MPAA Attacks Demand Progress With Ridiculous & Unsubstantiated Claims

from the getting-desperate dept

Demand Progress is an online activist group that runs campaigns to get lots of people involved on political issues that impact the internet, innovation and free speech. You can see the list of campaigns that it's working on currently, and you'll see lots of stuff that we regularly talk about. The organization has been doing a bang up job trying to point out problems with the PROTECT IP Act, and apparently the lovely folks over at the MPAA finally noticed, and decided that rather than respond with facts, it was instead going to smear the well respected organization in a blog post (which, of course, you can't comment on, because the MPAA knows that very few people actually support its stance).

Karl, who pointed this story out to us, highlights the ridiculous nature of the blog post:
It claims:

1. Demand Progress is an "ally" and a "partner in business" with "criminal enterprises that have a strong, direct, personal and commercial interest in continuing to steal from American creative workers and businesses." It source for this? A screenshot where someone from Demand Progrss posted about COICA on Demonoid's message boards. That's right: merely posting on a forum makes you a "partner in business" with the site. Update: Demand Progress clarifies: the message board post wasn't even by someone at Demand Progress, it was just someone at Demonoid who posted the info...

2. It says the signatures from Demand Progress are fakes. This is backed up by a claim that they tried using fake emails to sign the petition, and it worked. Demand Progress now has a system where emails from their site are sent to representatives directly, and asks for addresses and emails. However, other than their two fake emails, they show no evidence that any other signature is actually fake. Furthermore, the way Demand Progress usually works is that you sign their mailing list; they send an email to that list; and in that email is a link to sign the petition using your signup info. That system is hardly condusive to abuse.

And we should talk about the fact that they called Demonoid a "rogue website." In their very next post, also from May 24, they quote Floyd Abrams (their hired lawyer), who claimed this:

"any website basically engaged in legal activities, such as commentary, socializing or commerce, cannot be pursued under the PROTECT IP Act. Indeed, the definitions of 'dedicated to infringing activities' specifically exclude websites that have any other 'significant use,' or websites that are not 'primarily' used for infringement."

If Abrams is right, then Demonoid should NOT be considered a "rogue website." Their forums constitute "commentary or socializing," and is a "significant use." Yet the MPAA presents this "commentary or socializing" as evidence of criminal consipiracy!
Separately, in looking at the MPAA's blog post, I noted that it had no byline other than "MPAA." As far as I can tell, every other blog post that the MPAA has put up has been signed by the person who actually wrote it. Kinda makes you wonder if whoever wrote this particular blog post knew that it was full of crap, and didn't want their name associated with it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Guess the MPAA petitions are all fakes, too

    This is backed up by a claim that they tried using fake emails to sign the petition, and it worked.

    How many "send your congress rep a petition" things have MPAA or other IP-maximalists put up? I bet I can use fake addresses and emails on every single one of them.

     

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  2.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    I signed that. Yes, you can fake as much as MAFIAA can fake data used to support their anti-piracy delusions.

    Fakes will exist everywhere. And what makes them think that they actually represent the artists and not themselves, considering the fact that you can find cases of anti-piracy outfits going after copyrights for non-existent artists?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    omg, you are truly ridiculous.

    Demonoid *is* a rogue website; one of the most notorious pirate sites, and one that had to flee their .com domain because they knew that they engage in blatant illegal acts.

    Has "Demand Progress" demanded any progress in stopping illegal behavior on the net?

    No, they just constantly back it and apologize for it like you.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    why havent anon just gone straight to the source of all the bullshit and start fuckin over the mpaa riaa and their ilk

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    Good job ignoring that the MPAA's own definition makes it *not* a rogue website. But that's okay, I'm sure if you repeat "but it is!" enough times that will make everything okay.

     

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  6.  
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    LegitTroll (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    "Separately, in looking at the MPAA's blog post, I noted that it had no byline other than "MPAA." As far as I can tell, every other blog post that the MPAA has put up has been signed by the person who actually wrote it. Kinda makes you wonder if whoever wrote this particular blog post knew that it was full of crap, and didn't want their name associated with it."

