Ecclesiastes 7:7

Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

And there are plenty more.

Roland says:

which 40 AGs ?

I haven’t seen any detail on which state AGs are backing this fiasco. Finally tracked it down:
If your state AG is involved, email the dummy!

“…States participating include: Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.”

Anonymous Coward says:

So MPAA is planing a stock fraud?

… Google’s stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs …

I’m pretty sure, if Google finds anyone who knew about this and that person did have any stocks in *any* tech company that competes with Google (e.g. everyone else), they can argue insider trading which is securities fraud.

In the U.S., this seems to come with quite harsh prison sentences.

Let thge games begin…

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: So MPAA is planing a stock fraud?

In the U.S., this seems to come with quite harsh prison sentences.

Then again, In the US2.0, envelopes filled with photo-shopped pictures of judges in bed with toddlers, goats and geese usually comes with no charges being laid at all, and cases being summarily dismissed for lack of recently destroyed evidence.

GEMont says:

Time for Positive Action!!

Looks like its high-time for Hollywood to tell the (p)Resident (s)Elect; Drones O’Bomber, to get that all-out “Anti-ISIS War” crusade started pronto, before all the other cats get squeezed out of the bag and the public discovers exactly how much of its NEWS is just pure bullshit, written by Hollywood’s best screen writers and manufactured from “Whole Cloth” by its best Pocket Politicians.

Lets see now. Probably best way to start the ball rolling would be to massively blow up something really public-poignant like a very popular ride at Disneyland – and make a “citizen-witness” cell phone vid for mass publication and exposure.

Is there a Despicable-Me-Minions Ride built yet?

Gotta make sure to kill at least 15 kids though, or else it won’t have the necessary “Pearl Harbor Oompph” needed to get the public to “demand a military response” against the Evil Masked Muslim Murder Horde, in retaliation.

It might be best to kill at least a dozen kids early on, and have their bodies dumped at the explosion sight by fake first responders, to insure the minimum death count is achieved.

They’ll also need an absolutely undeniable link to ISIS, like a video of a black-masked man happily claiming full responsibility for the massacre on national TV within minutes of the blast, using tons of familiar Movie-Muslim dialogue slogans and with the obligatory ISIS “wiggly snakes” flag blowing prominently in the background.

Wouldn’t hurt to have the NSA start sending out a bunch of brown paper, image-filled envelopes to some very naughty judges, pertaining to their sexual proclivities with barn yard animals, with a message about how the images would soon be released to various Hollywood friendly websites and TV networks, should they not cease and desist all further Google-favorable decisions on this and other matters listed in the message.

I suppose sticking a hefty five digit graft check; made out to their secret off-shore bank accounts, would not be overkill as regards additional incentive to get these uncooperative and soon to be unemployed judges to toe the line, and to let them all know that even their most important secrets are already known by the Hollywood Government.

After all, HollyGov can just have the bill for all of this, taken care of by the Hollywood Attorneys-General Graft Department, so that it comes out of the tax payer’s pocket eventually anyways.

Regardless, it is definitely a Time for Action-Movie Action!

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: This is a test.


My post was held back for two full days, and apparently I DID NOT forget to sign the thing, so maybe it was not flagged for moderation by the moderator-bot, but by a hoomun bean!

Unless of course, the post contained some special trigger-word that was a pre-set for auto-moderation.

Strange behavior indeed for techdirt…. looks like some things are changing….

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 This is a test.

Or maybe “test” and “this is a test” are simply filtered out, on the reasonable assumption that the post isn’t an actual contribution to the discussion?

I’m absolutely certain that you really meant to say something with that statement, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what it might be.

How can “test” – which does not exist – and the post “this is a test” be filtered out if its right there in front of you… unfiltered…. you did respond to it without having to un-filter it, right?

I thought this was pretty straight forward, but apparently some find this difficult to wrap their heads around, so….

The post that was held back for moderation for 2 days, is above “This is a test“, because it was posted 8 minutes before “This is a test“, and is titled “Time for Positive Action!!” It was posted Saturday and published Monday.

The post “This is a test“, was made because I was surprised to see my message held for moderation, as the simple two line post plainly states.

I assumed I had neglected to sign it and add my email address, as happens occasionally, since name and addy are no longer automatically inserted into the fields.

I titled that post “This is a test” because it was basically a test to see if all my posts were now to be flagged for moderation.

The post “Re: This is a test“, was posted on the 26th, Sunday, when I realized that my original post – “Time for Positive Action!!” – was still unpublished and my assumption at that point was that the techdirt folks did not do moderation work during the weekend, even though my post was apparently Bot-Flagged for moderation on Saturday.

The post titled “Re: Re: This is a test” was posted on the 27th – Monday – when the moderated post was finally published, and it was posted because I was surprised to see that it was indeed signed.

