Rupert Murdoch Lashes Out Bizarrely Against The White House For Asking Congress Not To Break The Internet

from the get-your-stories-straight dept

While the lobbyists favoring SOPA/PIPA have decided that the talking point on the White House's statement opposing SOPA/PIPA as written really means that the bills, as they are, are great, it appears that no one sent Rupert Murdoch the talking points. Murdoch, who has been personally lobbying Congress in support of the bills, took to his relatively new Twitter account to lash out at the President:
Of course, almost nothing in those statements is true. First, it's well documented that Hollywood spends ridiculously more money lobbying than the likes of Google. Second, Silicon Valley is the heart of software development. Kind of bizarre for him to claim that Obama's "paymasters" from Silicon Valley want to... um... destroy Silicon Valley. Third, nothing in the White House's statement said that they were solely supporting the other side's view here. They simply expressed specific concerns with the existing bill. Considering that they specifically rejected parts of the bill that would lead to censorship, excess private litigation and problems for online security... is Rupert Murdoch really coming out in favor of censorship, excessive private litigation and a broken online security system? Really, Rupe?

Next, when it comes to streaming films, it's true that Google puts advertising around certain videos on YouTube. However, it's not all videos, and their system (quite famously) allows the actual copyright holder to make the money from those ads, leading to a rather lucrative new revenue stream for many content creators. Furthermore, for years, people have mocked YouTube for losing a ton of money, so it's not like this is a particularly lucrative part of Google's business. As for filmmaking being "risky as hell," so what? Lots of things are risky, but most of us don't think that the government should censor free speech, break internet security and create massive undue litigation... just to make Rupert's investments less risky. That he seems to think that's a reasonable tradeoff shows just how Rupert Murdoch views the government: as a tool to funnel extra money to himself. Furthermore, his claims that it will lead to "less" are just laughable as well. The number of movies made per year has more than tripled in the past fifteen years, just as online piracy ramped up. Also, Nigeria, China and India -- three countries known to have more infringement than the US -- all built up huge film businesses over the last few years, despite all the infringement.

After thinking about it for a few hours, Murdoch went right back to it:
He later admits that he had a "damn you autocorrect" moment in that first one. "Optus" was supposed to be POTUS, but his iPad "changed it." First of all, we haven't seen any "anger" towards Obama over this -- other than from Murdoch. Quite the opposite. We've seen widespread agreement (and surprise!) that the White House would actually dare speak out against Hollywood on an issue. And, once again, it's insulting and ridiculous (but typical of the disdain the Hollywood old guard has for the rest of the world) to claim that concern over censorship, excess litigation and online security problems means "backing piracy." As for the stats, it's nice to see him use the 2.2 million jobs number, rather than the 19 million jobs that is usually thrown around (someone in Hollywood really needs to get Rupe the talking points memo on this one), but even that is misleading.

As was highlighted in an excellent report by Zach Carter just last month, the 2.2 million jobs number is complete bunk:
[The] 2.2 million jobs figure, however, exaggerates Hollywood's contribution to the American economy. According to supplemental data provided to HuffPost by MPAA, only 272,000 people work for movie studios and television companies. The lobby group claims that an additional 430,000 people work in related "distribution" jobs dependent on Hollywood, legal web streamers like Netflix, the few remaining video store clerks and cashiers checking out DVD purchases.

But the vast majority of the jobs Dodd & Co. claim are threatened by online piracy are only peripherally related to the entertainment business. MPAA takes credit for nearly 1.6 million jobs at florists, catering companies, hardware stores and other industries that work with major movie studios, assuming that these jobs could not ultimately be out of a job without Hollywood help.
Yeah. 1.6 million of those jobs are not actually in the entertainment industry at all. Rupe, before you tweet, perhaps try learning the details of the "facts" you're about to spew so you look a little less ridiculous next time.

Filed Under: pipa, protect ip, rupert murdoch, sopa, the white house
Companies: news corp.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 18 Jan 2012 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Redditors

    "user generated content is a scam. yeah, millions of us perform free and unpaid labor on behalf of the oligarchs who control facebook, google, and so on."

    You're a sad human being if the reward for that labour has to be measured in dollar amounts and nothing else. Still, nice of you to come here and put in the work free of charge anyway.

    "piracy doesn't hurt artists - the media industry does."

    This, however, I can't argue with.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.