Hollywood Front Group Rounds Up 4,000 Letters Sent To Congress, Pretending It's 100,000
from the hollywood-math dept
It’s no secret that the Hollywood studios have a reputation for highly questionable accounting practices, and apparently that carries over into their attempts to show “support” for censoring the internet via PROTECT IP/E-PARASITE. A few weeks ago, we wrote about the totally bogus group CreativeAmerica, which is an astroturfing group set up by the major Hollywood studios, pretending to be a “grassroots” group. Dig a little, and you’ll find that CreativeAmerica was actually set up by Disney, Warnber Bros., NBC Universal, Viacom, Fox and Sony Pictures. “Grassroots” that is not. It’s made even more obvious by the fact that the folks at CreativeAmerica don’t even hide it. If this were really an upstart grassroots campaign, would NBC Universal hand out its mugs to employees, and if it were really an upstarts grassroots campaign, would 20th Century Fox put up a giant banner on its studio lot for the group?
The answer is no. Anyone who takes a few seconds to investigate recognizes that this is a slick studio-run operation… from the same studios that use creative math to never pay royalties to actors in even some of the most successful movies of all time.
So is it really any surprise that they’re playing fast and loose with the facts when it comes to puffing up their support. Yesterday, CreativeAmerica (and the MPAA) hyped up on Twitter that members had sent over 100,000 letters to Congress in support of PROTECT IP/E-PARASITE. Of course, if you actually went to CreativeAmerica’s website, where the letter generator existed (and, again, unlike all of the letter generators for those against these bills, on CreativeAmerica’s site, no creativity is allowed — you can only send their exact message) you see the following:
I’m pretty sure I can count. And, um, 4,191 appears to be just a bit short of 100,000. Well, it actually appears to be 95,809 short. And while it might be okay to round up if you were actually getting close, I don’t think rounding up from 4,000 to 100,000 is particularly honest. Two of our regular contributors challenged the studio-run CreativeAmerica on this, and they were both told that CreativeAmerica was also counting the people who signed a Change.org petition. First of all, a petition is not a letter. They’re two separate things. So that seems a bit misleading. But, okay, in the spirit of giving Hollywood a fighting chance here, even if we grant them the petition signatures, a look at the actual petition shows the following:
Okay, that’s 33,000 more signatures. Even if we take all of these at face value, we’re at just about 37,500 signatures. Again, even at that point you can’t round up to 100,000. Well, I mean, you can, but it makes you a blatantly intellectually dishonest liar. CreativeAmerica: creative about numbers, apparently.
Oh, and let’s just take a look at the “reasons why people signed” the petition that CreativeAmerica is so proud of. It looks like almost half of the people who chose to leave a message are asking how to “unsign” the petition, because they didn’t realize that the group was an astroturf group looking to go against the best interests of actual artists. Here are a few examples:
So, it seems like a bunch of the folks who “signed” the petition are now asking to back out. Just for the sake of comparison, I spoke to the folks at Demand Progress to find out how many letters they had sent… and the answer is 100,000 in the last week alone, and they have the stats to prove it. On top of that, the Fight for the Future guys have been able to get over 80,000 people to sign petitions. So if we just look at that (and note that the CreativeAmerica campaign has been going on for much more than a week), it seems like CreativeAmerica is taking after its corporate masters on PROTECT IP/E-PARASITE: ignore what the data actually says and lie, lie, lie… all the way up to Capitol Hill.