MPAA President (Sort Of) Tries To Make Peace Over SOPA

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MPAA President (Sort Of) Tries To Make Peace Over SOPA

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SOPA supporter and MPAA president Chris Dodd wants everyone to know that Hollywood doesn't really hate the internet, but the battle against piracy is going to continue.

MPAA President Chris Dodd hasn't won a lot of fans lately. This isn't all that surprising, since the guy was a big supporter of controversial bills the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. Once SOPA was killed - almost overnight after the very public Web blackout - the former politician wound up making some ominous comments about how Hollywood wouldn't donate money to Obama's re-election campaign. These didn't sit well with the general public, and Dodd became the target of a petition demanding a criminal investigation of him based on bribery charges. While the White House declined to pursue any action against the man, his reputation with the general public is pretty well shot. Now, Dodd is trying to make peace with people and claim that Hollywood really does love the Web and tech industries.

On Wednesday, Dodd was speaking at the Atlanta Press Club, where he stated that Hollywood is "pro-technology and pro-internet." However, exactly how the film industry is in favor these things isn't really apparent, because it seems that Dodd didn't really go into detail about this.

Instead, Dodd said that film groups were far from done fighting against piracy, going on to state that there needs to be a strong copyright protection in place for online content. He also claimed that nearly one-quarter of all global Internet traffic is copyright theft," although where he got this figure remains unclear. According to Dodd:

"We are not talking about overzealous film buffs or political activists making a statement about freedom of information. We are talking about criminals.

...

"We cannot draw up a business model that accounts for the wholesale theft of our product. It's true for pharmacies. It's true for the automobile industry. It's true for software developers. And it's true for us."

Honestly, Dodd's comments feel like he's trying to do damage control and explain away the entertainment industry's support of SOPA and PIPA. The problem is that he very publicly criticized opponents of the bills, going so far as to call the internet blackout last month "an abuse of power" by those sites involved. Basically, he's managed to (possibly irrevocably) harm both his and the MPAA's reputations with a large number of Web users.

Source: Reuters via GamePolitics

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Never trust a man who's eyebrows and hair don't match colours. I do believe he's fully in support of the internet and it's tech as long as he's the one controlling it.

I'm positively surprised about any comments by them where they don't use the phrase "foreign thieves" as their newly-coined term for "piracy" like this happy fellow...

On the other hand some of them apparently start to see and even speak up on how the Internet is a chance instead of an enemy to be fought, and yet others like movie directors seem to be going on long rants cursing the MPAA and their role.

I totally have to quote that last one, it's that good for the most part:

What do directors think when people make a torrent for their movie?

Heather Ferreira, film director, 90s H'wood combat vet

As someone directing a feature right now, but who has been forced at certain times to consider downloading music otherwise made distinctly unavailable by the startlingly small cabal of corporations who now own all media in the US, and who dislikes monopolies, I agree with Quora respondent Mr. Lipkowitz. But my feelings are not mixed.

Things are getting better, but I've never been rich. I understood for years what it feels like not to have enough cash in pocket to purchase a listen or a view. I also know what it feels like to contact media companies, beg them to make now-forgotten artist or soundtrack XYZ available for purchase so I and others could spend our money on it, and then be met with either bemused surprise "that we even owned that property" or a stonewalling, bewildering "f--k off". The MPAA and RIAA tell audiences large media companies invite purchases of the movies and songs both organizations claim they are "protecting", and that finding whatever audiences want to buy is easy for the audience. That's not true in all cases.

For instance, I chased a certain 1980s science-fiction movie soundtrack the right way for more than a decade, tracking down and phoning all who had rights to the recording, and begged them all to sell a copy to me. I offered hundreds of dollars for the recording. It originally retailed on vinyl for less than $15.99.

After being ignored for years, talked to rudely by record label and motion picture score licensing executives and their assistants, told "I didn't know we owned that recording...", and directed in circles leading absolutely nowhere, at the end I found a dedicated aficionado who blogs about rare movie soundtracks because they are the passion of his life, and who can tell you every Prokofiev composition John Williams has er, homaged, because movie music is his life's passion, whose blog serves as a public resource to inform audiences of great movie soundtracks the large corporations are not making them aware of, and to make them available to those who want to learn about and love them -- and the gentleman sent me a copy of my desired soundtrack, which he had, free.

