Open Offer To Chris Dodd & Cary Sherman: Meet The Internet Online And In The Open

from the no more backroom deals dept

We’ve covered how the RIAA’s Cary Sherman and the MPAA’s Chris Dodd have both taken the strategy of first slamming everyone who took part in the internet protests against SOPA/PIPA as somehow being misinformed corporate pawns… but then concluding by expressing a desire to “meet” to discuss solutions. The problem, of course, is that both of them still think that it was Google that killed SOPA/PIPA, and so their idea of a “meeting” is to get Google into a back room and to “negotiate a deal.” But, as many people have been pointing out, that isn’t going to cut it.

So let’s make a clear offer to Chris Dodd, Cary Sherman and the rest of the corporate supporters of SOPA/PIPA:

You want to meet? Let’s meet. But let the meeting be open and public. Let’s have it outside of DC. Pick a place. Let it involve representatives from public interest, civil service, consumer rights, human rights groups, as well as internet communities such as Reddit and Wikipedia. Let it involve the actual companies you seek to regulate as well, from the tech industry (meaning not just Google, but also the startups these bills would have hit the hardest), and the actual technologists who understand the impact of what you seek to do. And then let’s stream the whole thing online, and have it with a system that lets everyone, including those watching the stream, contribute comments and questions.

Is this of interest? Over the past few weeks I’ve spoken to numerous people representing a variety of different groups, and they’ve all expressed interest in such a meeting. So how about you? You asked for a meeting. The community is happy to meet. But we want it to be open and transparent. And we want real internet users to be able to take part.

So, let’s see if you’re serious.

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Companies: mpaa, riaa

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Comments on “Open Offer To Chris Dodd & Cary Sherman: Meet The Internet Online And In The Open”

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The Moondoggiesays:

Re: Re: They won't take it...

Twilight ruined vampire lore so much. Let’s all blame Hollywood.

And those two? They’re just trolls. Just kill them. Simple and clean and when done right, nobody will notice you did it. All those open forum bullshit they’re blabbing about? You can bet a hundred they won’t take it seriously.


Re: Representation...

I’d trust Hannibal Lecter more than I’d trust those two.

Also, given the LONG list of complaints I have, not the least of which is the pretty much gave everyone the finger when they thought they had the upper hand, I’m not interest in talking with either one now that they find they backed themselves into a corner.

My personal opinion is that as long people like Dodd and Sherman run the show, I am not willing to negotiate anything less than the total abolishment of copyright.

Chris From Polandsays:

These kinds of open forum meetings are happening around ACTA in Poland right now, but only after 150 000 people protested in two dozen cities. In the US, people still need to protest outside of their websites to be seen. The Occupy movement is fighting for something different, the anti-SOPA/PIPA folks should gather as well and go outside to be seen. If they don’t, than SOPA-supporters will still claim that Google was behind the “fuss”.



Of course they are serious. They want to meet behind the scenes with Google to see if making a “contribution” would change their mind on the matter. Opening it up to the public is just absurd.

Do you know how hard they would have to work to find everyone’s selling point (assuming they could be bought)? Let alone how much it would cost them? And I’m sure they wouldn’t get a bulk purchase discount like they would when buying, err, I mean, contributing to politicians campaigns.

With all the money the “economy” looses to piracy they can’t afford this.



Rallying support for corporations again i see

Well, keep posting, buddy, we’re all open to a decent well thought out comment, that brings to light an issue we might of overlooked, you never know, it may finally open our eyes entirely to you’re point of view, the benefiting of the corporations at the expense of the consumers, …….keep posting buddy, its our right and privilege to do so

You never know, there’s always dumb luck……..and you seem to be half way there, you just need a bit of encouragement…… come on son……….you can do it boy, reach for the stars you dumb sonofabitch


Re: Re:

Preaching to the choir friend

Yes, you’re right, my REPLY to a unconstructive comment, was, what do you know it, a tad unconstructive

I’ll make sure to come up with something constructive next time, so i can post something non constructive, as you’ve so eloquently demostrated

Apart from that, i agree, let them dig their own holes


Google's Data

If they are meeting with Google it is to see how they can use the data Google has.

Again, they don’t want to listen to consumers, they’d rather pay $$ to bribe Congress and Google for data on consumers.

It’s just to update their models on “what’s the latest trend” so they can reproduce it.

And the open meeting won’t fly because you want people there who understand technology and benefit from change (adapt). They might show up if Gene Simmons was there, as he clearly supports their legacy views. But OKGo or Wilco would be out of the question.

Don’t hold your breath Mike, but if it does come to pass, make it open to the Internet where we can ask questions too!