Had I posted it unsigned, it would have been a possible candidate for moderation, but because it was signed, I decided it must have had some words in it that caused the Moderator Bot to flag it – since the techdirt boys apparently don’t do moderation on the weekends.

So, for the record – in case that was too wordy – none of the “test” posts were intended to contribute to the discussion, but none of them were filtered out either.

I do hope that clears things up for you.

Now if only I could clear up why the post was flagged and held for two days….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Eeeee-specially so, when its on a GLOBAL scale

Its an ABUSE of power

If your looking to make changes, be honest and open about everything and every stage, let the public judge your solution upon their merits alone not on how much sugar you pour on it, usually in the form of COMMON SENSE
Dont abuse/transform/manipulate a system to your own ends, where the voice of the one silences the voice of the many……it ends up becoming a spreading top down representation of the 1%……….

You know, the funny thing is, i dont give, or did’nt, give too shits about voicing my opinion in the past, its just, i cant stand others imposing theirs on mine or others,with no CHOICE in the matter………these people, quite literally, bring opposition upon themselves

Honest, open, and let people decide upon its merits

Bring the right to choose, not the right to manipulate

Matt Hunt (user link) says:

perfect target

for the new Fed AD Loretta Lynch. She will probably step in, go after Hood, and the RIAA will slither back into their cave for their next coordinated attack. She could go all “trust buster” on them and put some people in jail, but I doubt it. Personally I feel the feds should have the ability to dissolve corporate charters for entities such as the RIAA.

David says:

Re: perfect target

perfect target
for the new Fed AD Loretta Lynch. She will probably step in, go after Hood,

She will most probably do nothing at all. Hood is the president of the national association of AGs, and 40(!) AGs put in an amicus curiae letter to the court in this case.

The whole Department of Justice is corrupt to the marrow, they have repeatedly demonstrated that with illegal operations and lies and perjury before Congress.

I admit that the whole affair and the letters uncovered up to now are perfect for priming Hood as a fall boy, but I don’t think Lynch wants to suggest to the other AGs that she’s about to start a trend.

Whether or not he does make a fall boy transition to a well-paid job at the MPAA will pretty much depend on how much of a stink this particular judge will raise, and I’m pretty sure that there is quite a bit of money and career in stock for the judge should he decide to just bury everything reasonably quietly.

Anonymous Coward says:

it would be a good idea perhaps to find out how many legitimate businesses and how many lives have been ruined so far by the entertainment industries! i’ll bet it’s a hell of a lot more than we think! on top of that, it would show how little the different governments think of anyone and everyone else as they only do whatever it is those industries and Hollywood demand be done! it’s abundantly clear that the industries dont give a flyin’ toss what damage they do or to how many but boy, do they go cryin’ to whoever they have wrapped round their fingers not just in the governments but in law enforcement as well!! and the excuse is always the same, it’s costing millions in revenue none of whichever turns into artist payments or government taxes!!

Anonymous Coward says:

what i find very interesting though is that if it had not been for the ‘help’ in releasing these emails, nothing would have been revealed as to the plan of the MPAA and the assistance it was getting from a USA Attorney General and associated staff! this to me is another reason various governments are going down the surveillance route so they know when certain damning pieces of information about particular people and organisations has been discovered and released to the public. it’s obvious also that they keep doing whatever they can to ramp up laws on whistle blowers! they want to keep as much stuff as possible under wraps but what does get out they want to give the severest punishment possible! trying to deter people like this will hopefully backfire. it hasn’t done anyone any good, looking back through history, to try to enslave the people of a country, let alone anything bigger! the people will fight back if this carries on and the recriminations wont be very nice!! and this is all going on, not just to please the entertainment industries but to try to get the best chance that has arisen so far for the planet to be run like a giant corporation and give the already wealthy the ultimate aim of being in total control of everyone else!!

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Corruption is a moral hazard.

When lobbying and cronyism provide a better profit increase than making product and there is no consequence to engaging in these behaviors*, it creates a moral hazard, and corporations are going to engage in those behaviors.

* This includes all scenarios in which consequence can be nullified, circumvented, reduced or delayed so that they’re out of the scope of the current corporate management.

Satoshki Kamasutra (profile) says:

This is a baseless smear on journalists at NBC Universal and News Corp

I realize everyone likes to bash big media companies, but it’s a stretch to imply that they did anything wrong in this case, let alone than anything worse than what CBS did by actually pulling a story. As far as I can tell there’s no evidence that NBC or the WSJ actually ran anything, just a suggestion from some lawyers that the MPAA try to get them to do so. Perhaps if this hadn’t leaked out then the desired stories would’ve appeared, in which case you might have a point, but there’s no way to know one way or the other. Go ahead and dislike NBC and WSJ if you want, but smearing them because someone WANTED them to do something THAT THEY DIDN’T ACTUALLY DO is pretty outrageous.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This is a baseless smear on journalists at NBC Universal and News Corp

It’s rather telling that you purposefully signed up for an account under a pseudonym just to run to the defense of massive news corporations.