Is what I did wrong? Or is what he did?

After fruitless years of searching and begging the rights owners "the right way"?

Here's how it affects me, directing: If my next film fails to be mediocre enough to satisfy the taste of those delicate little former intern studio execs who sip lattes, name their babies "Brooklyn" and "Max", and take spinning classes at Crunch, and because it is violent it is not made available to mass audiences; and if those audiences however loved it at the tiny festival that ran it; and then can't find a DVD of it because I was too stupid or lazy to make it available -- and then, in frustration at me and the studios they find and download a torrent of it, and love it all over again, does that make those audiences "criminals"?

Come now, folks; come on.

We're all familiar with recent attempts by former Senator Chris Dodd, lobbyists for his Motion Picture Association of America and for the Recording Industry Association of America, and certain not at all well-meaning Congressmen, to enact and get passed two terrible ideas, SOPA and PIPA. We've been told these two bills are harmless to the internet, and that their lamblike only intent is to stop piracy, because the movie and music industries are desperately losing blood, and only the MPAA and RIAA exist to heroically save them.

Here's my problem with that.

I am directing a movie. I've written a B movie that got made by an actual studio.
(Cue pimp voice.) "Chris Dodd, where my money at?"

The MPAA has six major studios, such as Warner, Disney and others, listed as "members" of it. But a little research reveals the MPAA started as the MPPDA, or the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. MGM and two other studios formed the group in 1922. They chose a former Presbyterian minister, Bill Hays, as their Chairman. Unlike Chris Dodd, who's no prize, Hays was a Republican: in fact for three years he was Republican National Committee chairman. This guy became the head of the MPAA with their blessing. (Indie producers at the time disliked him and the MPAA, and sued them, calling them a "trust" -- which like then they still are.) Bill Hays enacted what we call the Hays Code, which drafted draconian rules censoring what movie directors like me, and some of you out there reading this, could show or say in a movie.

One of the rules the MPAA gave us was we could never show homosexuality in a picture. They called it "the sex perversion". (Google and Wikipedia this for extra credit.)

Another thing our friends the MPAA told us we could not depict were interracial relationships. Their term for this was "miscegenation".

(Visit www.mpaa.org/about/history for a great belly laugh at how frantically today's MPAA tries to spin this era in their history.)

Thus what I see when I examine the MPAA is not a friendly guardian of feature film directors' rights, even at the studio level. Instead, I see a very large lobby that began as a Christian right-wing organization instituted to keep minorities off motion picture screens, promote racism and homophobia, and restrict creative freedom in America. That's how the MPAA began.

Now they are curiously interested in the internet.

This is the moment we would instruct the score composer beside us in the editing room to cue an ominous minor key double whole-note on the contrabasses and cellos.

The Motion Picture Association of America has never written me a paycheck for anything. They're not backing my picture. These are not nice guys. They are not in this business to help filmmakers at all.

They're censors waiting to pounce my film and yours with an NC-17 rating for violence or for showing two consenting adults laughing while enjoying sex (rape however is okay), while curiously no one censors the news media for showing my toddler second cousin Josh Powell's house burning down on daytime television with two toddlers just like her inside it, or informing me over breakfast that some Canadian guy sliced off a fellow Greyhound bus passenger's head and began to eat him while other passengers screamed, or showing eight-year-olds Paris Hilton's latest upskirt with very little pixellated out.

Isn't that pauseworthy? If there's no censors for the news, why for dramatic movies and television?

Anyway, I owe the MPAA nothing. They're not my or any other feature director's friends. They are a censoring organization not entirely dissimilar from The Parents Music Resource Center.

Cut, back to one.

Many musicians and singer-songwriters I know here in New York, and knew in Los Angeles, who never received a paycheck from the RIAA, feel the same. Where are the class action lawsuit award paychecks for these musicians from RIAA v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset? If either the MPAA or RIAA made actual financial support efforts towards filmmakers and musicians, e.g. the MPAA earmarking 10-30% of all anti-piracy legal victory awards towards funding independent filmmakers and their projects, or the RIAA making regular and substantial donations from their anti-piracy legal victories to musician-support foundations such as the JFA, or pointing portions of those awards towards funding music education in schools, then I might understand their philosophy. But the fact stands the MPAA and RIAA benefit nobody except their overhead and their attorneys.

