Disney 'Analyst': My Lack Of Imagination Necessitates Passage Of PROTECT IP
from the business-model-change? dept
Anyway, his insistence that the media conglomerates in the music, movie and TV industries are somehow helpless weaklings comes across in another recent writeup by him, in which he insists that there are only two options with PROTECT IP: capitulate or pass PROTECT IP and censor websites.
You see what's missing? Any suggestion whatsoever that perhaps the solution is to adapt and to change your business model.
That there's growing evidence that when companies actually provide consumers what they want in a convenient manner, infringement declines massively, would seem to demonstrate that there is a more compelling option. Especially when you look at the history of greater enforcement of copyright law, which has been shown time and time again not to work. Shouldn't a "research" analyst be aware of all of this?
But, no, Accardo insists there are two, and only two, options, and neither of them seem to involve Disney adapting in the marketplace. The "first option" in Accardo's mind is to "uphold the status quo," which (in Accardo's world) means that infringement is unstoppable. No mention is made of new legal services and their ability to compete and drive down infringement rates. Apparently, reality doesn't match with the Disney narrative. Those Disney folks. They write such amazing fantasy.
Option 2, then, is to pass PROTECT IP, break the internet and censor websites. Accardo, of course, insists that this isn't censorship. He ignores the reports from key internet architects that PROTECT IP would break the internet, but instead decides to focus on the claims of censorship. Or, rather, he doesn't focus on the actual claims of censorship, but instead focuses on a fuzzy strawman:
Censorship is suppression of speech deemed harmful or objectionable to the general public by a government body. Those who profit from piracy want to include unauthorized distribution of copyrighted content in the category of speech. In our earlier example, my distribution of Tha Carter IV through newalbumreleases, RapidShare and Google to a million people without the consent of Lil Wayne would be considered an exercise of free speech. Let's ignore the fact that Tha Carter IV isn't my speech, but Lil Wayne's (and piracy hardly falls under "fair use"). If blocking unauthorized access to a work of art that is available ubiquitously through legal channels is censorship, then we need a new definition of censorship.I've seen a few similar arguments made in the comments, and it's beyond intellectually dishonest. Because the complaint of the law professors, that Accardo is discussing, is not about how taking down such sites will stop infringement. Everyone agrees that infringement is not protected by the First Amendment. The complaint is in how the bulldozer approach of PROTECT IP doesn't just stop infringing speech, but all speech on those websites, including tremendous amounts of legitimate and protected speech.
This is not a theoretical argument either. We have real evidence. The same "Operation In Our Sites" effort that launched at Disney headquarters took down a bunch of blogs and forums with protected speech on them. There's a lawsuit going on about that right now. Playing the card of "infringement isn't protected speech" is not valid, because no one's saying we should protect infringement. We're talking about the massive amount of collateral damage that happens when you use such a bull-in-a-china-shop approach of taking down entire websites (with no or limited due process) including tons of protected speech.
Furthermore, considering that Accardo's colleagues in the entertainment industry have a long, long history of describing perfectly legitimate activities as "infringing," we're pretty reasonably worried that his employers would end up taking down important protected speech in their willy-nilly, why-should-we-innovate approach to the modern market. After all, this is the industry that declared the player piano, the radio, the photocopier, the VCR, the DVR, the MP3 player and online video platforms to be dedicated to infringing activity. And, most recently, some of his colleagues in the industry decided that such resources as the Internet Archive and popular content sites like Vibe Magazine were dedicated to infringing activities.
So while Accardo may be sure that such things would never, ever happen under PROTECT IP, given the fact that we see them taking down and blocking legitimate, protected, non-infringing speech all the time... forgive us for saying that we (and many others) are very, very worried about the censorship mechanism provided by PROTECT IP.