    Duh.

     

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  7.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    I lost any respect I had left for the MPAA when I opened up the pdf of the Demonoid screenshot. Do they seriously consider a random message board post a partnership, or do they simply think politicians are dumb enough to fall for it?

    Either way, this is despicable behavior from a professional organization. If anyone is hurting the entertainment industry these days, it's the MPAA and the RIAA.

     

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  8.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    Has "Demand Progress" demanded any progress in stopping illegal behavior on the net?

    Abusing the DMCA takedown procedure is illegal. Violating due process is illegal. Bribery and extortion are illegal.

    Why does the MPAA support and engage in all those illegal things?

     

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  9.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    "Demonoid *is* a rogue website"
    Translation: it has torrents so it's a pirate site.

    "one that had to flee their .com domain because they knew that they engage in blatant illegal acts."

    Translation: before ICE illegally seized their ".com", they were part of the mass exodus to go to domains outside of the reach of ICE and BS copyright law.

    "Has "Demand Progress" demanded any progress in stopping illegal behavior on the net?"

    Translation: Has Demand progress stopped people from breathing, drinking water, or used its mind powers to stop people wanting content through bittorrent?

    "No, they just constantly back it and apologize for it like you."

    Translation: I have no argument as an Anonymous Coward except to point fingers angrily at the author of this post, shaking my fist, as I yell that piracy is causing the sky to fall.

     

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  10.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Has "Demand Progress" demanded any progress in stopping illegal behavior on the net?

    Yup! They demand an end to the illegal abuse of copyright law by private interests.

     

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  11.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    Regardless of whether Demonoid is a "rogue" website, it has nothing to do with Demand Progress and the MPAA should be ashamed for trying to make it seem like they are.

     

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  12.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    or do they simply think politicians are dumb enough to fall for it?

    This. Either they are that dumb (remember "series of tubes"?), or willfully blind thanks to bribe^H^H^H^H^H campaign contributions.

     

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  13.  
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    Matthew Krum, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re:

    I agree with you but ICE actually didn't seize Demonoid's .com name. They moved to .me "just in case" but you can still go to http://www.demonoid.com & it will forward you to the .me

     

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  14.  
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    chuck, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Sweet! another great group I had no idea about...
    Mike maybe you should consider putting out a list of worth while activist web sites? You know ones like the one listed in the OP.
    I happily go there and sign their petitions using my REAL email address, thank you very much.
    Simply not enough civil disobedience in the world these days.

     

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  15.  
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    Spaceboy (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    But But...the corn farmers! Who will protect them?

     

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  16.  
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    Thomas (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    why not

    have the Demand Progress people sue the MPAA for libel and defamation?

     

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  17.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    Maybe because the mpaa, riaa and their ilk are already doing such a good job themselves.

    When customers want to PAY YOU a reasonable amount of money to BUY content in a modern convenient format, then NOT selling it to them is not a way to succeed.

     

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  18.  
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    Rich, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Re:

    Great! First, it's the corn farmers, then it's the children! Who will these evil prirates hurt next!

     

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  19.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Re: why not

    Demand Progress is (I hope) classier than that.

    A better response would be to highlight how the MPAA is willing to knowingly lie to advance their agenda, then demand an apology and permanent correction on the same blog post.

     

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  20.  
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    Rich, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    You MAFIAA trolls aren't even trying anymore.

     

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  21.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    That's right: merely posting on a forum makes you a "partner in business" with the site.

    Hehe. Should all of us be checking our mailboxes for those profit sharing checks from Techdirt now?

     

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  22.  
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    Doug B (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    From intelligently written blog post:

    Stagehands, makeup artists, and costume designers are only a few of the crafts served by IATSE. These hardworking, middle-class Americans are real people who are facing the all-too-tangible consequences of online theft: disappearing jobs, declining pensions, and diminished health and retirement benefits.


    Exactly how does "online theft" (whatever the hell that is) cause declining pensions, and diminished health and retirement benefits?