Why would they want to wade into a room full of screaming children? There is little advantage to them, little benefit. You can imagine that pretty much every question asked would be as slanted as Marcus Carab’s view of the world.

They have little to gain from such a spectacle, and everything to lose. I can’t see them wanting to play your game, sorry!

E. Zachary Knightsays:


Hey, if they don’t want to succeed in the modern world and die a horrible agonizing death, them more power to them. We have more than enough content from creative people who want to meet us. We don’t need dinosaurs.

Also, I think it is time for an intervention for you unhealthy infatuation with Marcus.


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re right, we are POTENTIAL customers waiting for content industries to offer what we want, in the way we want, at a price we are willing to pay.

Solve that riddle and we’ll make you money.

I subscribe to netflix, rent dvd’s from redbox both of which are successful companies. I refuse to pay 30 dollars for a blue ray, 5 dollars for on demand. Because of the internet, the cost of distribution is tiny. Content companies need to change their prices to start reflecting reality. Then they will have customers. Really simple IMHO.


Re: Re: Re:

The opportunity to appear human, open, and honest? The incredible boost to their reputation this could have if they played it correctly? Remember, this is just an open meet, they don’t have to agree to anything and set it in stone. If done properly then accepting this meetup and participating would the be ultimate PR move.

The RIAA and MPAA could jump in as well, buy airtime on major networks to have it broadcast to show that they really understand people’s issues before and want this to be much more open and honest legislation, and that they weren’t trying to censor the internet, just trying to deal with what they see is a legitimate issue in the modern world.

Then you craft and pass a crappy bill that has broad implications to technology and is susceptible to widespread abuse. But dammit you pretend you’re listening first!

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re:

In case you forgot, a meeting was THEIR IDEA. So what, you think they should chicken out? These geniuses of business, these kings of industry, can’t hold their own in front of a few “virtual monkeys”? Too scared? Worried about being humiliated? What is it? I thought the entertainment industry was supposed to be full of smart, competent people – this should be no big deal to them, right? If we are all completely wrong, then shouldn’t the “upside” for them be getting a chance to put all these issues to rest once and for all, and educate the public with their superior knowledge?

Or maybe, just maybe, do they realize that they don’t have a leg to stand on?

E. Zachary Knightsays:

Re: Re: Re:

They can do well listening to the market. They cannot benefit from sitting in a room that will be filled with virtual monkeys.

Those two sentences directly contradict each other. Those “virtual monkeys” as you so aptly put it is the market. By refusing to meet with the market after openly extending an invitation to do so would be far more damaging than actually meeting with it.


Re: Re: Re:

“Listening to the market,” indeed. Is that the market (1) that shows wild antipathy to SOPA and PIPA; (2) that has stopped going to see blockbuster sequels like “Transfomers 4” and stopped going to movie theaters because of the lousy movie-going experience; (3) that supports paying for value-add services, but refuses to be raped for lousy delivery of content that can be obtained through better, free mechanisms, the likes of which the MAFIAA refuses to consider developing; (4) that does not believe suing a blind man for streaming porn is a good practice?

I mean, I’m just wondering. Whenever market monkeys trot out “The Market,” I know they mean it in a haughty “Invisible Hand” kind of way, but it would be nice every once in a while to see it suggested that the invisible hand do something in order to prove itself useful.



Why would they want to wade into a room full of screaming children? There is little advantage to them, little benefit. You can imagine that pretty much every question asked would be as slanted as Marcus Carab’s view of the world. …

Don’t worry, I am certain the tech experts can handle the crying, pissing, and moaning coming from the **AA babies. As for why they may wish to engage in this activity? Well, look no further than grassroots efforts to retire those members of Congress who failed to listen and paid heed to the growing dissatisfaction of the public.

Keep thumbing your nose and underestimating your opponents (hint: NOT GOOGLE) and you may have even more problems on your hands…

Tim Ksays:


They have little to gain from such a spectacle, and everything to lose. I can’t see them wanting to play your game, sorry!

By this statement I can only assume that you mean they would lose all their bs claim that it’s only google, and you trolls would lose your arguments of ‘but, but, it’s just kids!’ And they have absolutely nothing to gain, because in a real adult discussion, not one stacked, people could clearly see (for the few that don’t already) just how full of shit they really are



“Why would they want to wade into a room full of screaming children?”

Ah yes, why listen to the concerns of huge numbers of people from every background, political affiliation and industry when you can just wave them off with a stereotypical insult?

Seriously, though, you’re the ones who have been attacking concerned paying consumers as “pirates” for several years. What are you? Too chicken to listen to real opinions?