Nobody’s blaming NBC or WSJ for anything… at this point. However, the fact that the MPAA considered running their campaign via the above media channels does allude to their strategy. That you suddenly decided to white-knight for the sake of corporations that, according to you, did nothing wrong and in fact, aren’t the main focus of the story, is particularly suggestive.

You sound like a child who’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar – “If you hadn’t come in and seen me you wouldn’t have known that I’m doing nothing wrong!”

BernardoVerda says:

It's not the reporters (at least, not all of them)

“If you talk to the reporters who work for various big media companies, they insist that they have true editorial independence from the business side of their companies. They insist that the news coverage isn’t designed to reflect the business interests of their owners.”

This has nothing to do with the reporters (aside from those who work for outfits like FOX/NewsCorp, who really, really, really should know better). It’s the editors who decide what to print, who gets assigned to stories, and what resources might be made available. Of course, the editors aren’t necessarily “taking orders” (some would even, in fact resign, if they ever were) but the ones who tend to lean/decide the “wrong” way, don’t get hired, or don’t get renewed or promoted, etc…

It’s one of the relatively more subtle consequences of media conglomeration / media concentration — an ever narrower range of opinions are represented. The final nails in the coffin of American journalistic independence might arguably have been the sales of the New York Times, and the Knight-Ridder corporation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: It's not the reporters (at least, not all of them)

There are many examples of bosses flat out telling staff which editorial position to take. See, for example, the story of how Cenk Uygur left MSNBC. Also see the documentary “Outfoxed”.

But, yes, I think that it is mainly handled through institutional bias. With the right bosses in place it becomes an unspoken assumption. A workplace culture. Normalized.

It is like politicians insisting that corporate donations do not effect policy. Anyone without a conflict of interest can see that it is self-evidently a corrupt relationship. But many insiders actually believe it. They have to. If they want to keep their jobs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Email has privacy.

Email doesn’t have a lot of privacy left after it’s been published in the New York Times: “Google’s Detractors Take Their Fight to the States” (by Nick Wingfield and Eric Lipton, Dec. 16, 2014)

 . . . The inner workings of those efforts are outlined in emails obtained by The New York Times through open records requests. Other details are contained in messages stolen from Sony Pictures Entertainment by hackers and obtained by The Times through an industry executive. Some of the emails from Sony have been reported by The Verge, a website. . . .

But all that that won’t stop MPAA from arguing that no one’s allowed to read the newspaper.

MPAA Argues That Sony Emails Shouldn’t Be Used As Evidence In Google Lawsuit”, by Mike Masnick, Techdirt, Jul 6, 2015.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Home address

… posts the home address…

Hit the red “report” button, if you care to.

I strongly considered it myself, when I saw the post the other day, but my personal policy is an awfully light touch on the “report” button here. Perhaps too light—I usually, although not always, limit it to out-and-out commercial spam.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Home address

I did.


Is it a lazy cheat on my part, knowing that others around here are likely to hit “report” on posts that I’d rather not see—even though I won’t press the button on those things myself? I sometimes wonder about that.

Otoh, I do have some capacity for ignoring things that I wish didn’t exist.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Home address

Is it a lazy cheat on my part, knowing that others around here are likely to hit “report” on posts that I’d rather not see …

I happen to think it’s the opposite. One of TD’s mantras is “Bad speech is best countered by more speech”, which to me means give ’em all the rope they want, the better to hang themselves with.

I’m sympathetic to the view that their noise just gets in the way, but maybe we should have a “Dumbth” button along with insightful, funny, and report, in order to highlight the egregiously trollish posts to make them really stand out for those who want to either ignore or counterattack.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: MPAA SOPA, etc.

Sorry, I don’t know what MPAA and SOPA and some other such names actually stand for. It would help to spell them out on first reference for some of us who need help here.

Most of the audience here knows such acronyms so they aren’t usually spelled out (this isn’t a general news site). Google can help you.

Peter G. says:

Try telling the whole story

Arguing the point in Mississippi state courts is certainly not appropriate, but I don’t think we’re entirely done with the question of whether it’s okay for a search engine to link to criminal content on the web when the technology exists to identify and omit that content from search results.