There is profit in crusading. That's why there are so many charities. Do you really think Komen gave a real damn about saving women? As someone who has given to charities -- and I am sure you have too -- haven't you at time wondered why we still haven't found that cure, or gotten those children fed, after all this time and exhaustive money, really?

It might be because if these things ever did get truly done, the money to their charities would switch off. Think about it.

Crusading against others "fur die Kinder" has always been profitable. The MPAA and RIAA are using the same gimmick to line their pockets. "It's for the artists!" they claim. That's a very interesting claim.

Not one member of my industry I know has ever received dime one from them. They use us as hostages to strengthen their lobbies, as human shields to promote their fundraising campaigns (aka court cases), and alienate the audience against us with hysterical, hyperbolic legal jihads designed to make them and their professional paid lobbyists richer, but directors, musicians, songwriters, audiences, and American culture all the poorer.

And then they censor us.

What the MAFIAA fails to realize is p2p is not a black and white issue of "piracy is wrong; all of it; and if you didn't pay us, you're a criminal."

Lots of good people have been trying to pay to see lots of good films and hear lots of good music. But when those who moved aggressively to buy "ownership" of film and music are making aggressive efforts clearly designed to suppress public awareness of and access to quality entertainment and instead push, promote and force audiences to the mostly substandard media of this present era, and making few or no efforts to meet audience demand for the "good stuff", what is an audience to do?

If you want audiences to like your product, so make good, original new product, make it affordable in this economy, and turn the volume down on those movie trailers. Seems simple enough to me.

Mr. Lipkowitz is further correct when he says, "On the neutral side, unless the director has equity participation in the film, piracy does not directly impact their paycheck. Their fee is contractual." That's absolutely spot-on.

Piracy does not affect me at all, which is why, for example, Penelope Spheeris' stumble head-first into a hornet's-nest of online infamy and ridicule by openly criticizing something that does not affect her filmmaking future continues to confuse me and make me feel sorry for her. Spheeris apparently wanted notoriety, and believe me, she got it. I disagree with her and am fine with people downloading my films. People have downloaded mpegs of television material I've directed. They later came back and bought DVDs of it because they prefer DVD quality and that "hands to the touch" feeling of actual ownership. Most people do, and the MPAA pretends this isn't true and they don't understand this. If they like it well enough, they'll contact me for the real thing.

Lipkowitz continues, "On the negative side, piracy causes investors and distributors to reduce their revenue projections for future films. This will result in fewer films getting made and reduced budgets for those that do. Fewer films means fewer jobs for all creative and crew. Reduced budgets (among other things) can result in lower fees for key creative." I would amend his otherwise spot-on commentary so that the final sentence reads instead,

"Reduced budgets (among other things) can result in lower fees for key UNION creative."

For independent non-shop filmmakers and key crew, reduced budgets should not impact production quality or quality of life reflected in salaries. What reduced studio budgets adversely impact are studio features made that cost $150MM, the standard A-list movie budget today. One significant reason for these obscene prices is union pressure.

When a picture becomes shop (union), you should multiply your budget by at least three, because in the case of directors, which you asked about, a union director is DGA. All DGA pictures must be "maintenanced": this means only union crew members can work on it. This is when you begin seeing crew end credits such as "assistant standby", and your location fills with people who will not even be moving things or working, but instead standing joking and chewing gum and eating craft services while not actually doing anything, and your budget must pay them all union wages, health and pension. That's bad for the unions and bad for us. It's insulting to unions.

At its worst, the set then becomes an exclusive little "club" of 1 percenters who readily claim they are 99 percenters off set, with a knowing wink to each other, and erect 2-story rubber rats to terrorize films and companies who won't lie down for the beatdown as commanded.

Unions are ripping moviemakers and studios off: not as individuals, mind you, because true union men and women work hard at their craft; but there are many freeloaders who get union cards because of luck or connections, and won't do a damned thing on set, but get paid for it -- and owing to the power of numbers and the threat of what together those numbers can do -- called by one side terrorism and by the other solidarity -- you can't escape being maintenanced, and the moment your film is, its budget inflates to seven, eight, or nine figures.

As the individual workers themselves, unions are just awesome and that is all. As collective organizations, they are as nuanced and corrupt as the studios they despise, and absolutely 100 percent as greedy, and possibly more.

