CreativeAmerica: When Major Hollywood Studios Set Up Bogus 'Grassroots' Campaigns

from the don't-make-me-laugh dept

For a little over a week now, we’ve been receiving emails from various actors and musicians, telling us that they’ve been getting emails from various entertainment industry giants, telling them to join a new “grassroots” coalition called CreativeAmerica, whose main purpose is to advocate for passing the PROTECT IP censorship bill. The whole thing is clearly an astroturf campaign. It was registered via domains-by-proxy to hide who really bought the domain name. It highlights the video that was secretly created and owned by NBC Universal. It includes the totally false claim that “there’s no such thing as a free movie.”

If you dig into the website to figure out who’s really behind it, it claims that it’s a “grassroots organization,” but fails to name a single creative individual who was behind putting the group together. Instead, it lists out the following companies and organizations who really put the site together (amusingly, they even block you from cutting and pasting this part, so I just retyped it — meaning I circumvented their DRM… come at me, entertainment industry):


CBS Corporation, NBC Universal, the Screen Actors Guild, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, the Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Entertainment

Well, well. That’s not a grassroots effort, folks. Now, the site also includes various unions, including the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild and IATSE (stage hands, etc.). But these are the old school, out of touch unions that who have done little to nothing to help their members adapt to the times (often doing the opposite). Do we see any of the actually creative folks who have embraced new technologies, new methods of distribution and new business models? Nope.

In the meantime, how can the website seriously claim that it’s a grassroots effort when it has every single major Hollywood Studio behind it. Do they think that people are stupid? And should we remind people that these are the same studios who have all sorts of scammy tricks for “Hollywood accounting” to make sure even the most successful films are never seen as profitable, allowing them to avoid paying royalties to the actual creative folks.

Next, if you dig into the website, they have a “send a letter to your elected officials” thing. And the real evidence that it’s not a real grassroots effort? Just like other faux grassroots efforts, those agreeing to send the letter have no option to edit the letter. When groups like Demand Progress and EFF let you send letters about PROTECT IP, they let you edit them to your liking — trusting people to express themselves.

But, this “Creative America” apparently does not trust its own members to be creative. The letter is 100% locked down. You can only send their text. Honestly, if a group supposedly representing creators won’t even let its own members express themselves freely, you know that it’s not actually about protecting “creative” America.

This is not a grassroots effort. This is not about protecting “Creative America.” This is about protecting a few megacorporations who are scared of new innovations, afraid of their dwindling monopoly rents, and trying to force the rest of the world to go back to the way things used to be.

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Companies: cbs, disney, fox, nbc universal, news corp, sony, viacom

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Comments on “CreativeAmerica: When Major Hollywood Studios Set Up Bogus 'Grassroots' Campaigns”

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162 Comments
anonymoussays:

‘This is about protecting a few megacorporations who are scared of new innovations, afraid of their dwindling monopoly rents, and trying to force the rest of the world to go back to the way things used to be.’

trouble is, because of the greed and stupidity of most governments, politicians and law makers, coupled with the ‘forbidding’ of any view other than theirs from being posted, printed or discussed, they are achieving exactly what they want!

Anonymoussays:

Re:

Nonsense, with great new creative movies out in cinemas now like: “The Thing”, “Footloose”, ?The Three Musketeers”, “Red Dawn”,”The Lion King 3D” “The Twilight Saga”, “Transformers 3”, “Paranormal Activity 3″,”Happy Feet Two”,”Johnny English Reborn”.
Hollywood can’t possibly get more creative.

bobsays:

More astroturfing for Big Search.

Oh come on. This blog is full of astroturfing for Big Search, Big Hardware and Big Piracy. All three of these are big enterprises and they rake in much more than the content companies. All three of them hate to watch content companies share in the revenue and that’s why all three of them like to pretend that free content is the only thing that consumers want.

Furthermore, these industries are much, much bigger than Big Content. Google has a $190b market cap. Disney, one of the largest studios that gets plenty of revenue from theme parks and stuffed animals is valued at only $65b. Many studios are priced around $5-10b.

Big Content may have some a few mega corporations but Big Search, Big Hardware and Big Piracy are supermegacorporations. And these supermegacorporations depend on getting the work of Big Content for free. Big Search can’t put up ads on things behind paywalls. Big Hardware can’t sell more hard disks if people are going to pay a fair price to fill them up. (No one spends $5000 to fill up an MP3 player with 5000 songs. Why will they buy a new one?)

I could go on, but quit this bogus astroturfing trying to pretend that Big Content is the giant here. It’s not. The other companies are much, much bigger.

Anonymoussays:

Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

Yeah man, Sony (also known as Evil Big Television)has been riping Hollywood off for years. They make billions by selling TV’s and Radios! And whose content do you think they steal to make the huge profits? Why poor Hollywood’s of course, who’s only crime was making sure artists get paid. OH, THE HUMANITY!

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

Lemme guess…

The same people that advocate civil liberties are paid by Google to have their voice?

Funny…

Public Knowledge, EFF, CDT, yeah them…. and others. The only real difference is using an existing group versus creating a new one. Works the same.

bobsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

These guys don’t care about civil rights for creators. They only care about the rights of the supermegacorporations in Big Search. They think that these companies have a “right” to make money on the work of others. Then they pretend that it’s all about the consumer. Totally bogus.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

These guys don’t care about civil rights for creators.

You know, Bob, you really, really need to get this concept through your head:

Copyright is not a civil right.

