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by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
alex swartsel, dan glickman, infringement, sophistry


MPAA Calls MPAA Intellectually Dishonest For Claiming That Infringement Is Inevitable

from the talking-points dept

We've been having some fun with the MPAA's extraordinary cluelessness lately. It started with MPAA communications person Alex Swartsel bizarrely and unfairly attacking GigaOm's Janko Roettger for daring to point out that an economic downturn (combined with dumb moves by the movie industry) might lead to greater file sharing. Swartsel, a spokesperson for the MPAA, went ballistic, claiming that such a statement was intellectually dishonest and somehow condoned the practice as socially acceptable. Here's the key paragraph from Swartsel and the MPAA:
We doubt many people will subscribe to the kind of intellectual dishonesty that suggests that itís fine Ė or really, that itís inevitable Ė to steal as a way of saving. But itís troubling that by suggesting that stolen content available on rogue sites and elsewhere is just another substitute good, Roettgers is tacitly arguing that content theft is legitimate and socially acceptable. Truth is, itís neither.
And what, specifically, did Roettger say? Here's the exact quote:
The U.S. credit ratings downgrade, tumbling stocks and international instability have made not just financial analysts nervous this week. Consumers are also starting to wonder whether weíre about to enter another recession. Whenever that happens, people start to tighten their belts and cut unnecessary expenses ó like paying for movies and TV shows. Add in the Netflix price hike as well as new authentication plans from broadcasters like Fox, and youíve got yourself a perfect storm for piracy.
I don't see how that's condoning anything, really. But if Roettger is being intellectually dishonest and saying that it's fine, well, then that means that the MPAA is also intellectually dishonest and condones piracy. That's because, as TorrentFreak points out, just a couple years ago, former MPAA boss Dan Glickman said almost the exact same thing that Roettger said:
"This is a high priority issue," said Motion Picture Association of America head Dan Glickman, who expressed concern that the dire financial situation would make pirated movies more popular on the streets and online.

"If you look at the situation, the current economic crisis makes this problem much more serious than before," he told a forum.
So, if I'm reading all of this correctly -- and I pretty sure that I am -- according to the MPAA, the MPAA is being intellectually dishonest in suggesting that "it's fine -- or really, that it's inevitable -- to steal as a way of saving." Got it.

In the meantime, we're still waiting for the MPAA and Ms. Swartsel to issue an apology to Roettger, an excellent and fair reporter, who certainly doesn't deserve the MPAA's bizarre "blame the messenger and accuse him of supporting piracy" treatment.

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 18 Aug 2011 @ 11:00am

    It's merely that Swartsel doesn't care for the prediction.

    That's quite understandable given her position and beliefs. You may not agree with those, but she's not screeching inconsistently as Mike tries to portray.

    Mike is just putting out his usual exaggerated propaganda with inter-site trolling, again hoping to be noticed.

    Swartsel actually HEDGES it PRECISELY (emphasis added in upper case): "by SUGGESTING that stolen content available on rogue sites and elsewhere is just another substitute good, Roettgers is TACITLY arguing".

    And having read the WHOLE piece by Roettger's (as I bet most haven't, you just swallow Mike's version), I think that's fair; Roettger's tone strikes me as more gloating than warning.

    Some here don't grasp the nuances of words, you just know who to dislike: it's all ad hom with you. You're just Mike's groupies who respond to his cue -- and get worked up on cue again when someone carps of Mike's hyperbole.

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