“You can imagine that pretty much every question asked would be as slanted as Marcus Carab’s view of the world. “

Notice the apeal to imagination.

A: [citation needed]

B: They could also ask (slanted) questions back if they want to.

C: Your comment is a slanted comment.

D: Slanted questions, like what? Can you provide any possible examples?

“There is little advantage to them, little benefit. … They have little to gain from such a spectacle, and everything to lose.”

Aren’t laws supposed to be to benefit the public. Why should everything be about them? What about the public interest, shouldn’t that be the primary focus here? Is your comment a tacit admission that they, and their laws, have no intent on benefiting the public, but only their own private interests?

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam)says:


This. Citizens are nothing but screaming selfish children that will rob and steal as it pleases them. There is simply no point consulting with such immature, ignorant people when there are important matters to discuss among the knowledgeable and intelligent. This is why populist systems of government like democracy and republics will never work.


Re: Re:

So should 300 million people be engaged on the FY 2014 budget? Maybe we can have 300 million negotiators for ACTA. Call your representative. That’s what they’re there for. And when you speak to him ask him if there is a functioning government anywhere in the world with the level of engagement you seem to think is warranted.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam)says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’ll consider doing so. But first I’d like to ask you if there is a functioning government anywhere in the world where the majority of people who make the laws do not understand any of the laws they make.

Personally I’m of the belief that such a thing cannot theoretically exist, but I invite you to prove me wrong.


Re: Private Negotiation with Google

That would be a violation of the closed camera meeting and Google would be sued.

Yes Google has money, but the RIAA/MPAA can collect more and have more lawyer friends (their only friends?) than Google.

I doubt Anonymous would support Google in such a situation given Google’s data mining actions.


Re: Re: Re: Private Negotiation with Google

Are you sure? I’ve dealt with BoG meetings where they were “In Camera” meaning no one could attend who wasn’t invited and it could not be recorded or discussed outside said meeting.

Considering it was the BoG for a dorm/sub-college for a university, I found it strange they would NOT want to include students who’s dorm fees provide them with the ability to make changes they propose.

Anyhow, the rule was if In Camera, you could not discuss or anything. You had to wait for what was agreed to be released. Which meant you can’t record, audio or video, and share publicly.

If caught, it was implied there would be strong repercussions, legal ones. That’s what we were told by a student on the BoG who said she could not say anything discussed. She’s not stupid or naive either, so I trust she was correct on that.

But I could be wrong, as she could be wrong.

Hak Foosays:

I’m only interested if they do the public forum in the form of pro wrestling, not political debate. I think we ALL want to see Chris Dodd, in some ridiculous character outfit (may I suggest “The Human Great Firewall?”) talking in the third person, and finally getting that well-deserved break-away folding chair to the back.

And much like pro wrestling, it will end up being an amusing show of little real consequence.


Yes and after that meeting maybe we can put a few thousand people in the room and fix the budget. Then from there, we can solve the gay marriage quandary, abortion, capital punishment and a few other issues that plague the country. I’ve got news for you- even Google doesn’t want the unwashed masses at the table. Best you could hope for is tech rep, content people, congressional staffers and someone from PK or CDT. No one is going to create a circus to placate the digital anarchists.


Yes and after that meeting maybe we can put a few thousand people in the room and fix the budget. Then from there, we can solve the gay marriage quandary, abortion, capital punishment and a few other issues that plague the country. I’ve got news for you- even Google doesn’t want the unwashed masses at the table. Best you could hope for is tech rep, content people, congressional staffers and someone from PK or CDT. No one is going to create a circus to placate the digital anarchists.

Your ability to predict the future is already suspect. Shall I point the crowd to your old comments about how SOPA/PIPA were slam dunks that were going to pass easily?

And so what about what Google wants? You’re still under the misapprehension that this was and is driven by Google. You’re wrong.

Just the fact that you refer to the wider public as “digital anarchists” shows your contempt for the real stakeholders here.

Fact it: you’re an obsolete DC “insider” who is freaked out that your role of shoving through bad legislation just became significantly harder. Keep peddling your fiction.


Re: Re:

Just the fact that you refer to the wider public as “digital anarchists” shows your contempt for the real stakeholders here.

The digital anarchists are those who do not respect the intellectual property rights of others and do everything they can, including acts of cyber-terrorism to impose their view of the way copyright should be enforced. If the shoe fits……

Re: Re: Re:

I like how you ignore the larger point of my comment concerning your previous assurances that SOPA and PIPA were done deals and guaranteed to pass.

The digital anarchists are those who do not respect the intellectual property rights of others and do everything they can, including acts of cyber-terrorism to impose their view of the way copyright should be enforced. If the shoe fits……

There may be a small group of idiots, who we’ve called out repeatedly for doing dumb things.