It is a statutory right, like the right to make a right turn at a red light.

It is granted by the public, for the good of the public. In theory, voters could vote it out of existence altogether, and nobody’s civil rights would be infringed upon.

And by the way, who are “these people” that you’re talking about? The American Library Association? The EFF? Demand Progress? The CDT? The LA Times? The NY Times? Legal professors? Venture capitalists? Internet engineers? Senators Wyden and Bachmann? The Tea Party? “Anonymous?” Do you think that 89% of the general population (according to PopVox) only care about “the rights of the supermagacorporations in Big Search”?

If, on the other hand, you were talking about the “supermegacorporations” behind CreativeAmerica, then your statement would be 100% accurate. You think Fox, Disney, etc. give a rat’s ass about “civil rights for creators?” You think that these guys don’t believe they “have a ‘right’ to make money on the work of others?” You think they care one whit about consumers? They do not. It’s totally bogus.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

Astroturfing, the creation of the appearance of grass roots support for something, when in fact the “grass” is fake.

Those opposed to copyright and such tend to play similar games, without the corporate veils. The same players seem to end up at the front of almost every “freedom” group, almost every “cause”. It’s absolutely amazing to see so few actual people make so much noise.

1% at one end (big content) versus 1% at the other end (copyright haters). The 98% in the middle are trying to get tricked into picking sides.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

That’s why the Pirate Party got 9 percent of the votes in Germany.

I highly doubt that 98% of the population believes that 95+ copy protection lengths are acceptable. It’s only the less than 1% that one sidedly benefits from these laws. The rest opposes them.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

and the rest of the reason that these laws exist is mostly because the IP maximist government established mainstream media (yes, they are government established since they receive their broadcasting and cableco monopoly power from the government) keeps people ignorant of these issues. But as more people are starting to become aware of the ridiculous nature of these laws (ie: ridiculous lengths and penalties along with retroactive extensions) and how they are abused, more and more people will continue to them. It is only ignorance that is preventing more people from opposing these laws and despite huge educational/brainwashing campaigns (from govt and industry at schools and whatnot) the industry is having a very very tough time convincing people to favor these laws. The pirate party is only growing and politicians, even in the U.S. (ie: Michele Bachmann and even Obama before he got elected and during his early years) know to oppose things like stricter patents and IP laws when running for office because they know darn well that the American people don’t want these laws and opposing these laws is a good talking point for getting more votes. They only change their tune after being elected. People do not want these laws and to the extent that they don’t oppose them, it’s mostly because they are intentionally being kept ignorant by a mainstream media that wrongfully receives its monopoly power from the government.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

Lets go to the streets and ask people what they think about loosing their privacy and civil rights.

If they like censorship, or need to pay for every single use they make of something.

Lets ask if people are ok with people having life * 95 years protection that means they need to give up control over things inside their homes.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

Big Content is, and has always been, a parasite on big hardware. Big content could not exist without hardware.

People would buy iPods without music? People would buy Blu-Ray players without Blu-Ray discs?

That’s precisely backwards. Hardware and technology are created to take advantage of what people are already doing. Big Hardware seeks to control the content industry to its own advantage.

Chosen Rejectsays:

Re: Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

People would record songs without hardware? People would make movies without hardware?

He had it precisely right. Without hardware, all movies would be plays, and as much as I like theater, I’ve never seen a play gross tens of millions on opening night. Without hardware, all music would be live (and A cappella?), and as much as I enjoy a concert, the most attended concert tour was a little over 4.5 million.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

Yes they would, it can store photos of children and movies.

They also would have bought the iPhones since they can be used for:

– Changing your channels.
– VCR kind of thing.
– Photo taking.
– Photo manipulation.
– GPS navigation.
– Dictionary.
– Radio.
– TV.
– Medical recording.
– Phone.

People do buy Bluray players not for playing Blurays but for using as storage unit devices, although that would be dumb, people could just use HDD’s.

Would there be photographers without a camera capable of capturing images?

Would there be cinematography if there were not equipment capable of recording images?

Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

This blog is full of astroturfing for Big Search, Big Hardware and Big Piracy. All three of these are big enterprises and they rake in much more than the content companies

What, seriously? “Big Piracy” doesn’t even make enough income to pay back their server costs. “Big search” seems to be some idiotic anti-Google thing, despite the fact that when they entered the game, they were very much up against the legacy “big search” industries (e.g. AOL, Yahoo!, etc).

And “Big Hardware” pretty much is at the mercy of Microsoft. Plenty of hardware companies would prefer to make their hardware compatible with e.g. Google, but they can’t, because Microsoft will disavow them if they do.

I could go on, but it’s obvious that you have no idea whatsoever about subjects that are near and dear to your paycheck, which is particularly pathetic.

Hak Foosays:

Re: More astroturfing for Big Search.

I’ve been baffled by this meme for weeks.

“Big Piracy”. All I can imagine from that is Eiichiro Oda’s morbidy obese portrayal of Blackbeard. I guess maybe he follows RIAA logic and belives that P2P software firms hold six times the total capital on earth.

“Big Search”. Yeah. I’m a Google fan. They’ve created billions of dollars of real stockholder value in recent years and gone from “Cool tech demo” to “hub of modern life”.

“Big Hardware”. What’s to like there? Oh, yeah! I remember! The fact that now you get five thousand times more disc space or processing power for the same money as years ago.