     

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  23.  
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    Atkray (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    "Kinda makes you wonder if whoever wrote this particular blog post knew that it was full of crap, and didn't want their name associated with it."

    So where is darryl today?

     

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  24.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    Replace "online theft" with "poor financial planning and delusional future monopoly rents" and the statement would be accurate.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    The cause of decline of such benefits would fall squarely upon those who have direct effect on such: the companies those people work for. Their benefits are eroding just like thousands of other company employees in countless industries across the country and around the globe for which piracy has NO effect whatsoever.

    Piracy is a convenient scapegoat for particular industries to justify withdrawal or curtailment of benefits. For all the rest of us, "it's the economy, stupid" or some other excuse/reason.

     

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  26.  
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    IcanHazMoney, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    partner in business

    Mike, I prefer my payment in cheeseburgers ;p

     

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  27.  
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    SD (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Congrats MPAA

    The more desperate measures you take to try and get this bill passed, the more people will take a real look at it and decide it's garbage.

     

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  28.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Pvt. Parts and Captain Pugwash, closely followed by Roger the Cabin Boy.

     

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  29.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 3:50pm

    Re:

    He's afraid to post here and be considered a "partner in business" with Techdirt.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re:

    If people are stealing their product rather than paying for it (like they are) then of course that company has less revenue, and then lays off workers and cuts benefits.

    You people like to pretend everyone doesn't realize the obvious, but we all know that even freetards aren't that stupid.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We should just shut the everything down.

     

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  32.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    I was wrong on one point

    Mike: Maybe you should update your post. When I wrote you about the whole thing, I was wrong on one, minor, point.

    The "evidence" that the MPAA presented was a screenshot of Demonoid. You can download that screenshot here (PDF).

    Because I don't go to Demonoid's site, I wrote this:
    It source for this? A screenshot where someone from Demand Progrss posted about COICA on Demonoid's message boards.

    It turns out, however, that the screenshot was not of Demonoid's message boards. It was a screenshot of a post on Demonoid's front page.

    In other words: it wasn't even posted by anyone from Demand Progress. It was posted by someone at Demonoid.

    If you go to Demonoid's site now, that post has been updated to include this:
    edit: Just a note: We are not in any way or form affiliated to DemandProgress.org and we are not in contact with any of their participants. We are publishing this note out of our own decision. Since it is important that the public is aware of this bill, we urge you to do the same.

    In other words, there is even less of a connection that I'd originally thought. Which is to say: none whatsoever.

    My apologies.

     

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  33.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 7:37pm

    Re:

    Demonoid *is* a rogue website

    If that's the case, then Abram's statement is false. PROTECT IP would, in fact, be used to take down "commentary, socializing or commerce."

    Blocking access to Demonoid would censor all their news items, forum posts, and all other speech on the site. I'm not privvy to their forums, but everything on the front page is protected by the First Amendment. I imagine that most of what people talk about in the forums is commentary or socializing, which is protected speech.

    So, either PROTECT IP couldn't be used against Demonoid (or any similar site), or it is government censorship of protected speech.

    It's a lose-lose situation, no matter how you look at it.

     

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  34.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 7:41pm

    Re: I was wrong on one point

    Oh, and a follow-up:

    According to an email I got from Demand Progress, when the new system went live, 35,000 people used it to send emails directly to Congressmen, within 24 hours.

    Hopefully 35,000 emails per day is enough to make Congressmen notice.

     

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  35.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But But...the parrots! Who will protect them?

     

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  36.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 7:56pm

    Re: I was wrong on one point

    My apologies.

    ...and, of course, I hadn't noticed that you had already updated your post.

    Apologies again.

     

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  37.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 8:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If people are getting their product from modern legal sources, rather than paying them for outdated physical formats

    FTFY.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, of course, your argument is airtight and piracy is the only thing affecting wages, jobs, loss of benes, eczema, halitosis, and possibly death.

    Nothing else! Only piracy! Case closed. Glad that's over.

