As you know, Wikipedia, Reddit and a few other sites are completely blacked out today, and many other sites are protesting in other ways. For example, if you head over to Google, you’ll find the logo has a big black box over it. Click it and you’ll be taken to an infographic laying out how everybody from tech professionals to ordinary Americans have raised objections to the idea of private corporations being handed the right to kill a website anytime they feel like it like with absolutely no due process or any sort of recourse for the website owner.
How does the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) feel about these protests?
We wish we were joking when we say this, but we’re not: They think it’s an “abuse of power.”
We’ve taken the liberty of offering a few rebuttals to their self-pitying statements below…
“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.”
Actually, there’s not a whole lot of agreement that piracy is damaging. In fact, studies not conducted by large corporations with a vested interest have found that piracy of MPAA member products is minimal. Also, informing citizens of the downsides of your custom-written legislation does not make people “corporate pawns.” Now, the members of Congress you paid to write this bill for you — those would be corporate pawns!
“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services.”
Yes, informing the sheep, so irresponsible.
“It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.”
Yeah, maybe it’s not such a good idea to whine about other people’s transparency when you’ve consistently lied about the makeup of your ratings board and refuse to release the reports stating why movies get the ratings they do, and thus have near-total control over what goes into America’s movie theaters. We know you saw “This Film Is Not Yet Rated”, the documentarian sent it to you.
“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.”
Yeah, it’s a shame when large lobbying groups who can spend six figures lobbying law enforcement groups if they want to abuse that muscle. That’s horrible.
“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.”
OK, we can’t be funny about this. It is absolutely true that criminal gangs are involved in goods counterfeiting, but the MPAA doesn’t care about goods counterfeiting. The vast majority of Americans have to work a lot harder to find a counterfeit disc than to buy the real thing off Amazon or iTunes. What the MPAA wants to do is stop private citizens from ripping their DVDs and sharing those copies for free on the Internet, and they already have laws on the books making owning the tools to break DVD encryption illegal. But since suing individual citizens in court hasn’t worked, now they want to shut off websites at will.
In other words, MPAA, you are exploiting actual human suffering to acquire tools you don’t need to solve a problem you don’t have. And now you’re whining that other people are informing the American people of what you’re trying to do. How in God’s name do you sleep at night? Do you even understand how sickening that is to a normal human being?
“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.”
Yeah, let’s start with the large groups that drag private citizens into court and strip them of thousands of dollars because you lost a few Redbox rental fees. How about disbanding and jail time? That seems like a good way to teach the bad guys here a lesson.
(Image via .mw on Flickr)