Given the choice between standing up for these industries, and “Big Content”, which seems to have all the business acumen of a taco salad, I will indeed apologize for them. Hey, content industry– if you want apologists, maybe look at the concept of “new products which offer better value for the customer than the ones they replace.”

out_of_the_bluesays:

Mike, show me "a free movie"! Meaning no one /paid/ anything to produce it.

You can’t, of course.

First, yeah, yeah, astroturfing as tactic. Big deal. You had to re-type a bit from a graphic (I assume: can’t get to the site yet…) to find the actual sponsors. (A bit later: the site is horrible, doesn’t display right.)

ANYWAY, it’s not a “totally false claim”, Mike. Example me ONE “free movie” that just appeared out of the blue, no backers who put cash in, from which were paid no salaries or payments to actors, no equipment rentals, no site rentals, no transportation, no film or post-processing, no distribution, and NO one put in their time at least: no NOTHING. You can’t just wave your magic wand and disappear all those (and any I neglect) as “sunk (or fixed) costs” so that you can focus on /only/ “marginal costs”. This isn’t a movie, Mike, you need more than a facade of expertise.

Re: Mike, show me "a free movie"! Meaning no one /paid/ anything to produce it.

One, you need an accounting class, and two, you need to understand what Mike is trying to say.

He’s not saying that no one is paying for the movies, he’s using the term “Free Movie” like CreativeAmerica is using it: you can’t watch a movie without paying money (lots of money).

In the grander scheme, there is no such thing as a free lunch, at the vary least you have to pay with your time. But the entertainment industry is only interested in the grander scheme when it benefits them.

robinsays:

Re: Mike, show me "a free movie"! Meaning no one /paid/ anything to produce it.

Son, your reasoning is backwards and mis-guided. To wit:

The producers’ (you) cost structure is not the purchasers (me) problem. That is the very basis of any freely undertaken economic transaction.

If the producer can’t make money faced with certain market-place realities, he/she/you will either stop producing or figure out how to sell into the existing marketplace.

var producer == UnitedArtists;
var purchaser == JoeSmith;
if (JoeSmith != stupidAsARock) {
//JoeSmith is not out $25 for DRM’d crap from UnitedArtists
}

PaulTsays:

Re: Mike, show me "a free movie"! Meaning no one /paid/ anything to produce it.

“You can’t, of course.”

Of course, but that’s irrelevant. Nobody’s even said that movies need to have zero production costs.

I can, however, point you toward a large number of movies I’ve seen for free, perfectly legally, be it on a borrowed DVD, on a free-to-air TV channel, even a free screening of The Exorcist in a small castle a mile or so away from where I’m currently sitting.

The fact that idiots like you can’t conceive of the fact that the movie made money in all of these instances, despite me not having paid a penny directly, is one of your many, many failings.

hmmsays:

Re: Mike, show me "a free movie"! Meaning no one /paid/ anything to produce it.

Yes this isn’t a movie, so you ain’t allowed to get away with gaping plot holes…….

Films that “just appeared”..hmmm Colin? (Chronicle of Pain)
(cost $45 and that was the main guy who filmed himself’s food costs during the movie….everyone else appeared for free just for the hell of it.)

I’m sure there are plenty of others

bobsays:

Most Americans are Creative Americans

To hear this blog spin it, most of America is just sitting on their couch waiting for the latest torrent to download. Anyone who hates on torrent freeloaders is hating on America.

Perhaps, but many of the folks I know actually create things from time to time. They like the idea that their letters, posters, drawings, songs and other creations are theirs until they make a decision how they’ll be distributed. They like keeping control.

Now they may choose to release their creations under a CC license or they may want to put up a big paywall to ensure that everyone who sees it pays a small bit. Or they may want something in between. But they like control.

This blog space is filled with creator haters who are playing right into the hands of Big Search, Big Hardware and Big Piracy. All of the rhetoric here is dedicated to stripping creators of their rights. Every argument here is meant to make creators feel guilty for doing anything but helping Big Search sell more ads.

That’s why I think you’re wrong about the needs and wants of the consumers.

el_segfaultosays:

Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

I create software and have done consulting work for “Big Hardware” and “Big Search”, don’t I get a say? I had a long diatribe in my head for this, but feeding trolls is only satisfying for the first few minutes. Needless to say, people like you are the problem…the reason why those in the know are dissatisfied with out-of-control copyright and the assault on the public domain.

el_segfaultosays:

Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

I’ve seen some of my work on The Pirate Bay (was upset that only 4 people were seeding) and the only part that angered me was the idea that somebody could have slipped a virus wrapper around the installer and using my project as a malware vector.

Once you release the work to the world at large, you can’t realistically hope to retain all control over copying. Once you get that idea into your head, it’s much easier to forgive piracy. I don’t condone piracy, but I do use it as a marker that there is a failure in the market. My particular case was puzzling simply because of the fact that my project was (like all of them) 100% open source and hosted on SourceForge.

el_segfaultosays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

There are two types of pirates (in my experience).

Those that will pirate no matter what. There’s not much you can do to stop people like that.

Those that are willing to purchase, but don’t feel the price reflects the value of the product. In this case you need to take a good long look at what you’re selling. I’d rather sell 5,000 widgets at $10 per, than 500 widgets at $100 per.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

The fact that you can’t grasp the reason why speaks volumes…

Hint: he’d rather more people have access to and use of his work.

“assuming that the widgets had the cost of production you’d make out better selling 500”

He’s talking about software, genius, which has a marginal cost of virtually zero.

