The MPAA Paints A Chilling Portrait of Things to Come

Today, January 18, 2012, is the SOPA blackout protest.

The site here is clearly not blacked out.  Call it laziness or anxiety that nobody would notice.

Instead of going dark, I thought I would reprint for posterity the Motion Picture Association of America’s press release regarding the SOPA blackout protest. (I like this picture, as it reminds you who the MPAA really are.)

So here we have the words of FORMER Senator Chris Dodd, the Chairman and CEO of the MPAA, who is clearly now into the final cash-in stage of his political career (looking at his profile, it appears he might have been cashing in early and often), the MPAA view on the blackout protest.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 17, 2012

WASHINGTON —The following is a statement by Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) on the so-called “Blackout Day” protesting anti-piracy legislation:

“Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.

It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals. It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”

link to the original PDF here.

Such heavily loaded phraseology to use against internet sites that are, against interest (no ad revenues for a day), going to bring their sites down in order to protest this legislation.  Hardly a dangerous gimmick, this is an act of protest, something steeped in the traditions of this country.  These are not the rogue websites (a pretty loose term that could apply to a lot of places depending on your point of view) that the MPAA claims are the only target of the SOPA legislation, but sites that know and fear that once government regulation has a foot in the door, original intent is forgotten and whatever is in black and white gets used with a heavy hand.

If the above MPAA statement is “TL;DR” for you, Rupert Murdoch has provided a shortened form via Twitter.

When you are with Rupert, you are clearly on the side of the angles.  And when Rupert buys a politician, he expects them to stay bought!

(And the RIAA slimes its way onto the scene, showing its contempt for any who oppose it.)

And so it is that I salute the sites going dark in protest.  Hopefully this will raise awareness and make a difference.  Rupert seems to think it will.

We will see all these sites and more again on the 19th.

(Screen shots of some dark sites and sites with supportive messages after the break.)

(To be updated throughout the day because I am not staying up all night waiting for you people to black out your sites.)

13 thoughts on “The MPAA Paints A Chilling Portrait of Things to Come

  1. Aufero

    What I particularly love about SOPA/PIPA (aside from the farcically Orwellian DNS blocking provision the House is swiftly backpedaling on) is the way it expands secondary liability to the point where almost every internet startup in the last 15 years would have been sued out of existence.

    I’m going to start referring to the damn thing as the Anti Technical Employment act.

    Dear California Senators: please stop co-sponsoring legislation about things you don’t understand. If that restricts you to passing resolutions about national cause-of-the-week awareness days and motions to censure each other, I’m okay with that.

    Like

  2. wizardling

    Personally I hope these laws are passed. Why? Can you say ‘shooting yourself in the foot’? I want these idiots to so damage their position, credibility and businesses that they’re unable to harm anyone else again.

    Ok, I don’t _really_ want them to pass as a lot of innocent people would also be hurt economically at the very least. But I would love, just LOVE for there to be some serious comeback on these morons for their actions.

    Like

  3. Noizy

    The sponsors have backed down? Lamar Smith (R. TX), the main guy in the House has said he is going to keep pushing SOPA and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) has vowed to bring PIPA to a vote on Jan. 24.

    My favorite quote about Smith: “Say this much for Lamar Smith: When he’s bought, he stays bought.”

    Like

  4. A-nonnymouse

    Thanks for posting the screenshots. As a Canadian interested in this issue, I can’t see a lot of those.

    Like

  5. Tanek

    “It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.”

    Hmm. I would like to hear his thoughts on most political ads, then.

    Like

  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Tanek – Indeed, the irony of the MPAA statement… a lobbying group that regularly skews fact… is so dense that I am surprised their web site did not implode and create an irony singularity from which no further nonsense could escape when it was posted.

    But that is why I love it. This is the MPAA putting what they feel is their best foot forward.

    Like

  7. bhagpuss

    You can consider Inventory Full blacked out in that I haven’t added any content today. Of course, it’s a work day so i wouldn’t have added any content in any case since, unlike almost everyone else it seems, I do my blog in my own time not my employer’s. (Oh, trust me – I’d do it on my employer’s time if I actually worked somewhere where that was possible, like when I did all my apazines at work in the 1990s…).

    Where was I? Oh yes, consider me blacked out although I wouldn’t know how to go about actually blacking out a Blogger blog without wrecking it.

    Booooooo to SOPA! Of course if it does pass and some of the worst predictions of what that might mean turn out to be true I’m pretty sure the Internet will seal off the USA as a source of infection and carry on without it. It was designed to be self-healing, after all.

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  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    And in another “you cannot hide anything on the internet” story, SOPA “author” Lamar Smith turns out to be a potential SOPA target. A day full of irony.

    (I put “author” in quotes because I suspect that the MPAA, RIAA or some other lobby group handed him the law and he just put his name on it. Though I freely admit I haven’t read his bio, so he might have a strong background in copyright infringement law.)

    Also, some of these have to be trolls, right?

    Like

  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    And is it just me, or is having “I Can Have Cheezburger” protesting with you against draconian copyright law rather like having NAMBLA support when opposing an over-the-top sex offender registration scheme?

    Like

  10. wizardling

    No, I don’t think so. It’s somewhat amusing, but it’s fair use which is still legal in NZ and the US… for now.

    Like

  11. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Wizardling – Well, it is on the hairy edge of “fair use” if it is, some days being naught more than the wholesale unauthorized usage of copyrighted material for a commercial purpose. Putting a caption or writing “FAIL” on a copyrighted picture is not a free pass to the fair use defense.

    Like

  12. Pingback: MPAA responds to SOPA/PIPA blackout day |

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