from the 'scuse-me? dept
What was most stunning is the pure hubris of the MPAA's Fritz Attaway, who flat out claimed that only they can make content that people want:
"Our industries do something that no one else can do," the Motion Picture Association of America's Fritz Attaway said at the Association of American Publishers annual meeting this morning. "We create content that people want to have."Actually, no, tons of others create content that people want to have, and it's the real reason you're struggling so much today. You're not used to competing with those outside your little club.
The folks on the panel (with the exception of the BSA, who famously flip flopped its views on SOPA) brought out the usual crap about how SOPA was defeated via "disinformation":
"Right doesn't always prevail," Attaway said of SOPA and PIPA. "This time, it didn't, because our opponents were able to energize a grassroots response. In my view, and I think all of us would agree, [the protest against SOPA and PIPA was spread] primarily through disinformation and spinning their interest in a way that captured the attention of a number of consumers."This is such a load of hogwash. The MPAA has been a master at disinformation campaigns throughout its history. It's why it's been able to continually ratchet up copyright law in its favor for decades. This is the same industry who declared that the VCR would kill it... and now whines that the home video market that wouldn't even exist if it had gotten its way is being decimated by the internet. Did some folks on the anti-SOPA side get some of the facts wrong? Yeah, but it wasn't a disinformation campaign. That's what the MPAA ran. And, the only reason there was some misinformation in the campaign against SOPA was because the MPAA went so far in its initial version of the bill (and make no mistake, the bill came from the MPAA), that people reacted to that. It's true that eventually some of the worst parts were removed and people who didn't realize that still referred to the original text. But it's not like they made things up wholesale. The MPAA, on the other hand, regularly made up claims out of thin air -- such as the supposed 2.2 million people this would effect. The industry employs less than 400,000, and many of them have nothing to do with the copyright/royalties side of the business.
The article by Laura Hazard Owen at PaidContent notes that these association bosses are now finally talking of "engagement" with those who disagreed with them on SOPA, but they still are only thinking about industries -- not internet users. They have no interest in actually talking to the riff-raff they look down upon, but still expect to give them money. Maybe that -- more than anything else -- is their problem.
Also, don't think they're done pushing for bad legislation. The RIAA's Cary Sherman noted that the plan was to push for legislation that was less likely to rally up the grassroots again:
The RIAA's Sherman hopes further copyright discussions will be more "rational" than the debate over SOPA and PIPA. "The digital tsunami we encountered with SOPA and PIPA—we're not going to get the same kind of engagement when we talk about statutory damages or open works," he said. "We'll have the opportunity for a more rational discussion."You see, in Sherman's mind, any time anyone disagrees with the RIAA's stated position, that's no longer a "rational" discussion. But because "statutory damages" sound so boring, he's hopeful that they can pass even worse laws to make the already insane damages rates even more insane.
The whole thing shows, yet again, that these guys still have no idea what happened, and have no idea how to engage with the internet. It's sad to watch them flail around like this. If they'd only taken the time to actually use the internet and learn about it, perhaps they wouldn't always sound so clueless. But, of course, why would they use the internet? It's not like it even can produce any of the content they want...