Bensays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

Even considering tangible good he’s mistaken. It’s cheaper in the long run PER unit to make 1000 of something than 10, as you spread any development, tooling costs over more units. Each is incrementally more profitable.

Of course having more people use my item also means more word of mouth etc etc, but since when have the copyright mob preferred abundance over scarcity.

Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

I don’t think you’re alone in that. I’ve seen a few things online and ended up on a few shady sites wondering about software, and seen others who said they’d created that software lament the fact that after dling it themselves, finding a virus/malware contained therein. At which point, a few, have told people “if you want to download it, I can’t stop you, but get it from a more reliable place” and they’ve then posted SourceForge links (or what have you). Which I found to be commendable.

No lectures. No trying to force their morals on others. Nothing. Just a “hey, be safe” (pretty much). Which is cool in my book. (And no, I am not there looking for that software, but I like to find out as much info about any given software and others similar to it as I can. Comments, no matter where they come from, provide insight into pretty much anything. Be it software, movies, music, games, etc.)

el_segfaultosays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

I don’t mind telling you, one of my favorite pieces of software I found while dinking around on TPB. PTGUI is awesome for stitching photos, it’s commercial and I am no way affiliated with them, I just figured it was a good illustration of what you were talking about.

Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

Yeah, that’s a good example of what I’m talking about. Never heard of PTGUI, now I have and can investigate it accordingly. So thanks. Perfect example of what I mean.

Another example, Handbrake. How I’d never heard of it is beyond me. But I’d been looking into ripping my dvds to put on my and my family’s Apple devices. There’s tons of software out there that can do the job, most charge. Some of the free ones aren’t up to par. Was looking up one bit of software on TPB, heard about Handbrake, been using it since. And, the mp4 rips it creates can be played on my PS3 (which we as a family use more for video watching than gaming). So it was even better. I swear by it since it also does rips that work on my Android devices, the quality is great (and you can customize it as need be or use default settings). I to am in no way affiliated with Handbrake, but for my basic needs it’s what I use.

Mike Masnicksays:

Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

Most Americans are Creative Americans

Agreed. So why do you only support the views of a few gatekeepers who make it nearly impossible for most of those people to make money?

To hear this blog spin it, most of America is just sitting on their couch waiting for the latest torrent to download. Anyone who hates on torrent freeloaders is hating on America.

Have never made any such suggestion. In fact have regularly argued the exact opposite: technology today shows that most people are creative and creators. But the laws we have today limit that. They make simple things like communicating with others and sharing cultural experiences and building on them infringement. They pass laws that only protect big companies — the companies who work hard not to pay the actual creative folks.

Perhaps, but many of the folks I know actually create things from time to time. They like the idea that their letters, posters, drawings, songs and other creations are theirs until they make a decision how they’ll be distributed. They like keeping control.

But under the system you like, they don’t have control. Creative people are continually forced to give up control to big gatekeepers, who then take nearly all of the profit. The fight today is about letting THEM keep control.

It has nothing to do with the actual creative people. They’re getting fucked over by these companies.

Now they may choose to release their creations under a CC license or they may want to put up a big paywall to ensure that everyone who sees it pays a small bit. Or they may want something in between. But they like control.

“Liking control” is no basis for a legal or economic regime. I would like you to learn basic economics and logic. Should I be able to have a law passed to make that so, or should we just admit that your ignorance is allowed?

This blog space is filled with creator haters who are playing right into the hands of Big Search, Big Hardware and Big Piracy. All of the rhetoric here is dedicated to stripping creators of their rights. Every argument here is meant to make creators feel guilty for doing anything but helping Big Search sell more ads.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time helping content creators make money, and I take serious offense at the idea that I’m a “creator hater.” Hell, just last week we released an entire platform to help creators make more money, and you still sit here — as a nameless ignorant “bob” and claim that I hate creators?

I never try to strip creators from their rights. I try to help them make more money by recognizing that playing into the desires of the big gatekeepers is not in their own best interests.

That’s why I think you’re wrong about the needs and wants of the consumers.

Wait, because some big gatekeepers want to keep raping artists? Huh? Try again, bob.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

But under the system you like, they don’t have control. Creative people are continually forced to give up control to big gatekeepers, who then take nearly all of the profit. The fight today is about letting THEM keep control.

It has nothing to do with the actual creative people. They’re getting fucked over by these companies.

So now it’s all about the creators, huh? Despite the fact that many of them get residual payments and/or get health and retirement benefit funded by downstream revenues…. the same revenues that are eroded by your pirate friends Masnick.

You care about free. And care more about that than creators prosperity. No one is forced to use the studio system and you’ve demonstrated that no one has to. So why can’t you simply respect the decisions and property rights of each?

E. Zachary Knightsays:

Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

Despite the fact that many of them get residual payments and/or get health and retirement benefit funded by downstream revenues

You mean creatives like David Prowse, the face behind Darth Vader who has yet to get a residual because Return of the Jedi, the 15th highest grossing film of all time, is not yet profitable?

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110912/13500315912/hollywood-accounting-darth-vader-not-getting-paid-because-return-jedi-still-isnt-profitable.shtml

bobsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

And how much has YouTube and Google given Prowse from all of the ad revenue that they’ve made on clips of Mr. Vader? Oh wait. I’m sorry. If someone doesn’t file a tricky DMCA notice with GooTube, GooTube is going to keep 100% of the ad revenue and share exactly 0% with the artists.

