This is old news, but I didn’t see it until today. The day before the yesterday’s internet blackout in protest of the SOPA/PIPA bills, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), one of the largest anti-piracy looby groups, released a statement concerning the black-out.
Not surprisingly, the MPAA claims the demonstrations are the works of corporations for their own business interests, and ”stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns”. This is laughable. The largest foundation (not corporation) to take part in the black-out was the Wikimedia Foundation (responsible for among other services Wikipedia). Wikimedia Foundation is completely non-for-profit and the only way they get around each month is through donations from their users. Most sites that participated in the protest (at least thousands, maybe tens of thousands) are minor blogs and websites that are entirely non-for-profit or even cost their webmasters money.
This is not the work of corporations. This is the work of millions of individuals saying ”no” to the mafia works of MPAA. The only corporation in this drama that is out to ”punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns” is MPAA. And I still buy their DVDs and go see their films in the cinema.
That comment alone would have been enough for an outraged post. But no, MPAA had to mess things up even more. Apparently unaware of the concepts of democracy and free speech, they also commented that it ”is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ‘blackout’ to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”
That’s right. They’re not even hiding it any more. The MPAA is clearly and without doubt asking of the Congress to step in and ask the protesters to quit protesting. Because we are making their job so much harder.
I won’t even comment on the fact that they claim piracy is ”a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging”.