Bear in mind also that most A-list celebrities are members of Screen Actors Guild. Their top actors are also members of the 1 percent and make more in 45 days than any teachers in America will make their entire lifetime, and more than the GNP of many small developed countries.

They make $25MM+ per picture because their union, the Screen Actors Guild, is well-financed and extremely corrupt, and what SAG wants, SAG gets. They have rigged the industry so you virtually cannot make an A-list picture without kissing the ring of the capodecina and depositing a third of your little laundromat's income to their Mafia. Lowered movie budgets automatically point a bright Maglite of purity upon this dark, swirling cesspool of corruption.

I welcome reduced budgets for motion pictures. Lower budgets increase the creativity on location. More camaraderie often develops. Stories get smarter; tighter; better. The fat gets trimmed and we're brought down to the lean, the true grit of the story. That's what filmmaking's for. If torrent piracy causes this by forcing budgets to come down and fewer films to be made, then so be it.

If in retrospect we find that piracy is what it took to do that, it was long overdue, the industry was bloated and ill and frankly needed it, and then maybe tough love was the answer and it was worth it to save the movie industry and force a return in it to ingenuity, hard work and creativity.

So this rather long answer, at least from this movie director, is that my response to those who download a torrent of my current film is meh, with an addendum of:

"Thanks. I hope you enjoyed it."
"Please make the effort to track down my studio and contact me. Give me notes on what you liked or didn't about the film, so I can do even better."
"If you really liked it, please consider buying the DVD of it in the future, when your finances permit that you can. I promise to include cool easter eggs and other goodies you couldn't download, and make it worth it."
"Then, because of your support, I can make more of it."

That's all, really. Any further commentary to them would be shrugworthy. They're a potential paying future audience member. The technology has changed. The playing field is different now. We need to adapt to it, not it to us. The above is my adaptation. Thanks for asking me this fascinating question!

Yeah because people are totally going to forgive him now. After all the internet is know for it's forgiveness. Like some chick people kept banging on about everyone totally forgave her and didn't say anything about weight or gender.

Am I so far ahead of the curve that I'm unusual for being completely unsurprised by anything the MPAA has done here? They and the RIAA both have been more evil than the Empire from Star Wars at least as long as I've been alive.

Hell, let's throw ASCAP into the mix too. It seems like all they do is sue people for having radios on at work, and sue musicians for playing covers in bars. My uncle has had a run in or two with those assholes personally.

That evil bastard will always have a place in my lava pit. My heart no way

It'd sound more convincing if he, you know, went into some considerations and/or things he learned from all this. A few dozen gigabytes went out about why the MPAA's definition of piracy was off kilter and why we don't trust them to not have goevernment oversight, start from there.

vansau:

"We cannot draw up a business model that accounts for the wholesale theft of our product. It's true for pharmacies. It's true for the automobile industry. It's true for software developers. And it's true for us."

Okay, so he's comparing himself and software developers, who have problems with people downloading their products online without paying for them, with pharmacies and car makers?

Guys, I was gonna go down to the store for some medicated lip balm, but it's starting to snow. Could one of you send me the torrent for it?

(I can't tell if this guy's out-of-touch or if he's just drank too much of his own Kool-Aid.)

The running narrative at the MPAA right now seems to be: SOPA/PIPA was just fine, we just got blindsided by the unexpected spasm of negative publicity and didn't have our own spin shock-troops ready to "educate" the public in response.

And until those in charge get it through their heads that hell yes, there was something wrong with SOPA/PIPA, we're just going to have to be ready to fight the next attempt to bribe/extort their way back into a competitive market model (now with bonus disinformation campaign!) twice as hard.

Formica Archonis:

vansau:

"We cannot draw up a business model that accounts for the wholesale theft of our product. It's true for pharmacies. It's true for the automobile industry. It's true for software developers. And it's true for us."

Okay, so he's comparing himself and software developers, who have problems with people downloading their products online without paying for them, with pharmacies and car makers?

Guys, I was gonna go down to the store for some medicated lip balm, but it's starting to snow. Could one of you send me the torrent for it?

(I can't tell if this guy's out-of-touch or if he's just drank too much of his own Kool-Aid.)