Now I know that the studio system has its troubles but it often writes checks to the artists. How often does Google do that without being sued?

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

So, you’re saying it’s OK for Lucas and Fox to fuck over Dave Prowse because a company that didn’t exist until 15 years after the film was made hasn’t paid him either?

Why are you morons always obsessed with Google, anyway? Have Veoh and Bing/Microsoft paid him either, or is that not an issue because Google aren’t in charge?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

If someone doesn’t file a tricky DMCA notice with GooTube, GooTube is going to keep 100% of the ad revenue and share exactly 0% with the artists.

This is absolutely false. In fact, YouTube actually spent a huge amount of time and money to develop its “fingerprinting” process.

If you’re a content creator, you just upload a “master copy” of your content, and YouTube automatically searches user-uploaded clips for those that match your content.

You can then have it removed automatically; or – and this is the smart thing to do – you allow it to remain, and you keep the ad money from their clips.

Even if you don’t use this program: If you upload your own material to YouTube, you keep some of the ad revenue. Google doesn’t “keep 100% of the ad revenue and share exactly 0% with the artists.” That is complete nonsense.

In fact, if you’re one of those “Creative Americans” that you first posted about, YouTube has made you more money than traditional labels or studios ever will.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

And how much has YouTube and Google given Prowse from all of the ad revenue that they’ve made on clips of Mr. Vader? Oh wait. I’m sorry. If someone doesn’t file a tricky DMCA notice with GooTube, GooTube is going to keep 100% of the ad revenue and share exactly 0% with the artists.

This is 100% false. YouTube only puts ads on content that has been claimed by copyright holders, meaning that they get revenue.

Now I know that the studio system has its troubles but it often writes checks to the artists. How often does Google do that without being sued?

All the freaking time. Have you seriously not paid attention to the ContentID system, and just how freaking much money it’s making for content providers these days?

Holy crap, you’re clueless.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

“No one is forced to use the studio system and you’ve demonstrated that no one has to. So why can’t you simply respect the decisions and property rights of each?”

Until the industry gets its way and closes up all the alternative delivery systems

I don’t think anyone will be closing YouTube and the dozens of others anytime soon. Anyway, the discussion is in the here and now. There are adequate alternative outlets. Use them, but respect the choice of those who use the studio/label system.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

because the only thing that kept youtube from getting sued out of existence years ago was googles pocketbooks. But I understand your world, might makes right and only people with millions of dollars should be able to own or control anything.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/06/23/viacom-loses-lawsuit-against-google/

Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

Despite the fact that many of them get residual payments and/or get health and retirement benefit funded by downstream revenues…. the same revenues that are eroded by your pirate friends Masnick.

1. Most creative artists don’t see a dime from residuals, or get health and retirement benefits from residuals. Not even most professional creative artists.

2. In fact, as far as I can tell, your statement applies only to actors or film workers. They are work-for-hire, which means they never held any interest in the copyright in the first place. They got these residuals the same way all workers get money: not by threatening to withhold the copyright, but by threatening to withhold their labor. Collective bargaining, going on strike, etc.

3. The aftermarket may be declining, but there’s no evidence it’s due to piracy. (You also know that Mike does not have “pirate friends,” but we know by know that you can’t be honest.)

4. Furthermore, without technology that allows rampant piracy, these residuals would not have existed at all. (See: Jack Valenti’s claiming that VHS was like the Boston Strangler. In fact, VHS tapes created the aftermarket for consumer-owned movies.)

5. Finally, even if everything you said were true, then PROTECT IP still shouldn’t pass, because the damage to society far, far outweighs the damage caused by piracy in the first place.

You keep making this statement, and it still doesn’t hold water.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

“Despite the fact that many of them get residual payments and/or get health and retirement benefit funded by downstream revenues…. the same revenues that are eroded by your pirate friends Masnick.”

1. Most creative artists don’t see a dime from residuals, or get health and retirement benefits from residuals. Not even most professional creative artists.

The several hundred thousand in the motion picture industry do. They are professionals.

2. In fact, as far as I can tell, your statement applies only to actors or film workers. They are work-for-hire, which means they never held any interest in the copyright in the first place. They got these residuals the same way all workers get money: not by threatening to withhold the copyright, but by threatening to withhold their labor. Collective bargaining, going on strike, etc.

That’s right. But it’s actors, the directorial team, Teamsters, the crew, etc. Pretty much everyone on a set.

3. The aftermarket may be declining, but there’s no evidence it’s due to piracy. (You also know that Mike does not have “pirate friends,” but we know by know that you can’t be honest.)

Oh please. Millions if not billions of copies of copyrighted content downloaded every year and you suggest there’s no evidence. C’mon.

And yes Masnick has pirate friends. Some of the so-called “tech entrepreneurs” who signed the letter Masnick orchestrated have their own history of copyright infringement.

4. Furthermore, without technology that allows rampant piracy, these residuals would not have existed at all. (See: Jack Valenti’s claiming that VHS was like the Boston Strangler. In fact, VHS tapes created the aftermarket for consumer-owned movies.)

Bullshit. Residuals are paid on foreign box office, broadcast television, premium cable and basic cable.

I guess if damage to society is defined as the inability to get copyrighted content for free, you have a point. Otherwise, you’re talking out of your ass.

You keep making this statement, and it still doesn’t hold water.

