Ex-RIAA Boss Ignores All Criticisim Of SOPA/PIPA, Claims Any Complaints Are Trying To Justify Stealing

from the this-is-how-you-got-into-such-a-mess dept

Over the long weekend, Jay Rosen was kind enough to tweet out a link to my recent "definitive" post highlighting all the problems with SOPA and PIPA. Lots of folks picked up on it, but the one that struck me as the most interesting was from Hilary Rosen, who tweeted back:
The Definitive Post?? Think analog. If a store doesn't sell u what u want, u are justified stealing it?
Hilary Rosen, of course, spent many years as the CEO of the RIAA. And while she hasn't been in that job since 2003, she presided over the Napster lawsuit and the beginnings of the Grokster lawsuit. I believe she left just before the RIAA started suing individuals for file sharing. She also appeared to have second thoughts about the strategy she led while in charge of the RIAA. However, this comment suggests otherwise.

Thinking analog has been the major problem that the RIAA (and MPAA, among others) have had for a long, long time. Rosen's big mistake when she was in charge of the RIAA was that she kept thinking analog. Isn't it time, perhaps, that she started thinking digitally?

But, even more to the point, it's getting ridiculous how many people defending SOPA/PIPA are doing so using this logic. They brush off all of the specific concerns, the highlights of problematic language, and they conclude "why are you justifying theft?" Of course, that's ridiculous. Beyond the fact that "theft" and "infringement" are very different (don't get me started), nothing in anyone's complaints about SOPA or PIPA have anything to do with "justifying" infringement. In fact, in the post that was being discussed, we clearly noted that infringement is a problem. We just disagree that PIPA and SOPA are reasonably, or even effective, solutions.

It's really quite ridiculous to lay out in such great detail all of the problems of the bill, only to have someone -- and someone who is partially responsible for the mess the record labels are in today -- brush off the entire thing by falsely stating that we're "justifying stealing." Unfortunately, this kind of "debate" is all too common. It seems that almost no one is interested in actually discussing the problems of the bill. They just insist that if you highlight problems in the bill you're trying to justify something.

Filed Under: copyright, hilary rosen, pipa, protect ip, sopa
Companies: riaa


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  1. icon
    The eejit (profile), 28 Nov 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Re: SOPA

    Again, I get what your argument is, but your analogy falls down as it uses a scarce good. An infinite good (such as an mp3 file or a .mkv file) is technically infinite (as in, one copy is enough to propagate withoud end, at least in theory).

    Also, contrary to the belief of your previous employers and their ilk, stealing is not, and has never been, equal to copyright infringement in the US. There is an economic loss guaranteed in theft, as you lose the physical good. You copy the file in current forms of infringement. By all means, clamp down on those selling counterfeit DVDs and suchlike. That is not the problem.

    That major problem is, has and will be for the foreseeable future, that SOPA does very little to actually address what is completely and utterly a business model issue - here's a Protip: NEVER TREAT YOUR CUSTOMERS LIKE CRIMINALS!/u> It only serves to annoy people (see, for example, "UNSKIPPABLE ANTI-PIRACY AD OF DOOOOOOOOOOOOM!" on DVDs) and piss off legitimate customers when things don't work (see, for example, Ubisoft's Game Launcher that didn't work for certain games for months from launch).

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