Entertainment Industry Explains How True Net Neutrality Is Just Another Word For Theft

from the say-what-now? dept

With comments due last week on the FCC's proposed new net neutrality rules, we've already covered some of the filings, while noting the problems of carving out a special exemption for copyright. But, of course, that special exemption for copyright means everything to an entertainment industry that has no interest in adapting its business models. Both the RIAA and MPAA filed their own comments, which were pretty similar, and equally misleading. The RIAA's filing (pdf) repeatedly referred to copyright infringement as "theft" (you would think lawyers would know the difference) and insisted not just that there should be a copyright exemption, but that the FCC itself should require ISPs to act as copyright cops. The MPAA's filing (pdf) is almost a carbon copy of the RIAA's. There is very little difference between the two.

But if you want to see an even more extreme argument, check out the filing from the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) (pdf), who we'd already pointed out was running around aimlessly screaming that network neutrality would mean more unauthorized file sharing (they call it "piracy"). In the SGA's filing, they claim that net neutrality wouldn't solve any actual problem, and the real problem is the inability of songwriters to get paid in the way they used to, back in the idyllic days before the internet existed. So they'd much rather that the FCC break the internet in order to bring back those days. That's a bit of a paraphrase, but it's really not that far off.

The language used by the SGA goes even beyond that of the others, referring to things like "rampant looting" and insisting that with net neutrality we would face the end of songwriting. Seriously. While the SGA claims that it wants to promote new innovation and technology, it appears to only mean technology that can be used to block file sharing. It's very excited about those technologies, and not at all concerned about all the technologies (even the ones used by lots of folks every day) that would be broken without a neutral internet.

Not that any of these filings are all that surprising, but it does show how low the entertainment industry has decided to stoop in trying to get others to bring back old business models, rather than adapt to the changing times.

Filed Under: net neutrality, rules, theft
Companies: mpaa, riaa, sga


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2010 @ 1:30pm

    American corporations first need to get their heads wrapped around the concept that America doesn't own the internet and that whatever laws it passes are meaningless to the rest of the world. Not much good fighting this way when ultimately the United States could be routed around and turned into an electronic island as far as the internet's concerned.

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