You can be in denial all you like. That’s your problem, not mine.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

That’s right. But it’s actors, the directorial team, Teamsters, the crew, etc. Pretty much everyone on a set.

They’re not getting residuals as a matter of law, but through contract with the unions. And if those residuals are declining, then the unions that they belong to should find some other way of funding the health care plans and whatnot.

Oh please. Millions if not billions of copies of copyrighted content downloaded every year and you suggest there’s no evidence. C’mon.

Downloaded content does not equal lost profits. If none of those users would have bought a DVD, then you’ve lost exactly $0.

On the other hand, you’d still be in an economic recession, and have to compete with video games, music, etc. for consumer dollars.

There’s also stuff like iTunes and Netflix, which is how people watch movies nowadays – instead of buying DVD’s. If the downstream revenues from those services are less than the downstream revenues from DVD’s, then those revenues will be lower, without even considering piracy.

And yes Masnick has pirate friends. Some of the so-called “tech entrepreneurs” who signed the letter Masnick orchestrated have their own history of copyright infringement.

If that’s how you’re judging “pirates,” then the music and movie industries are bigger “pirates” than the tech entrepreneurs – since they’ve had more of a “history of copyright infringement” than the entrepreneurs do.

In any case: one of the selling points of PROTECT IP was that it would not affect any of the entrepreneurs that signed the letter. It is supposed to be narrowly tailored to affect only sites with no purpose other than wholesale piracy of complete media.

But thanks for being honest. By including those entrepreneurs in your definition of “piracy,” you’ve just shown that PROTECT IP is not about sites like NinjaVideo, it’s about anyone who tries to innovate without the legacy industries’ approval.

Bullshit. Residuals are paid on foreign box office, broadcast television, premium cable and basic cable.

None of which are being affected by piracy! You’re really just proving my third point.

And you totall missed this point. Think of what would happen if PROTECT IP was around in the days when VHS was just starting out. Valenti would have labeled all VCR’s were devices “dedicated to infringing activity.” Anyone who made them would have their storefronts shut down; their assets cut off; and all magazines with advertisements for VHS tapes would be required, by law, to pull them.

And the aftermarket from VHS tapes – which, for some studios, dwarfed tickets sales – would never have existed.

Whatever the next version of the VHS tape is, it will involve the internet. PROTECT IP will allow studios to kill it before it’s even born. That’s bad for consumers, and ultimately, bad for the industries themselves. That includes the actors, crew, and etc. who have just lost a future revenue stream.

I guess if damage to society is defined as the inability to get copyrighted content for free, you have a point.

PROTECT IP attacks free speech; quashes competition; and makes the internet less secure. It puts the costs of enforcement onto third-party ISP’s, payment processors, and advertisers. It wastes law enforcement resources on something that isn’t necessarily criminal, and probably won’t stop most infringement anyway. Most importantly, it is a blank check to the goverment and third parties to shut down websites without warning.

Any of these things, alone, would harm the public more than piracy harms the public.

And the best you can come up with is that its opponents just want stuff for free?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

Any of these things, alone, would harm the public more than piracy harms the public.

Oh, yeah. I also forgot the whole bit about “counterfeit” pharmaceuticals – including the part where third parties are encouraged to stop doing business with online pharmacies, without being told by any rights holder that they are actually counterfeit. And are exempt from all liability if they’re wrong.

Essentially, it’s a favor to Big Pharma, who wants to shut down reimportation of their own drugs (e.g. getting pharmaceuticals from Canada at 1/10th the cost).

This is the reason why PROTECT IP is also opposed by consumer rights organizations who want cheaper, and safe, medicines to be available to U.S. citizens. It’s something that President Obama himself has specifically said should be allowed. And PROTECT IP will persecute anyone who tries to actually do this.

There are, like, ten billion reasons to oppose this bill. None of them have anything to do with “wanting stuff for free.”

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

  1. And we know that because you said so? Riiiiiight!
  2. Again, because you said so? Riiiiight!
  3. So what, millions of people listen to music and watch movies for free all day long, ever heard of TV or radio?
    Miraculously Hollywood and labels are still here after almost a century of those things being there. Again, how is tivoing something negatively affecting them again?

  4. I want to see this unicorn you call residuals, can you show how many people actually get to see those residuals you speak of?

    The world doesn’t care about you and you can be in denial all you like. That’s your problem, not mine. No one is going to pay you more either way.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

“Agreed. So why do you only support the views of a few gatekeepers who make it nearly impossible for most of those people to make money?”

You mean like how when parasitic collection societies prevent various venues (like restaurants) from hosting independent performers without paying those collection societies a fee, which often results in those collection societies not hosting independent performers.

See, for example

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111010/04381116281/bmi-hurting-artists-yet-again.shtml

bobsays:

Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

So sorry but you’re so wrong. Copyright lets the creators make a decision. If they want to use the studio system that you loath, that’s their choice. If they want to release it with the GPL, copyright makes that possible too. I’ve said nothing about which mechanism they choose and I’ve said nothing about how free or restictive they choose to be.

I think that most creators like to keep that power to make the choice on their own. They don’t want Big Piracy making it for them. They don’t want to watch the billionaires at Big Search spend their riches without sharing anything with the creators. Nope. They would like a seat at the table and you want to deny that to them with bogus rhetoric and naysaying.

kirilliansays:

Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

Woah.Woah.Woah…I missed the new shill memo on the new language for trolling…Big Hardware, Big Piracy, and Big Search? Really? Who the heck comes up with this stuff?