     

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  39.  
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    William, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 8:32pm

    Re:

    Everyone wave at the pathetic MPAA troll!

     

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  40.  
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    Aerilus, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 9:40pm

    Re:

    from what i have picked up around the web mpaa seems to be prepared for cyber attack they have defenses in place for ddos attacks they have probably been getting attacked for years its easier to follow the mpaa's example and pick off the weak links hoping they will lead back to wrong doing by the mpaa just IMO

     

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  41.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Jun 10th, 2011 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If people are stealing their product rather than paying for it (like they are)

    So if it's stolen, why does the owner still have it?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:27pm

    Shut it down!

     

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  43.  
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    Anonyouch, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you're saying that my flaming hemorrhoids are caused by piracy? Crap, I knew it :( DAMN THOSE PIRATES!!!

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re:

    Wouldn't a post have to be in a human language to be construed as a partnership?

     

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  45.  
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    Prisoner 201, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:20am

    Re:

    I contribute. I demand my just rewards!

     

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  46.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Roger the Cabin Boy, when he's not busy.

     

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  47.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, I post in fluent Babel all the time.

     

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  48.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:40am

    Re: Re: I was wrong on one point

    Karl, won't you pleazse think of the bandwidth imps that carry youur messages from the tubes?

     

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  49.  
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    fairuse (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:41am

    Re: byline MPAA

    The author "MPAA" has one entry, the disinformation blog post being talked about. Other authors such as Senator Chris Dodd (6 posts) have more than one blog post. The only blog entry without an author listed is: Michael O'Leary (MPAA)

    Humm, of course that is not proof in any way. Pure conjecture to think the Executive Vice President, Government Affairs at MPAA would sign a post "MPAA".

     

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  50.  
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    Prisoner 201, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:41am

    Re: Shut it down!

    I know what is the biggest threat to large established industries all over the world, and by extension the wellbeing of all American citizens.

    Progress.

    Every decade, countless jobs are lost due to progress. New products and services whittling away at proud institutions like cancer, ruining the livelihood and often lives of honest American workers.

    The legal system, which has to carefully deliberate laws to make them just and fair, is doomed to lag behind if progress is allowed to continue wreaking havoc. Every day, criminals who should be behind bars are free to ruin American lives.

    It has to stop.

    The only sane recourse is to ban all new ideas. If no new products or services are allowed to enter the market, the current, proven, honest business models will continue to provide excellent service to the people and justly deserved salaries to American workers.

    Will you be silent and allow progress to change the world or will you stand up and fight?!

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 5:34am

    Re: Re: I was wrong on one point

    Yes, they noticed. They applied a filter so they don't have to see all the junk mail.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    Industrywide health and retirement plans are funded in part by the kinds of downstream revenues eroded by piracy. Residuals too.

     

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  53.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, of course, your argument is airtight and piracy is the only thing affecting wages, jobs, loss of benes, eczema, halitosis, and possibly death.

    I heard piracy was the reason Conan is now on TBS.

     

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  54.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Are you talking out of your ass again? Trickle-down economics hasn't worked in decades.

     

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  55.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you talking out of your ass again?

    No, I've heard this before. It doesn't apply in the music industry, but apparently in the film industry, the crew's retirement and health care are funded solely by downstream revenue. Or so I've been told.

    Of course, this leaves a couple of questions.

    - There is no legal reason for this to be true. If they are connected, it's because of deals between the labor unions and the studios. Why aren't they to blame for making short-sighted deals? Furthermore, why don't they simply change those deals to go with changing times?

    - The "downstream market" of selling to consumers didn't exist before the invention of the VCR. Are we to believe that nobody had retirement plans or health care before then?

    - How could non-commercial file sharing possibly effect B2B deals (such as licensing for television programs), which accounts for about 60% of downstream revenue in some cases?

    - Why is "piracy" to blame in any case, and not simply the bad decisions of studio executives (e.g. pulling shows off of iTunes)?

