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MPAA Admits to Losing PR War to the ‘Enemies of Copyright’

MPAA Admits to Losing PR War to the ‘Enemies of Copyright’

The MPAA apparently said that the “enemies of copyright have really done a good job at creating the false premise that the interest of copyright holders and the interest of society as a whole are antagonistic” during the World Copyright Summit. The worry is that their pro-copyright advocacy perspective is fading away in the public conscious.

In an interesting report from IP-Watch where there were a few choice words levelled against those that disagreed with the view-points of the copyright industry. Apparently, Fritz Attaway suggested that it’s false to assume that the rights of the industry and the interest of the public good are at odds. Maybe even giving the suggestion that 10 years of copyright debates is all just a big misunderstandings perpetuated by, using the black and white term, “enemies”.

So, where do these misunderstandings possibly come from anyway? We figured a short list might be in order: destroying Napster and Audio Galaxy and not creating an alternative for the get-go, raiding people’s homes because they uploaded Star Wars (not necessarily leaking it in the first place), hacking the URN hash and polluting FastTrack, hacking The Pirate Bay, having Viacom serve DMCA notices to people posting video’s of people eating in a restaurant on YouTube, suing tens of thousands of average American’s including fining one individual $222,000 for sharing a couple songs, saying that files in a shared directory is copyright infringement in court, saying that evidence is too hard to get and that the industry shouldn’t be burdened to prove their cases in court, suggesting that iPods are little more than little pirate ships, saying in court that even making one back-up copy of a DVD is illegal, lobbying to put in the DMCA, demanding that laws should be in place to prevent any tinkering with DRM including for research purposes, installing rootkits on people’s computers, installing spyware on people’s computers via the MediaMax technology, being outed for being hypocrites for pirating a documentary movie and claiming that it’ll only be in a safe place, tried to bring people a broadcast flag and telling people you can’t record TV shows if the broadcaster doesn’t like it, trying to bi-pass the backfiring of WIPO and the FCC to bring in the broadcast flag anyway, tried to get ISPs to do all the copyright industry’s dirty work, pressured and bullied other countries to implement laws the industry saw fit and using shady lobbying tactics to accomplish this, tried to sell us music that cannot be copied through the internet and on discs, tried to bi-pass the will of the European Union and get countries to pass “three strikes” laws even if artists disagree with it, attempted to price fix music albums, secretly hold negotiations to pass draconian copyright laws that would see people’s physical property effectively stolen on the mere suspicion of copyright infringement through ACTA, demanding that laws be passed that mandates the promotion of legal alternatives, then not providing the kind of deals that would allow legitimate services to flourish with internet groups and businesses like ISPs, alienate an entire generation by labelling their own customers as pirates, likened downloading music on the internet to terrorism, likened internet users who download music online to “bikey gangs”, spread blatantly false information about file-sharing, forcing people to watch anti-piracy ads on movies, suing people who had a recently deceased family member, argue that the industry is for artists, then going to court and demanding that royalty rates should be lower for artists – thus having to pay them less and keeping more money from album revenues, forcing radio broadcasters to pay royalties even if they don’t play music from the copyright industry, suing a lawyer for blogging about court cases related to copyright, and possibly the whole issue of listing countries that hold 70% of the world’s population and labelling some as rogue nations that need to update their copyright laws via the USTR Special 301 report – thus alienating many countries in the first place. Again, a short list of probably simple misunderstandings in the world of PR that have been taken out of context by the “enemies of copyright”.

At the very least, Fritz did have more to say: “We have got to do a better job” at attempting approaches at copyright protection “in a way that we get paid but also that consumers can access our works,” he added.

Perhaps not so noticeable and probably unintentional comment, but there is that whole concept of that this isn’t about creators being paid, much rather, copyright holders being paid which, in the industry, typically wind up being entirely different people. So, the use of the words “our works” could be considered quite appropriate for a number of people.

To his credit, he does say that the industry needs to do more of what they did with sites like Hulu. It’s nice for many to hear the industry talk about constructive things even though authorized websites tend to be vastly outnumbered by the number of unauthorized websites that offer unauthorized content. Attaway also said, “People are going to get it one way or the other. We would like them to pay for it and we need to seek out ways where they can pay for it. But just saying ‘no’ isn’t the answer.”

IP-Watch also features this fascinating excerpt:

Eduardo Bautista, president of the management board of Spanish collective management group, Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, agreed, saying, “We’ve done a lousy job. We should have been fired.”

President of the Consumer Electronics Association, Gary Shapiro, said, ”Recognise that kids today have been so turned off by the RIAA approach to litigation that they’re rejecting everything you say”. He then commented that there are those who think that there’s a big difference between physical property and intellectual property, saying “That’s hurting your case because you’re being rejected by anyone under 25 who is saying, ‘these guys are full of it,’”

So out of all of this discussion, it seemed as though there were a few interesting ideas, but they seem to conclude that the world needs to harmonize and legislate new copyright laws. Obviously, that’s not going to sit well for those who are worried over what ACTA has exposed as what the industry wants the world copyright laws to look like, (i.e. the concept of confiscating laptops and digital media players based on the assumption that copyright infringing files could be suspected of being on there or calling on the world to pass laws that would pave the way toward lawsuits as seen in the United States.