There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to monetize their work. Never has been. Never will be. The market works by providing goods and services that people want. If you don’t provide those, then people will get something else or go to someone who does. You want to make money? Then offer the goods and services people want. Period.

Your arguments don’t even address REAL comments or opinions held by those who frequent this site. Cut the BS. You’re just wasting my screenspace.

hothmonstersays:

Re: Re: Most Americans are Creative Americans

Yeah big piracy, you know those megacorpotations that run the pirate bay.

Big Hardware, like he said they like piracy so people fill ipods and buy more, because we all know soooo many people with multiple full ipods. Lord nows one ipod with 3 months worth of continuous music is never enough.

Big Search, real nefarious types. They have only made billions of dollars by providing a service and advertising over it but now apparently they are aligned in a secret conspiracy to bring down content creators, you know, despite the fact that google could afford to buy all the content creators and shutter them if they really cared that much about bringing them down.

PaulTsays:

Re: "Do they think people are that stupid"

“Hey let’s protest big business”

You may have missed the actual point of the protests.

“while using products from big business”

Because, say, Apple (a company that makes products that makes communication and productivity easier) is exactly the same as the banks (whose pure greed and gambling on risky investments caused a worldwide recession and massive unemployment). Yeah. Exactly the same.

Anonymoussays:

Now, the site also includes various unions, including the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild and IATSE (stage hands, etc.). But these are the old school, out of touch unions that who have done little to nothing to help their members adapt to the times (often doing the opposite). Do we see any of the actually creative folks who have embraced new technologies, new methods of distribution and new business models? Nope.

You’re right Masnick. Those people only produce the motion pictures and televisions shows viewed by billions of people around the world. Sorry that Nina Paley didn’t make the cut, but maybe Creative America will let her join so she can show them how it’s done.

Re: Re: Re:

Wy do you think you are entitled to receive something of value without compensating the rightful owner?

First, we’d have to agree on who is the “rightful owner” of content (which we don’t), and even then “entitled” is not the right word, since I don’t think anyone is obligated to let me copy anything.

But if someone offers, I’m there.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

First, we’d have to agree on who is the “rightful owner” of content (which we don’t), and even then “entitled” is not the right word, since I don’t think anyone is obligated to let me copy anything.

OK. How about it ain’t the guy downloading copyrighted work for free without authorization of the rightsholder?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

OK. How about it ain’t the guy downloading copyrighted work for free without authorization of the rightsholder?

Trivially true, because content itself has no “rightful owner”.

If you are the rightful owner of a hard drive, you have a property interest in the current configuration of that hard drive. That doesn’t extend to other people’s hard drives, however, which is where I think our opinions part ways.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Why do anybody needs permission to copy something?

Do people need to ask permission to copy food?
Do people need permission to copy houses?

Why do you believe you have the right to stop others from copying you?

Is not your right to do so, you need others to agree to it and they certainly by now have shown that they don’t.

surfersays:

Re: Re: Re:

My entitlement is the show was broadcast freely over the airwaves, I missed the episode, and DVR’ed it via usenet.

You say ‘entitlement’ like I owe you money because I timeshifted free digital one’s and zero’s across the airwaves, copper lines, and the digital internet

THAT YOU GOT PAID FOR!! from the tv, cable or internet that paid your exorbitant licensing fees to broadcast, and then inserted commercials to cover your outlandish fees.

How much did the producer and actors of ‘Lost’ actually get paid out of all that licensing? Surely not even a fraction. Oh, and then you apply Hollywood Accounting to ensure you do not have to compensate the actual creators.

Your just the leech in the middle, I owe you nothing. In fact whomever edited the commercials out, and re-distributed the content hold the copyright on the new and improved version.

You build on content, so do we.

🙂

E. Zachary Knightsays:

Re:

They are also the people who are not making their movies and tv shows available to me in an affordable and convenient way.

I like watching the tv show Mentalist. However, if I miss an episode, I can’t watch it because it is not available on any legal website.

If I want to watch the show I missed, I have to do one of two things: 1)wait a year or more to buy the season on DVD and then catch up on the plot events I missed. 2) download it from the pirate bay, watch it and then move on with my life and hope I don’t miss an episode again.

Same thing for a lot of other shows.

What good does it do the content creator if I am forced by their own actions to resort to ‘illegal’ means to stay current on a show when there are legal means that the content creator can take advantage of to keep me honest? Hulu was a hugely successful platform that all content companies could have taken advantage of and made more money. But because they didn’t know how to take advantage of it, they have killed all means of legal consumption over the internet.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

They are also the people who are not making their movies and tv shows available to me in an affordable and convenient way.

I like watching the tv show Mentalist. However, if I miss an episode, I can’t watch it because it is not available on any legal website.

So buy a TIVO for christssakes.

If I want to watch the show I missed, I have to do one of two things: 1)wait a year or more to buy the season on DVD and then catch up on the plot events I missed. 2) download it from the pirate bay, watch it and then move on with my life and hope I don’t miss an episode again.

Same thing for a lot of other shows.

What good does it do the content creator if I am forced by their own actions to resort to ‘illegal’ means to stay current on a show when there are legal means that the content creator can take advantage of to keep me honest? Hulu was a hugely successful platform that all content companies could have taken advantage of and made more money. But because they didn’t know how to take advantage of it, they have killed all means of legal consumption over the internet.

Why is it you think interfering with your personal convenience justifies breaking the law? Unfuckingreal.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:

“So buy a TIVO for christssakes.”

