Andy Samberg, Neil Gaiman, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage & More Tell Congress: Don't Pass PIPA Or SOPA In Our Names

from the protecting-artists? dept

A group of some pretty damn famous people within the entertainment industry just made it clear that the folks pushing PIPA and SOPA do not represent their best interests. To hear the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce tell the story, they're pushing these bills in order to "protect artists." But more and more we're seeing the very artists they claim they're protecting say they want no part of these laws. The guys from The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer), famous both for their YouTube videos and their work on NBC's Saturday Night Live, along with a number of other notable names in the entertainment industry -- including Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage, Damian Kulash (and the rest of OK GO), the band MGMT, and a bunch more -- have written a letter saying that, as internet users, they don't think these bills are a good idea:
We fear that the broad new enforcement powers provided under SOPA and PIPA could be easily abused against legitimate services like those upon which we depend. These bills would allow entire websites to be blocked without due process, causing collateral damage to the legitimate users of the same services - artists and creators like us who would be censored as a result.

We are deeply concerned that PIPA and SOPA’s impact on piracy will be negligible compared to the potential damage that would be caused to legitimate Internet services. Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods.

We urge Congress to exercise extreme caution and ensure that the free and open Internet, upon which so many artists rely to promote and distribute their work, does not become collateral damage in the process.
When even the very people that the entertainment industry insists its "protecting" with these bills are being quite vocal against them, you have to wonder why they're being pushed so hard? Once again, it seems that these bills aren't about protecting artists at all. They're about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jed, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    Those who can, innovate. Those who can't, legislate.

    "They're about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists"

    Duh.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Mel (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:16am

    And those who can't legislate, buy legislators.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Simon, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    How I know Wikipedia isn't working...

    ...the MPAA can't use it to tell the difference between theft and copyright infringement.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Suja (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Re: How I know Wikipedia isn't working...

    not just them, alot of people can't

    just try and go any art community site, say that and see how far you'll get

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Jed, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    Unfortunately, at this point, I group the 2 together. Those who officially put things up to be voted on and do the voting are little more than middle men for those who really are pushing for these things (like the MAFIAA in this case).

    Funny, they went from middle men for people to middle men for corporations (who some idiots fight should be treated like people!).

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    GMacGuffin (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    Lloyd Freaking Kaufman

    Alls I know is that if Troma speaks up, it's gotta be bad.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Re: Those who can, innovate. Those who can't, legislate.

    http://pingree.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=734%3Acongresswoman-pi ngree-opposes-sopa&catid=8%3Abreaking-news&Itemid=1&Itemid=
    Chellie Pingree in Maine is against Censorship.She will fight for our Constitution.
    This whole issue is a lot more than just the asshole studios.It is about Big Money & Lobbying and the Government getting to control what it never was meant to.
    These Bills pass then I hope we see an "Internet Revolt".
    SOPA/PIPA = WAR

    I am an artist who shares my music freely thru various means including public trackers.
    Fuck You Big Content !! You can never control artists like em anyways cause we have always hated you and your ripoff ways.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    And this is why we should cut the middlemen.

    Literally.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Loki, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    This

    Geez, the sense of entitlement of these pirate lovers knows no bounds. I wonder how much Google is paying these people to astroturf for them.

    Thank you for playing, but as usual it's a FAIL.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    wondered when the trols would turn up bet they are miffed today internet 2 MAFIAA 0

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    "They're about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists..."
    ...and censorship for the government as well.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    internet 2 MAFIAA 0

    Better check your scorecard again.

    Supreme Court upholds copyright law by Mark Sherman, AP, Jan 18, 2012:
    .... The justices said in a 6-2 decision Wednesday that Congress acted within its power to give protection to works that had been in the public domain....


    The public domain just took another hit.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    If this is about foreign web sites, or rogue web sites . . .

    then why is Viacom suing YouTube?

    YouTube is not foreign. So it must be a 'rogue' website.

    If SOPA passes, expect any web site, like TechDirt, that complains about the corruption of congress or the damage caused by the dinosaur businesses to be classified as a rogue web site.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:10am

    Great news! My response to this:

    (cue Austin Powers voice) "Yeah, baby, yeah!"

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:12am

    Herein lies the problem

    > We urge Congress to exercise extreme caution and ensure
    > that the free and open Internet, upon which so many
    > artists rely to promote and distribute their work,
    > does not become collateral damage in the process.


    Ah, but that's the very problem.

    Destroying the Internet will force those artists to turn back to the dinosaur monopolies in order to distribute their work under Hoolywood Accounting rules.

    Congress' paymasters (the **AA holes) don't want a free and open internet where artists can distribute their work.

    Next up: we must outlaw the dreaded Creative Commons license!

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:12am

    But it's about the artists....

    NOT! I like the way Wil Wheaton put it today:

    "I am 100% opposed to SOPA and PIPA, even though I'm one of the artists they were allegedly written to protect. I've probably lost a few hundred dollars in my life to what the MPAA and RIAA define as piracy, and that sucks, but that doesn't come close to how much money I've lost from a certain studio's creative accounting."
    (emphasis mine)

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    Another succint way of putting it...

    And here is yet another succint way of putting things in perspective:

    It's stupid, careless, and arrogant to go after people who are working in the shadows and end up turning the lights off on everybody else.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    bongo houzi (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re:

    down the wormhole we go

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Cammy, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:24am

    Strolling on the internet, Googling "shit". Then I find out everything was gone. I was all "Man where did all the shit go?" then I found out PIPA and SOPA took it and THREW IT ON THE GROUND!!!
    They took away our rights! I don't wanna be a part of this fucked up System, MAAAAN!

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    LBishop PhD (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    oppressive forces at work here

    What concerns the proponents of these bills is a perfect example of what will be our downfall. Greed, man, they are filled with greed. They really believe the creative spark that was drawn upon to create whatever it is that they now claim could be taken from or not rightfully credited was only theirs to draw upon.


    There is NO ORIGINAL THOUGHT, only the universal source which all draw upon. Ever notice how many hands develop seemingly from the same idea pool at once? Do we really think that was coincidence? None of any of this is yours or mine to begin with.

    There is no such thing as piracy-there is NOTHING to pirate. Our decisions based upon greed will ultimately all fail- when there is no one left to buy creative vision, then what? When the greedy are all left with their piles of money and no one to buy and sell then what? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer up until the point when there is no one left with any money to line the rich mans pockets. Will greed end then? Will there be anyone left to cry for that song or performance or great idea that "belonged" to someone!



    There will come a day when those who scream for protection now will regret wasting so much of their precious lives here on earth protecting that which was never theirs to protect:guarding against villains which never existed, and squandering time finding any new means to repress a free exchange of information and technology for the sake of perceived financial gain.
    When, instead, they could have loved life and their contribution to it.


    True prosperity can exist ultimately ONLY in the absence of oppression. Although it may appear that these conditions co-exist, it is only temporary. One must decrease as the other grows and this can be seen in a broader spectrum. If we, as a people, are going to pass any more laws which serve to shut down the natural organic expansion of a free market, we must accept our responsibility as an oppressive force which seeks failure on a grand scale.



    Why would anyone co-sign such a death sentence? It takes courage to NOT BE GREEDY in the US today. But if we can face it head on without delusion and see it for what it is, truly, I do not believe any one of us , to a man, would choose failure, oppression, despair and death over prosperity. Everything else is folly.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Michael Langford, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    They already failed.

    People who know how will still be able to find their websites... and people will continue to download what they want. All this will accomplish is to further prove that the US government is a danger to the world and should be be trusted by no one.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Loki, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Re: But it's about the artists....

    That whole piece is a really good read. My favorite rebuttal to one of Dodd's comment's:

    Except for the part where this is completely false, its a valid point.

    I may start using that when the trolls come rolling in.

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    Your post makes no sense, please clarify.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    Can we use bog-standard kitchen knives (not chef-style knives, actual butter knives)?

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    Re: oppressive forces at work here

    tl;dr There is no OC, so why give a few people power over all?

    It's like trying to give a stoat a mouse that, when eaten, will end the world.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    SlinkySlim (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re:

    The above AP link is a pooper.
    Here's one: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts-law/supreme-court-upholds-law-that-extended-copyright- protection-to-foreign-works/2012/01/18/gIQArWi47P_story.html

    And now my understanding of just what copyright is for has taken another hit.

    I'm really starting to really not give two hoots about your copyrights and that moves down to two shits if you own any copyrights to works created by dead people.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Coyote, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Loki doesn't often make much sense. If he did, I'd be out of a job!

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe you two need to read more carefully. Pretend there is a /sarc after "them."

    Does that help?

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    jenn, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Response to: Loki on Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    I'm sorry, this isn't about loving pirates, it's about a potential abuse of these acts. They will violate your 1st amendment rights if you blog that you didn't like something the government did. It takes away free speech. It's bad enough NDAA was snuck right under our noses at the end of the year.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 18th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Response to: Loki on Jan 18th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    You three?

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

    Ummmmm, no offense Mike but those people, except maybe Trent Reznor, aren't really that high profile. If George Clooney or Lady Gaga or Eddie Murphy came out and said something then it would be newsworthy. Those other guys beside Reznor are at best C-listers.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:48am

    Re: Re:

    I'd start with nail clippers

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    martyburns (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:33am

    Re:

    Those other guys beside Reznor are at best C-listers.

    So? Only A-listers matter? Im pretty sure they still make close to 100% of their money in the creative industries that the MPAA and RIAA say they are working for.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    The Luke Witnesser, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:38am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzS5rSvZXe8

    The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even TechDirt realizes.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Gary, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re:

    Congress first Supreme Court next.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

    Andy Samberg, Neil Gaiman, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage don't think these bills are a good idea. Good! So do the rest of the thinking world.
    Nice letter, but will be ignored if it doesn't contain thick wads of dollar bills though. The US congress are all about drafting legislation submitted from the highest bidder after all.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This