He could be tying it into the supposed good parts of ACTA (it's primarily aimed at counterfeiters of patented goods like drugs and cars, with copyright law being a minor aspect.) Judging by the way my mother gets angry when I suggest that, hey, maybe the law is wrong here, that's a pretty potent way of getting people with a high respect for the law and an ignorance of the way these specific laws affect real people to agree with you.

Somethingfake:
Never trust a man who's eyebrows and hair don't match colours. I do believe he's fully in support of the internet and it's tech as long as he's the one controlling it.

...I just want to say that the colors of my eyebrows and hair don't match naturally. (Hair is red, eyebrows are blonde for some reason)

Kopikatsu:

Somethingfake:
Never trust a man who's eyebrows and hair don't match colours. I do believe he's fully in support of the internet and it's tech as long as he's the one controlling it.

...I just want to say that the colors of my eyebrows and hair don't match naturally. (Hair is red, eyebrows are blonde for some reason)

im watching you buddy...-_-....

anyway, BAAHAHAHAH, A QUARTER OF THE INTERNET TRAFFIC IS USED FOR PIRACY. NOW YOU MADE ME LAUGH GOOD SIR. that number is just ludicrously illogical and based in conjecture. now if you said Porn was a quarter of internet traffic....

Relevant take on this news.

Short version: Dodd is sorry that his bullying, lies, bribery and extortion didn't work out his way, and now he'd like to say something that might get SOPA[1] passed.

But has he learned a single thing about how to relate to the tech industry, or to the citizens of the internet?

Not a one.

238U[2]

[1] Or PROTECT-IP, or ACTA, or TPP, or...
[2] ...when wrong to be put right.

The man shoots his mouth off too easily. How did a hot head like him get to be MPAA president? The Internet will not forget that his definition of criminals are those who watched/shared a movie WITH their friends - without paying.

Greedy bugger

He and his kind were the ones that compared the VCR to a serial killer and tried to get it made illegal every year for 25 years.

"The VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone."
-Jack Valenti, MPAA

Don't even doubt for a second that he will work until people can no longer own, record, or control entertainment they pay for, and the internet is just their new VCR

i feel it would be fun to fill his yard with abacuses. no real reason other than i feel its a technology he can actually understand...although he may then try to control mathematical calculations by placing locks on them

Kopikatsu:

Somethingfake:
Never trust a man who's eyebrows and hair don't match colours. I do believe he's fully in support of the internet and it's tech as long as he's the one controlling it.

...I just want to say that the colors of my eyebrows and hair don't match naturally. (Hair is red, eyebrows are blonde for some reason)

edit: but his hair is white...isnt that indicative of head trauma...or myth of head trauma causing white hair? but red/blond combo seems a little weird too

Dexter111:
I'm positively surprised about any comments by them where they don't use the phrase "foreign thieves" as their newly-coined term for "piracy" like this happy fellow...

]

Hopefully I snipped that properly.

Foreign thieves and knockoff artists are a HUGE issue and one that is hurting the US to a tremendous degree. Some of the world's most powerful economies, like that of China, are robber economies whose success comes at a direct cost to the US and other nations whose businesses and prosperity are largely based on innovation.

The problem is that those issues have nothing to do with SOPA no matter how much they dress it up. A nation like China isn't going to stop analyzing drugs and selling then, counterfeiting designer jeans, or even stealing media, because of US laws. Indeed the problems exist because they ignore the laws of the US and other countries entirely, instead setting their own policies where this is okay... and why not since it benefits them.

Nothing our politicians decide domestically matters one bit to the real, international piracy issues. The only real way to deal with those problems is to force the thieves in question to stop with the military, at the cost of hundreds and hundreds of millions of lives. A fact nobody wants to face, so efforts are made to pretend this kind of legislation addresses that in some way.

Things like SOPA are nothing but a domestic power grab against freedom of information, where the goverment and business interests happen to be aligned for differant reasons. Foreign thieves will continue to laugh at US law no matter what it says.

Hollywood, the MPAA, and other groups present the piracy situation as being some kind of huge deal that presents a threat to their existance, and talks (as per the original article) about being unable to come up with a business model that allows this. The thing is that media piracy has existed since media has and these companies have grown into huge, multi-billion dollar juggernauts despite it's existance. The current levels of profit show that things CAN continue the way they are without any negative effects beyond what we've seen so far. The guys running the companies will continue to make truckloads of money as well, even if they will never believe those truckloads are as big as they could be.