     

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  56.  
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    hmm (profile), Jun 11th, 2011 @ 6:00pm

    trickle down

    Trickle down economics often is just the rich pissing on the faces of the poor, then when the poor complain saying "well I offered you a drink but you kept your mouth closed!"

     

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  57.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 12th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    The huge problem here isn't that they are illegal, its that everything is illegal for the federal government unless it is explictly spelled out in the US constitution. Today they seem to just be ignoring the constitution.

     

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  58.  
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    pjcamp, Jun 13th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    I signed it

    As far as I know, I'm not a fake.

     

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  59.  
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    anymouse (profile), Jun 13th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    obligatory.... butt-pirates.....

    Yes, the but...but...but pirates are responsible for flaming hemorrhoids.....

     

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  60.  
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    dwg, Jun 13th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re:

    "An Alan Smithee Production."

     

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  61.  
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    viper, Jun 26th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re:

    because they have the money to fight off any challenge, they are not losing a cent due to the"piracy". in fact the real reason why sales of product went down is mostly due to the implementation of DRM coupled with a shift in the world economy which has been effecting spending habits.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    However, one way to circumvent any banning of facebook is to simply put these entries in your hosts file

    69.171.224.14 facebook.com
    69.171.224.14 www.facebook.com

    This will continue to allow you to access facebook no matter what ICE does with it.

     

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  63.  
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    Hristi, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:10pm

    One thing is for sure... if they so much as try to put internet under their direct control, a lot of people will disagree. And I mean A LOT. I don't know if there would eventually be a third world war because of petrol and other valuable fuel deposits, but if USA's government is tangling with the idea of controlling the net, then they're putting their hands on a very real death trap.
    It'll be as simple as this - they take what belongs to us (internet freedom), we take their lives. Fair deal imho ;) And if they disagree, we'll wipe their nation and the whole infrastructure (if not the whole country) along with them.

    They don't have as much money as some people think. Why? Because they owe the whole world so much cash, that they won't be able to pay it all in the next 200 years. Meaning the money they use are not theirs... no need to mention how they spend the greens of normal tax payers - by blowing up space shuttles for over 10kkk each... holy shit! Is that what american citizens are working their butts off? So some gay magician can spend the hard earned money on some expensive shit that blows up and disappears without a trace? Or to finance a war on countries that have petrol deposits so they can sign fucking contracts afterwards to put those countries in jeopardy? No wonder ALQUAEDA blows so much shit in USA... they're fucking pissed off from fat american politicians stuffing their noses in other peoples business... like they do right now with trying to fck up the net in order to get more gold on their bank accounts (but instead of extracting those money from poor american citizens, they'll be extracting it from the whole fucking world)... If our petition fails, next one will be adressed to the current Russia president. Something like this:
    "Dear Mr. President, could you kindly stop this madness and put a fucking nuke in USA's governmental ASS and blow it up for the sake of the whole world?" I bed well get over 2kkk people signing this...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Betrayed by Demand Progress, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:18am

    BEWARE!!! Demand Progress sells your personal info!!!

    Not cool. I signed a petition on SOPA, sent an email to my friends and family, and NOW- all of us who signed the petition (giving our email and real addresses/names of course!) are getting TONS of spam from insurance companies who evidently bought our personal info from Demand Progress. I mean, I probably get over 10 spam emails a day now, all of them saying that I requested an insurance quote, and that they need more information.

    SHAME ON YOU, Demand Progress. By exploiting the personal information that you collect from trusting people like me (and my family and friends), you undermine the very issues you say you stand for. It really makes me wonder if you are truly a conservative wolf in liberal sheep's clothing, collecting personal info from people who actually CARE about freedom and privacy, and then laughing all the way to the bank from selling our personal info to your buddies in the corporate world. I don't know for sure, but I had to unsubscribe from your mailings, and suggest that all my friends and family who had been duped by you do the same.

    Not cool, Demand Progress. Not cool at all!!! :(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Bob job, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 1:52am

    Re: BEWARE!!! Demand Progress sells your personal info!!!

    Nice try mpaa

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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