To think they represent the wider protests is another of your mistakes.

Underestimating what you’re facing is not going to help your employer.

Dave Msays:

In all seriousness, can you imagine ANY sort of progress happening in such a noisy situation? Even if everyone was in agreement of the goal, every other question will be a derail into some minor detail. It would be out of control.

Boiling it down to some representatives from groups like wiki, reddit, EFF, etc, would be more reasonable. Those representatives of course could choose to pick up questions from those in their respective groups.. but the vast majority of us would have to be audience only.

I know you hate to hear it, but put yourself in his shoes. You can’t negotiate with the entire internet simutaniously. It needs to be boiled down to a reasonable number of faces to communicate to if any meaningful conversation is to take place.

Straight up just picking random people to talk will surely turn up people who are out to troll him or are just plain not informed enough and will get rolled.

explicit cowardsays:


The problem is:

There are already representatives for “the vast majority” – they get elected periodically! But they do not act in the interest of said majority. Either because

– they don’t know what the majority wants (bad)
– they know what the majority wants but think they know better (worse)


– they don’t care what the majority wants because they have been bribed (catastrophic)

That’s the problem with representative democracy: The (few) representatives can be bought.

But fortunately we live in a time and age where this sort of representation is not needed at all times. While hundred years ago it took a lot of time to count votes, today we have the means to do it instantaneously.

Alien Bardsays:

I can just see the discussion transcript now…

MAFIAA rep: You wrong, me right.

Tech rep: I don’t understand, in what way do you feel I am wrong?

MAFIAA rep: You wrong, me right!

Google Rep: We are here to discuss what we can do to reduce the problems of piracy. We suggest that offering your customers improved shopping methods and easier access to their goods will go a long way to reducing piracy.

MAFIAA rep: You wrong, me right!!

Tech rep: Can you explain exactly how making it a felony for your customers to watch or listen to your media in the manner of their own choosing will help?

MAFIAA rep: You all freeloading pirate loving terrorists!!! Me right, you wrong.

Google rep: sigh We have explained in detail why you proposed method of censoring sites is not feasible from either an economic or security perspective.

MAFIAA rep: you wrong, me right!

Tech rep: This is hopeless, we may as well go home now. I hate to do it though, ’cause it means he’ll get the last word.

MAFIAA rep: You wrong me right!!

Tech and Google reps leave.

MAFIAA rep: See, I must be right! Otherwise you would have shown my assumptions to be wrong. You can’t even defend you pirate friends in an open meeting. Your silence proves it completely; you wrong, me right!!!



That’s why you are fail at this.

We, the Internetz, for the first time, have a seat at every table. The world is no longer about your limited view of the world; companies, politicians and the military. The internet exposes all the corruption, back door dealing and propaganda which have stifled democracy until now.

Oh, and you might as well pack your bags and give up now. Free speech always wins.



What insurgency? Unless of course you mean that people standing up for their rights and decrying the corruption of IP laws over the years from monopolies granted for short periods of time to ones now almost stretching into eternity.

There was no insurgency. There was a democratic an open discussion and debate and the people won.

You remember that, don’t you? “We, the People…” and all the rest of it?

It didn’t start out “We, the Special Interests…” or “We, the Lobbyists with truckloads of cash….” or anything like that it started out “We, the People…”

If you think it was an insurgency then no lessons were learned, nothing learned that you can take back to your employer which destroys your value to them. If standing up for everything the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution is an insurrection then you learned nothing. And we, too, look forward to the next round.

Bring it on.



That’s adorable.

Like and ant saying to an elephant “Ok, you won round one, but round two is MINE DAMMIT!”

Wake up and smell the coffee. You try and paint Mike as the problem, and if you could win against him, everything would just be jim dandy, sparkles and rainbows.

Actually, it’s the entire free world which is against your myopic view of how things work. The internet is the ULTIMATE printing press! (Well at least until telepathy comes along)

Reid Masonsays:

Are you threatening us, Anonymous Coward?

Posts 75 and 82-84:

Everyone who fought against SOPA/PIPA, ACTA, and soon TPP are “anarchists,” “cyber-terrorists,” and “an insurgency”? “Lessons were learned” in how to deal with us? Just what are you advocating? That the millions who are fighting against internet censorship literally be treated as terrorists? That we be imprisoned en masse? Because you sure seem the type to want that. You really don’t care at all about civil liberties, free expression, open markets, or even basic fairness. You want a corporate tyranny, full stop.