This by no means makes piracy right, but it DOES mean that it's a lesser evil than the methods proposed to control it domestically.

Basically if anyone wants to address the issue seriously, they need to start looking towards going to war and facing the actual problems. Not just trying to justify a domestic power grab.

Therumancer:
Foreign thieves and knockoff artists are a HUGE issue and one that is hurting the US to a tremendous degree. Some of the world's most powerful economies, like that of China, are robber economies whose success comes at a direct cost to the US and other nations whose businesses and prosperity are largely based on innovation.

The problem is that those issues have nothing to do with SOPA no matter how much they dress it up. A nation like China isn't going to stop analyzing drugs and selling then, counterfeiting designer jeans, or even stealing media, because of US laws. Indeed the problems exist because they ignore the laws of the US and other countries entirely, instead setting their own policies where this is okay... and why not since it benefits them.

Ugh, it's... you xD

No, China are doing exactly the right thing by ignoring retarded US patent and copyright laws, their economy is booming, every US company wants to go into business with them anyway cause they are so cheap and they will likely be #1 nation in the world soon, and not because they are "foreign criminals who exploit technology to steal American ingenuity and jobs", but because they aren't retarded enough to listen to lobbyists and implement ever more draconic backwards laws that actually hinder their evolution and do the exact opposite of furthering innovation, watch this: http://vimeo.com/36881035 and read this: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,710976,00.html

The classic Dodd Gambit: in which you declare "DODD GAMBIT!" and flip the board in disgust.

Dexter111:

Therumancer:
Foreign thieves and knockoff artists are a HUGE issue and one that is hurting the US to a tremendous degree. Some of the world's most powerful economies, like that of China, are robber economies whose success comes at a direct cost to the US and other nations whose businesses and prosperity are largely based on innovation.

The problem is that those issues have nothing to do with SOPA no matter how much they dress it up. A nation like China isn't going to stop analyzing drugs and selling then, counterfeiting designer jeans, or even stealing media, because of US laws. Indeed the problems exist because they ignore the laws of the US and other countries entirely, instead setting their own policies where this is okay... and why not since it benefits them.

Ugh, it's... you xD

No, China are doing exactly the right thing by ignoring retarded US patent and copyright laws, their economy is booming, every US company wants to go into business with them anyway cause they are so cheap and they will likely be #1 nation in the world soon, and not because they are "foreign criminals who exploit technology to steal American ingenuity and jobs", but because they aren't retarded enough to listen to lobbyists and implement ever more draconic backwards laws that actually hinder their evolution and do the exact opposite of furthering innovation, watch this: http://vimeo.com/36881035 and read this: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,710976,00.html

Yes it's me.

Actually there is no way for China to justify doing things like analyzing drugs or knocking off patents and selling them at cut rates, it's theft pure and simple. The fact that China's economy is booming is EXACTLY why they do it, because they have very little of their own to sell and promote.

We let China get away with this for a very long time because we hoped that it would be a self correcting problem, with the economic prosperity leaking down to the common man, leading to that man making demands and no longer working in sweatshops, and a less oppressed populance innovating it's own things and wanting them protected and following international laws for patents and copyrights. It didn't work out that way.

Your 100% correct that as things are going, China will be the #1 nation in the world because it's feeding it's prosperity into the military specifically so nobody will be able to stop it, and also because it plans to invade other countries (and internally makes no bones about wanting to colonize other nations in the name of vengeance, and to spread out it's population and deal with it's own overcrowding problems). It's navy, anti-satellite/missle systems and other things are all moves in that direction.

With the US and it's allies being unwilling to go to war with China, businesses are increasingly willing to do business with them, in hopes of having positive ties/investments there should the focus of global power change. Not to mention that since the US won't take action to protect their business interests, using Chinese manufacturing and sweatshops is the only real way for them to see any profit at all, doing business with China at least leads to them making SOME money as opposed to none at all.

In the end though, like most things, it comes down to us or them. There is no absolute right or wrong here. China doesn't do this and it's going to sink back into poverty and irrelevency. If the US let's it continue it and it's allies are going to lose global control and gradually be rendered poor and impotent as money no longer flows into our coffers and we lose the intellecual properties and related services that we've been largely based our economy off of.