It certainly isn’t legit to criticize the MPAA’s lobbying and bill-drafting efforts while ignoring the similar but far more massive lobbying by Google and other tech companies to bamboozle and strong-arm Federal politicians into giving them favorable Federal laws— whether or not the outcome was “right” by any particular set of standards.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Try telling the whole story

It certainly isn’t legit to criticize the MPAA’s lobbying and bill-drafting efforts while ignoring the similar but far more massive lobbying by Google and other tech companies…

So Google and other tech companies are also bribing AGs and news organizations to pressure their perceived competition and destroy their stock prices? Is that what you mean by “similar”?

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: That's a pretty big supposition

I don’t think we’re entirely done with the question of whether it’s okay for a search engine to link to criminal content on the web when the technology exists to identify and omit that content from search results.

Is this a philosophical argument over a conjectural supposition?

Because in the real world, you’re going to need to specify what kind of criminal content (are we talking child porn or copyright violations?) and what kind of process is required to identify and remove it.

From what I understand about child porn, for instance, is that media files are analyzed for color spectrum and those with certain properties are flagged and then human beings go through the (countless) flagged files to determine whether or not they constitute child porn. That’s not exactly technology, so much as a process with human techs in the middle.

And as has been seen on YouTube, the automated content detection system is lousy with incidents of blocking false positives and still has a substantial number of false negatives. So the technology in this case is dubious at best and pretty much just succeeds at annoying everybody.

So to say that technology exists is a presumption that delves into science fiction. Indulging that, search engines that censor results are going to struggle to compete with search engines that provide more comprehensive results, and will have to counter that with aesthetics, convenience, better search tools and and other features. In other words, it would have to take the Yahoo route to encourage people to go their first, and then choose lesser-featured engines when the engine of choice fails to yield results.

That said, since P2P-related content is omitted from Google search results (whether or not they’re criminal) I simply don’t go to Google when looking for P2P-related content.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Try telling the whole story

Which “favorable Federal laws” are we talking about?

Perhaps this one?

Aaron’s Law Reintroduced: CFAA Didn’t Fix Itself”, by Cindy Cohn, EFF Deeplinks, April 29, 2015

Aaron’s law, the proposed law named in honor of Internet hero Aaron Swartz was reintroduced last week by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Senator Wyden (D-Ore.), with new co-sponsor Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). This bill is the same as the one introduced in 2013 and we call upon Congress to move it forward. . . .

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Try telling the whole story

… Aaron’s law…

… the public, not tech companies. The tech companies just benefit…

People Realizing That It Wasn’t Google Lobbying That Stopped PIPA/SOPA”, by Mike Masnick, Techdirt, Feb 8th 2012

We’ve been pointing out for a few weeks now just how ridiculous the narrative is that it was “Google lobbying” that stopped SOPA and PIPA from moving forward. Having been involved in much of what happened, I know . . .

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Try telling the whole story

Go watch “The Internet’s Own Boy” (2014; I got it from my library :-). The CFAA is what the prosecutor (Diaz) used to pile on bogus charges trying to railroad him into a plea deal.

Pretty much everyone with a brain has recognized the CFAA is bad law, and has been for a long time. If Google’s agreeing, that just shows they’re not idiots.

Got any more?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Try telling the whole story

Got any more?

Since my most-recent post is held in the automod queue right now, I’ll try a similar one.

Once More, With Feeling: It Wasn’t Silicon Valley Or Google That Stopped SOPA/PIPA, It Was The Internet”, by Mike Masnick, Techdirt, Jan 26, 2012

Over the last week, after SOPA and PIPA were put on life support, we’ve noticed an incredibly tone deaf response from the supporters of these bills, lashing out at the wrong parties and trying to figure out where to place the blame. The usual target has been “the tech industry,” by which they usually mean “Google.” . . .

Anonymous Coward says:

If little ole copyright issues can lead to this...

…just think what other issues lead to. You can pretty much tell what the media wants you to believe just by flipping news stations. When they are all suddenly latched onto a story, you can guarantee there is someone pulling the strings. There is no other explanation for why some items get so much press and other important items get none. This is why I ignore most lamestream media. They have been puppets for a long time now. Even the liberal press are corporate puppets, something liberals will never admit to because you know, only Fox News is biased.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: If little ole copyright issues can lead to this...

I think they latch onto shooting rampages because the people of the US love to agonize over a good massacre and ponder in panic what single factor went wrong to send this fellow amuck. Such stories may or may not be part of the agenda, but that’s certainly the clown circus used to draw people to watch the news show.

I think that all news outlets are biased, even TechDirt and The Christian Science Monitor. The questions are to what degree, about what specific issues, and what efforts they make to disclose their biases. Those are what determine if a given news outlet is still useful regardless of its biases.

Anonymous Coward says:

Did anyone here watch the serious "The Men Who Built America"

One big takeaway I got from that show was that around the turn of the 1900’s, the government woke up and decided they wanted to be players on the US and world stage. They started exerting their might, which is greater than all other influencers, given that they control the men with guns.

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