“Why is it you think interfering with your personal convenience justifies breaking the law? Unfuckingreal.”

loololololololololololololololololololololololololoolololololololololololololoololololololololololololololololololololololololoolololololololololololololoololololololololololololololololololololololololoolololololololololololololoololololololololololololololololololololololololoolololololololololololololoololololololololololololololololololololololololoololololololololololololo

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:

“So buy a TIVO for christssakes.”

Explain this to me: in reality, what exactly is the difference between watching a show recorded via TIVO, and watching the same show downloaded online? Assume, for the sake of argument, that I don’t watch the ads on the TIVOed version, and that I’m paying the cable subscription.

“Why is it you think interfering with your personal convenience justifies breaking the law? “

Why is it that you think that the comment you’re responding to, that refers directly to how useful legal platforms like Hulu should be if the licence holders weren’t morons, is justifying legal behaviour? Could it be that the tossers you worship are leaving the illegal option as the only choice? Other than simply watching something else and not watching future episodes of the show he missed, of course.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

I will go wild here and say that how is done goes along like this.

You sign up your future with a label with huge financial obligations that most probably will never be able to be paid unless you brake into the very top earners in the industry you also loose all control over what you create, and unless anybody says you are playing them you will never see a cent from royalties, while the labels use your work for free to promote their own status, that sounds about right don’t you think?

How about the studios, if you work for them and accept as payment a percentage of the profits hopping it will help you pay your expenses in the future, you are out of luck since no movie ever made apparently on paper ever is profitable, so there are no residuals to be paid.

No wonder places like Jamendo are exploding, Youtube is full of funny stuff and people can actually compete with TV shows now isn’t that wonderful, they give it all away to the public and still manage to make a good money.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Well, here is one.

I post a video to a popular video site. Some big content company decides the site I use for distribution is a site “dedicated to infringing activities” and has it seized.

My distribution system is now killed even though my content was 100% legal.

So you put the video on this site and had no idea that they were dedicated to infringing activity? I’ve read some of your comments and doubt you’re as dumb as you’re pretending to be here.

You chose that site as opposed to YouTube or a legit player for a reason. You made an adult decision so you need to deal with the consequences of that decision.

Not to mention that there are many, many legal, legitimate alternative outlets.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:


You chose that site as opposed to YouTube or a legit player for a reason. You made an adult decision so you need to deal with the consequences of that decision.

Not to mention that there are many, many legal, legitimate alternative outlets.”

until protectip passes and the industry asks the government to shutter them all. But ill post it on youtube you know that site the gatekeepers almost managed to shut down till google swooped in and bought them out? Arnt they still evil? or are they good guys now because its owned by a company you can’t afford to fuck with?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

until protectip passes and the industry asks the government to shutter them all. But ill post it on youtube you know that site the gatekeepers almost managed to shut down till google swooped in and bought them out? Arnt they still evil? or are they good guys now because its owned by a company you can’t afford to fuck with?

First, Protect IP only deals with foreign websites, not US-based. Second, Google is doing a somewhat better job of dealing with copyrighted content now that they run the show. Finally, there are people who would state that the content industry is fucking with Google right now.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Second, Google is doing a somewhat better job of dealing with copyrighted content now that they run the show.”

So does that mean you realize infingment is inevitable and we should sacrifice our rights for it?

“Finally, there are people who would state that the content industry is fucking with Google right now.”

shaving the bear while its sleeping is not the same as fucking it

Bensays:

Re: Re: Re:

“Some big content company decides the site I use for distribution is a site “dedicated to infringing activities””

This statement implies nothing to do with the site being ‘dedicated to infringing activity’. If you go on Big Content’s definition of sites dedicated to infringing activity, you end up with a ton of collateral damage, such as Ebay, Craigslist, YouTube etc.

Some infringement empowered by use of these sites does not make them dedicated to infringing.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:

“You chose that site as opposed to YouTube or a legit player for a reason”

As ever, you completely miss the point and go off on a tangent, yet come so close to actually grasping a basic concept…

(Hint: the “big content” companies have tried repeatedly to shut YouTube down for infringement, and it’s only due to safe harbour provisions and Google’s bank account that they didn’t succeed.)

jupiterkansassays:

Regulatory capture. A few big industries are writing our laws for their benefit.

Perhaps if we reformed copyright law so that it wasn’t so absolutely ridiculous and one-sided, more people would respect the law.

PROTECT IP is a step in the wrong direction. It’s a way to prevent foreign websites from being accessed in America, and gives private companies enormous say in which websites are blocked. I don’t care if it’s to stop piracy or not, this is an attack on the internet, and I would rather the content companies go down in flames than the government start telling me which websites I can and cannot look at.

If the movie studios want to stop piracy, they can offer their movies for streaming. There’s a website called Netflix that serves that need.

Oh, and those same movie studios keep bragging year after year about the record profits they’re making.

hmmsays:

the reason

The REAL reason the letter is uneditable isn’t because they don’t trust people to add their own thoughts, it’s so Hollywood can send hundreds of THOUSANDS of identical letters (with randomly generated IP addresses).

If there was a way to EDIT the letters, then each one would have to be manually modified, which would cost time/effort.
Or they could try to alogarithmically generate changes but this would probably be easy to detect as there would be glaringly obvious errors.

Because they’re all duplicates of each other it’s easier just to spam elected officials and pretend real people did it.

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