In the end though the US is too moral to go to war and kill hundreds of millions of people pre-emptively when it can, and prefers to wait for ideal solutions. On the other hand China is entirely immoral and willing to do whatever it can to dominate, including mistreating it's own people to use them for glorified slave/sweatshop labour while it builds it's military. Basically the situation exists because western powers will not act outside of a moral box of it's own creation.

No matter how you dress it up, that's the bottom line. In the end I think we agree on the details, and where things are going, just not on what should be done about it, if anything. One key differance is that in seeing the problem I'm willing to quash a rival and kill hundreds of millions of people for the prosperity and dominance of my own people, and you (presuming your from the US/West) are not and see the change as being inevitable because there is no way we can change things within narrow moral cooridor that you allow yourself to walk.

Me, I believe MAD has ensured world peace/stability and American dominance, but it loses meaning if nobody fears it. Truthfully with the way the militaries line up if we went to war tomorrow I think we could still slap China around (though this would be less certain as soon as 10 years in the future) if we did it properly and just set about leveling them as opposed to engaging in a police action or the quitessential stupidity of a land war in asia. In the end though the point of mutally assured destruction is simply that if the US goes down, we take everyone with us. Going down can mean anything from invasion, to simply being destroyed economically. I think the world needs some solid reminders that the US still has the firepower to destroy the entire world 10x over if it decides to use it, and if it looks like we're not going to be on top, everyone is going to die... period. As crazy as that sounds it's pretty much been the state of affairs for decades, it's just that recently people seem to be ignoring it because they don't believe the US will pull the trigger. Leaders like Obama who are so anti-war it isn't funny (when you get down to it) doesn't help with preception. Basically we need a warrior in the big seat that the world is going to fear, not someone crazy enough to convince them that he's liable to start shooting off nukes and sending out invasions for no reason, but someone who is understood to be willing to nuke people or kill hundreds of millions for the sake of his own people. The more people believe we'll do that, the less likely the US will go down, or actually have to do it. I'm a firm believer of the "speak softly, and carry a big stick" doctrine, but that only works if people believe your going to beat them to death with that stick if they don't listen, and your being nice by choosing to talk as opposed to having no other option. Right now we have the big stick located in a safe behind 30 differant security doors each of which requires the unianimous consensus of eternally bickering commitees to open, ensuring that all we do is speak softly and the big stick is not a threat and can't be taken seriously as one. "If you don't listen, maybe I'll thump you with my stick, if I can convince someone to give it to me and give me permission despite stringent anti-stick policies and political commiteees" doesn't work.

Eat my ass ya stupid sack of corrupt shit. No one forgives you because you do not deserve it. You tried to raze the Internets freedoms, weaseled your way out of a bribery investigation(gee i wonder how someone that admits to something gets away with it), and called corporate protesting "abuse of power" because protesting is so evil when you should be buying politicians. Kindly go die instead of wasting the worlds oxygen.

vansau:
MPAA President (Sort Of) Tries To Make Peace Over SOPA

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SOPA supporter and MPAA president Chris Dodd wants everyone to know that Hollywood doesn't really hate the internet, but the battle against piracy is going to continue.

MPAA President Chris Dodd hasn't won a lot of fans lately. This isn't all that surprising, since the guy was a big supporter of controversial bills the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. Once SOPA was killed - almost overnight after the very public Web blackout - the former politician wound up making some ominous comments about how Hollywood wouldn't donate money to Obama's re-election campaign. These didn't sit well with the general public, and Dodd became the target of a petition demanding a criminal investigation of him based on bribery charges. While the White House declined to pursue any action against the man, his reputation with the general public is pretty well shot. Now, Dodd is trying to make peace with people and claim that Hollywood really does love the Web and tech industries.

On Wednesday, Dodd was speaking at the Atlanta Press Club, where he stated that Hollywood is "pro-technology and pro-internet." However, exactly how the film industry is in favor these things isn't really apparent, because it seems that Dodd didn't really go into detail about this.

Instead, Dodd said that film groups were far from done fighting against piracy, going on to state that there needs to be a strong copyright protection in place for online content. He also claimed that nearly one-quarter of all global Internet traffic is copyright theft," although where he got this figure remains unclear. According to Dodd:

"We are not talking about overzealous film buffs or political activists making a statement about freedom of information. We are talking about criminals.

...