Hate to break it to you, but we’re not going to give up our civil liberties just so your corporate bosses can sleep better at night. We will literally fight to the death to preserve our rights, and no amount of corporate rhetoric is going to change that. You want to call us terrorists and anarchists? Be prepared for us to fight back. History has shown the people have zero use for tyrants and dictators, and your kind absolutely qualify.


Re: Are you threatening us, Anonymous Coward?

We will literally fight to the death to preserve our rights,

To illegally take the creative output of someone else without compensating the rightful owner?????

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha……….takes a breath ……….hahahahahahahahahahahahha

There’s a big difference between signing a petition or sending an e-mail, and taking a bullet (like it would ever escalate to that…)

The current law in the US is far more onerous than the proposals of SOPA. So why aren’t you out in the street rioting? Don’t bother. The answer is that you’re soft and wouldn’t conceive of putting yourself at risk.


Re: Re: Are you threatening us, Anonymous Coward?

Then SOPA was not a problem was it?
Now about the taking a bullet part, people just don’t need to, you see copyright was always optional on the public level, people don’t depend on the government to exist in fact they can exist without one and I doubt you will have the balls to intrude in every home to watch what others are doing so you can have absolute control of your little monopoly otherwise people will just disregard it and the more annoyed they get the less they will fallow it.

Yes people can and will take what is in the public space for free, the public space is not yours is for everyone and every resource in there is a common resource, trying to lock it down for the benefit of a few harms every single person on earth and that is why no one will ever respect your little monopoly.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Are you threatening us, Anonymous Coward?

To illegally take the creative output of someone else without compensating the rightful owner?????

You mean like the labels did in Canada?
You mean like the collection societies who can’t find artists they owe money to, because they refuse to look?
You mean like Vevo using a pirated stream to entertain their guests?
You mean like Hollywood accounting showing top grossing films to be losers on paper to avoid paying money to artists?

Resorting to violence only makes them feel justified in their insane crackdowns, dismantling their lives piece by piece, bit by bit is far more effective.
While you can’t conceive of it, maybe you should notice its an election year. It does not matter how much you and your cronies pour into the waters to get your way, you still can’t buy off each and every voter who signed those petitions.

You’d like us to be violent so you could paint us as thugs out to destroy you, so you can make a play for sympathy.
The simple truth is your outmatched.
The business models of the past are no longer viable and the out boys network of protecting you is cracking.
Once you forgot it was about serving customers, and decided it was about wringing out every possible penny as many times as possible from customers you showed how little you cared. Consumers are now showing you how little they care about you.
Like Icarus you flew to close to the sun, your wings have melted… enjoy your short ride at terminal velocity.
You will not be missed, but your crater will stand as a symbol to remind those who replace you to never think you are above it all.


Let's meet then

For goodness sake. Let’s have the meeting.

I’m as cynical as anyone else here about just what it might accomplish but there’s no harm in trying.

It would be important that Dodd and Sherman are treated with respect even if there’s no necessity to treat their views and the views the represent respectfully.

It’s just as important that Dodd and Sherman actually listen to what’s being said and treat that with some degree of respect even if they disagree.

Equally important that the meeting not devolve into the mob scene our beltway insider troll seems to be sure it will. (Though that might be closer to debate on the floor of Congress it just doesn’t look good.)

The meeting wouldn’t solve anything. But it could be the start of them understanding that the revolt wasn’t Google fueled but was fueled by people who were concerned that SOPA and PIPA would erode constitutional rights, impair the development of new and better ways of doing things and actually speed progress and the economic recovery. Keeping in mind that a free and fully functional Internet is vital to that recovery as is a thriving tech sector.

Ultimately that neither the internet or the tech sector are their enemy. It’s a reality they need to adapt to.

No communication is going to start unless something like this meeting is held. The ones with the most to lose by a failure here are the RIAA and the MPAA and the IP maximalists who have already lost the day.

Let’s meet.


Re: Let's meet then

Let’s meet.

I can assure you they are meeting all the time with tech interests, professional apologist groups (PK et al) and legislative staff and others representative of stakeholders. The ones not involved (and never will be) are the anarchists and crazies who completely discount copyright and intellectual property rights. Those nutters (like most of the Techdirt community) will bring nothing to the table except their shrill complaints. Masnick won’t be there and neither will you.


just us old folks

I remember back in the 80s when some brain-wave researcher friends of mine were doing research work for the Air Force and were using a thing called the DARPA-Net which was then being developed by you-know-who — whoda thunk.

Sometimes when I hear folks speaking of the government ruining the Internet (as we-ve come to know it) it reminds me of the line from the 2008 elections:

Keep your government hands off of my Medicare.

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