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
    :), 18 Jan 2010 @ 4:41pm

    The funny part.

    The funny part is that the same laws some of them want can and will be used to hurt them.

    DMCA could be used by people wanting to take down webpages that have any copyright and that means music sites too or movies that claim copyright on things they don't have or maybe even for copyfraud where some films and tv shows claim copyright on the whole when they don't have the rights to parts of it and that is a crime punished in the U.S. by a $2500 fine and is a criminal thing so only the U.S. government can initiate the process but takedowns on the other hand are just claims and maybe could be used to take down website movies on the behalf of the public I know that grey's anatomy and ghost whisperer used footage on the public domain and claimed copyright on everything, I know that the NFL claim more copyrights then they have in fact so people could file DMCA's to take down those sites just for the fun of it.

    ISPs can discriminate against video and audio streams and charge more it would be like pay or don't use it. That would hurt the little artists no?

    Without a rule saying that ISP can't discriminate against traffic it pretty much say that people can do what they please and with a government leading by example sanctions on people who don't want to pay could be costly in the long run.

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