So really, one could argue that nothing has really changed outside of the odd comment that suggests a recognition of criticism. Still, very few people like the idea of a three strikes law – even ISPs are very reluctant to pull their weight behind such laws. Yet, laws like that are being pushed through in a number of countries anyway. The real question is, sure the copyright industry admits that they are losing the PR war, but does the industry really mind what the public thinks of them in the first place?

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Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson is perhaps one of the more well-known file-sharing and technology news writers around. A journalist in the field since 2005, his work has had semi-regular appearances on social news websites and even occasional appearances on major news outlets as well. Drew founded freezenet.ca and still contributes to ZeroPaid. Twitter | Google Plus
polyorchnid octopunch
polyorchnid octopunch

lonesomerobot: that's exactly how it's done in Canada. Somehow, that has resulted in us ending up on that list of countries that disdain copyright law.The CRIA got caught with their hand in the cookie jar on that surtax when they were lobbying for DMCA-like laws.I'm a professional musician and songwriter. Those people are dead, dead... none of us in my local community of artists think any of those people (CRIA, MPAA, RIAA etc) have anything other than their own pockets in mind. Fortunately, cheap recording tech and almost free distribution means that we can produce and distribute our own work and use it as a way to help us put paying butts in seats for performances. This is a bit hard on people who aren't in performing arts (writers and filmmakers, for example) but I'm sure they're going to figure out a way to do it too.The way we think like this? Because it's been very apparent that the distinction between "creators" and "owners" means that we don't get paid regardless. So fuck 'em.

lonesomerobot
lonesomerobot

as someone who used to work in copyright administration (until 2006), I can tell you only a very few of them get it.we already have a solution, and it works! when dual cassette decks were the scourge, legislation was passed that added a tiny surcharge to the media and recorders. the money was collected into a fund that was then dispersed based on record sales.the same thing could be done today - surcharge the means (i'm talking 1-2 cents on discs, 40-50 cents on burners and mp3 players, etc), create a reporting system for file sharing and downloads, and tell the consumers to have at it.copyright owners get paid, consumers get access without demonization, end of story.these people are so caught up in how we did it last century they're going to lose the farm.

Rich
Rich

Intellectual property fees MUST be collected at the ISP level, nowhere else. This is NOT a "tax" on internet services, this is the government getting the HELL out of the way and allow existing laws to collect for final point of distribution to consumer intellectual property.The feds MUST stop indemnifying AT&T against any wrongdoing like delivering property that doesn't belong to them, and charging a premium for this service. ASCAP is a non-governmental agency that collects for copyright holders from final-point-of-distribution entities like bars and restaurants and radio stations, because THEY are charging customers for the added value music brings to their establishments and broadcasts. ISPs MUST be forced to do the same, and the government needs to BUTT OUT.It is the way forward, and if you don't understand that, YOU butt out.

That One Guy Who Points Things Out on the Internet
That One Guy Who Points Things Out on the Internet

@Dave:You're right, but the reason they expected us to give them their wallets is because that's how it's always been. Large economic entities, whether a corporation, a railroad, or the aristocracy, have always done bupkiss for anyone, except take their money. The internet is the greatest tool in the history of humanity in finally fighting back against state-sanctioned theft.Oh, and Herr G: Invest in a new brain, maybe one that's open a bit. Biker gangs are referred to as "Bikeys" throughout the British Diaspora. Except in America.

t4toby
t4toby

Nice short list.Wankers.Shorter RIAA:How come the kids hate us? We're all hep cats!

Drew
Drew

> “We have got to do a better job” at attempting > approaches at copyright protection “in a way > that we get paid but also that consumers can > access our works,” he added.We *have* to get paid. Oh ... and I suppose people actually have to get something from us in return.

Herr Grammar
Herr Grammar

"bypass", "biker gangs".Invest in a spellchecker and grammar checker. I hear they're free.

dave
dave

Idiots. They basically pulled a knife on us, expected us to just hand them our wallets. They didn't realize that we were armed.They could have kept pretending that copyright meant something. They could have gone after commercial infringment - people who made money using works created by others - and it would be difficult to accuse them of wrongdoing. Instead, they pissed off people who want nothing more than to do what their parents taught them from day one: Play Nice. Share your toys. Help other people.

my name is a moron
my name is a moron

my name, do you have anything constructive to say or are you just an arrogant know it all show off? you have no friends im sure. A B your right on with your assment.

My Name
My Name

"having Viacom serve DMCA notices to people posting video’s of people eating in a restaurant on YouTube, suing tens of thousands of average American’s including"The plural of video is "videos", not "video's". The plural of American is "Americans", not "American's".

D.AN
D.AN

It is quite funny how they are still clueless.

Cujo
Cujo

losing? ,, lost!! ;)

A B
A B

They're losing the PR war because they consider it a PR war, instead of what it is.Its change. Change of a new system replacing an old one.PR wars don't sate appetites for something to be done better.

D.AN
D.AN

And of course, your comment also applies to your comment.



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