Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
The Media Your Rights Online

RIAA Chief Whines That SOPA Opponents Were "Unfair" 525

First time submitter shoutingloudly writes "In a NY Times op-ed today, RIAA chief Cary H. Sherman accuses the opponents of SOPA of having engaged in shady rhetorical tactics. He (wrongly) accuses opponents such as Wikipedia and Google of having disseminated misinformation about the bills. He lashes out at the use of the term 'censorship,' which he calls a 'loaded and inflammatory term.' Most Slashdot readers will get the many unintentional jokes in this inaccurate, hypocritical screed by one of the leaders of the misinformation-and-inflammatory-rhetoric-wielding content industry lobby." A gem: "As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because 'old media' draws a line between 'news' and 'editorial.' Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RIAA Chief Whines That SOPA Opponents Were "Unfair"

Comments Filter:
  • by Life2Short ( 593815 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @01:34PM (#38968819)
    I'd call that fair use. And by the way, I'm shocked, shocked [] to find that Wikipedia and Google would stoop so low.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @01:43PM (#38968985)

    So, the RIAA was around in 1654?!

    From OED, definition fo Piracy:

    "2. The unauthorized reproduction or use of an invention or work of another, as a book, recording, computer software, intellectual property, etc., esp. as constituting an infringement of patent or copyright; plagiarism; an instance of this.

    [1654 J. Mennes Recreation for Ingenious Head-peeces clxxvi, All the wealth, Of wit and learning, not by stealth, Or Piracy, but purchase got.]
    1700 E. Ward Journey to Hell ii. vii. 14 Piracy, Piracy, they cry'd aloud, What made you print my Copy, Sir, says one, You're a meer Knave, 'tis very basely done.
    1770 P. Luckombe Conc. Hist. Printing 76 Theywould suffer by this act of piracy, since it was likely to prove a very bad edition.
    1855 D. Brewster Mem. Life I. Newton (new ed.) I. iv. 71 With the view of securing his invention of the telescope from foreign piracy.
    1886 Cent. Mag. Feb. 629/1 That there are many publishers who despise such piracydoes not remove the presumption that publishers and papermakers have been influential opponents of an equitable arrangement.
    1977 Gramophone Apr. 1527/3 Governments have begun to realize that unauthorized reproduction of records (so-called piracy) adversely affects also the rights ofcomposers, authors and performers.
    1996 China Post (Taipei) 1 May 16/3 Authorities here said they have cracked down on piracy in recent years, but foreign computer firms claim they are still soft on piracy."

  • by Nugoo ( 1794744 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @01:44PM (#38969013)
    What are you talking about? Those are totally different. The RIAA had to redefine theft. SOPA is practically a textbook implementation of censorship.
  • by kipsate ( 314423 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @01:46PM (#38969041)
    You're making it sound as if it is a stretch to call SOPA censorship. It is not.
  • by Tharsman ( 1364603 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @01:47PM (#38969045)

    The part I found the funniest was the "gem"

    A gem: "As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because 'old media' draws a line between 'news' and 'editorial.' Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact."

    I am not sure what retcon he is trying to inflict. I saw a lot of news broadcasts, tv shows, entertainment programs, some owned by "Pro SOPA" organizations, actually supporting the frigging anti SOPA movement! If "old media" is so right, then... SOPA is indeed bad!!! But no. He just relies on the old "lets tell them no one talked about it and hope they don’t remember that 'old media' did speak about it."

  • Re:Come on (Score:5, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @01:50PM (#38969113)

    There are valid reasons to fight against piracy

    There are plenty of laws on the books to help companies pursue copyright, patent, and trademark violations. SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA are about creating this: []

    By turning this: []

    Into a fancy version of this: []

    Using tactics borrowed from this: []

    We do not need more legislation, we need innovative business models that monetize entertainment in new ways. As long as there is an Internet and people can buy general purpose (read: not restricted by DRM) computers that connect to the Internet, there will be downloading. Future business models for the entertainment industry will have to use downloading in some profitable way (this is not terribly far fetched -- musicians have been known to use filesharing systems as a form of free advertising).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @01:57PM (#38969199)

    Maybe in a few years it will be called copyright rape or intellectual property murder.

    Only fitting, since the MPAA compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @02:02PM (#38969287)

    He still doesn't get that what happened was the people who consume the content

    Don't forget: quite a few of the people who actually create that content(as opposed to simply distribute it) opposed it too.

  • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @02:38PM (#38969995)

    Oh good, you took everything out of context to prove your point. Usage in that sense came from the actual "pirate at sea stealing things" sense.

    And in every example you have given except for 1996, these are the "traditional" meanings of piracy. Even the 1996 entry probably relates to selling counterfeit software, which is common in poor parts of Asia. A physical good is either copied mechanically or reproduced on another medium. Of course the 1654 quote is not long enough to tell if it involves ships.

    I don't see any evidence that anyone but the BSA / MAFIAA and media printing MAFIAA quotes have brought "unauthorized use" into the common usage of the word "piracy" until the pre-BSA did in the 1970's. The very concept of copying without using a physical medium did not exist until the digital age.

    Copying a disc and selling the disc, whether it's music or software, or movie, meets the pre-MAFIAA definition. But it does not meet the "downloading without paying for it" definition from the 1970's, and I draw a clear line between monetary gain and gainless copying.

    Piracy is a subset of copyright infringement which downloading is not a part of, and this overloaded usage equates violently storming a ship at see and plundering its booty with clicking a link and having something without paying for it.

    I believe in the evolution of language, but this is not an acceptable overload of the word. We should not accept such usage.

    In US law, which is what the MAFIAA follow and what we are discussing for SOPA/PIPA, Piracy is almost always either accompanied by "profiteering" in the sense of counterfeit or otherwise copied tangible items, or specifically qualified as in "Cyberpiracy" such as 15 USC 1129.

    The RIAA website answers the "Piracy" question with specifics using "copyright infringement" and "unauthorized", not "piracy" []

    A report to Congress summarizes the usage of the term "piracy", and software/music/movies are not mentioned. []

    It has only caught on in sound bites from MAFIAA, therefore I don't accept the redefinition.

  • by sacremon ( 244448 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @03:06PM (#38970449)

    "They also argued misleadingly that the bills would have required Web sites to “monitor” what their users upload, conveniently ignoring provisions like the “No Duty to Monitor” section. "

    Having just read through HR. 3261 (SOPA), the only mention of "No Duty to Monitor" applies to Payment Network Providers (the people who process credit card charges) and Internet Advertising Services (services that send ads to various websites). There is no "No Duty to Monitor" at all for Internet Sites, Internet Search Engines or Service Providers.

    So, no, they were not conveniently ignoring those provisions, because those provisions do not apply to Web sites.

  • by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @03:37PM (#38970873)

    This. CNN didn't even cover it before the plans for the blackout solidified, and even then, there was only a couple articles in their "tech" section. Until the actual blackout on January 18th, then they actually had an article on the main page about it, and the article was pretty simplistic at that. The actual reasons for opposing SOPA were all but ignored...

    At least they admitted their parent company, Time Warner, was a supporter of SOPA/PIPA. It got all of a single line in the article, but they admitted it. How many other "news" organizations admitted their own involvement in the creation of these bills?

    This entire situation only got coverage in the MSM when they were forced to cover it due to the opposition online. If not for the blackout, they wouldn't have said a word, despite the fact that there was serious opposition going on for weeks before that point...

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam