Major Media Owning SOPA/PIPA Supporters Whine That They Had No Way To Have Their Message Heard

from the oh-come-on dept

We've been pointing out that one of the big reasons why the MPAA/RIAA and others failed in their efforts to rush through SOPA/PIPA was that they have been totally and completely tone deaf to what's happening online. And it appears that's continuing. The LA Times had a bizarre article over the weekend, where people were suggesting that the MPAA needed to "do a lot of test messaging," to see what would work in convincing the public that censoring the internet is a good thing. Test messaging? Seriously?!? They still seem to think that this is about a lobbying or PR campaign, rather than actually engaging and hearing what people have to say.

Even more ridiculous is the new talking point that both the MPAA and the RIAA are apparently "test messaging" currently. And it's that they -- who own all of the major media outlets around -- are somehow at a disadvantage in communicating their views to the public. I'm not kidding. In that article above, Chris Dodd from the MPAA is quoted as saying:
"You've got an opponent who has the capacity to reach millions of people with a click of a mouse and there's no fact-checker. They can say whatever they want."
Yup, that's the new MPAA talking point: "if only you moron internet kids couldn't actually say what you want!" Does anyone actually brief Dodd about how best not to make it totally transparent that he wants to censor the internet?

But the RIAA is passing along the exact same message. Dodd's counterpart at the RIAA, Cary Sherman, is quoted as saying basically the same thing in the NY Times:
“It’s very difficult to counter the misinformation when the disseminators also own the platform.”
First of all, this is ridiculous on all sorts of levels. Was it true that some of those against the bill weren't completely up on the facts? Yes. But, lots of us were clear on our facts, cited specific language in the bill, and were quick to correct those who stated things that were incorrect.

But much more to the point: we're talking about all of the major media companies in the world who were in support of this thing, and they're seriously claiming that they didn't have the means to get their message out? Who the hell do they think they're fooling? They own all the major TV networks, all the cable news networks, the majority of top magazines, a bunch of top radio stations... and most of those media outlets refused to give critics of these bills the time of day. But suddenly they're claiming they couldn't get their message out? Give me a break.

Even worse, let's compare the two platforms: SOPA/PIPA supporters completely own TV. But TV is a broadcast medium. They could put on whatever propaganda they wanted, and there'd be no way to guarantee a right to a response on TV. The internet, however, is a communications medium, where anyone can take part. So unlike the reverse situation, the supporters of the bill had every opportunity to counter the claims of people online if they felt they were being misrepresented. The real problem was that, for the most part, they weren't being misrepresented. The problem was that people were saying what the bill would actually do, and Hollywood wanted people to focus on what they wanted people to believe the bill would really do. Reality, it seems, has a strong anti-Hollywood bias.

Filed Under: cary sherman, chris dodd, copyright, marketing, media, message, pipa, protect ip, sopa, test marketing
Companies: mpaa, riaa

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2012 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Changing of the Guard

    Yes totally agree with this as I saw the same thing happen in Australia. Internet censorship was proposed, was condemned by all and was shelved only to have other measures imposed upon ISP's that achieved the same outcomes only without the public debate.

    I expect not to hear about the next round of this battle.

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