"We cannot draw up a business model that accounts for the wholesale theft of our product. It's true for pharmacies. It's true for the automobile industry. It's true for software developers. And it's true for us."

Honestly, Dodd's comments feel like he's trying to do damage control and explain away the entertainment industry's support of SOPA and PIPA. The problem is that he very publicly criticized opponents of the bills, going so far as to call the internet blackout last month "an abuse of power" by those sites involved. Basically, he's managed to (possibly irrevocably) harm both his and the MPAA's reputations with a large number of Web users.

Source: Reuters via GamePolitics

Permalink

As if he is any person who is the judge of what a "criminal" is.

Mr. Dodd, I'd like to remind you that just because you are no longer an elected official, that doesn't mean public perception is considered irrelevant anymore. It's bad enough when the LA Times piece on the Academy behind the Oscars showed the power in Hollywood being placed in the hands of a gang of old, out-of-touch white men.

With statements like this, you're setting yourself up as the old, out-of-touch white man to rule them all.

He wants to make peace, eh?

There shall be peace when he raises the white flag and is willing to offer terms that include never fucking with our internet again.

Yes because one of the internet's greatest and best known qualities are being humble, showing mercy and forgiveness. I would love citations on stuff like 25% of the internet traffic is piracy. How is this measured and estimated as if we can even get accurate downloads per song/game, we can somehow know the exact usage of people to pirate?

dobahci:
He wants to make peace, eh?

There shall be peace when he raises the white flag and is willing to offer terms that include never fucking with our internet again.

He and the cause/industries he represents currently will lose I believe but if anyone for a second thinks it will be in anyway different with the whole current anti-piracy thing I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.

No they'll only be peace when either one of the new online content aggregators such as Google, Apple or Facebook decide to start buying out the old incumbents...they have the income and the financial war chests to do so, once they own these industries and figure out how they work don't for a second think it will be much different. Still be bogus 25% claims and crap like that uttered and cited as reasons for greater control. Their new industry groups will also probably be fronted by ex-politico's who obviously don't buy enough hair dye to match up all their facial hair.

Really don't think the fall of the old incumbent industry organisations such as the MPIAA is going to change much for the better. And if it is done by the likes of Google and Apple as I believe well they do understand the internet both technologically and financially, be interesting to see how they protect their investments.

And I've re-read it twice now still trying to find the word "sorry" anywhere in his words.....

Populism. Disgusting populism.

I'm just glad the political field here is very much different from the one in The US.

Hollywood doesn't really hate the internet, but the battle against piracy is going to continue.

isnt that a bit hypocritical of him to say? unless the reporter made this up.

The problem is, he can be 100% right and the nicest person on earth, but nobody's going to listen anyway. His fate is sealed.

I feel I need to say that despite everything, all the pirating sites do need to be taken down. Honest companies pay for the right to show their program over TV yet we all know so many people who do a lot of TV watching on certain not-to-be-named sites. And it's even worse with films, some of which haven't even had a DVD release yet.

But SOPA wasn't the one do to do it and I don't believe this man is the one do it. In fact no-one speaking on behalf of 'Hollywood' can be the one. We need someone who respects intellectual property but understands that it's not so important that we should destroy all else to serve it

(Raises eyebrow)...Riiiigggghhhhtttt... I don't think the internet gives two shits about this guy...

Because the internet ever forgives anyone...

One of these days it's going to become obvious to most that fighting piracy is nothing but a money pit. Accept that piracy exists and that you can't currently fight it without pissing of paying customers.

but the battle against piracy is going to continue.

Translation: We are going to continue doing what we were doing and nothing is going to change.

Hollywood doesn't really hate the internet

I don't think the internet cares what Hollywood thinks about it.

This isn't so much "MPAA President tries to make peace" (even sorta) so much as it is "politician covers own ass."

Defeating the pirates by destroying them is near impossible and likely harmful to your paying customers. Rather than stop pirates from their ways, compete with them (to take an idea from Extra Credits). They are already giving away your shit for free and without all the annoying crap the big publishers do to make it seem less worth it (DRM for games, poor translations for anime/manga, etc). Instead of making it seem more worth it to get our products from them, why not make us want to pay for the products your are selling? I've paid for most of my entertainment and am willing to pay for more so long as the quality doesn't diminish. But if it does to a degree where pirates offer better quality for free, then there isn't even a question of why we'd go for them.

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