Pols Reverse Their Position on Piracy, But Big Content Slaps Back

According to Mashable and Forbes, yesterday’s blackout by Wikipedia, and other sites (including this one) caused some pols to rethink their position.

PIPA co-sponsor Florida Sen. Marco Rubio pulled his name from the bill Wednesday, and SOPA co-sponsor Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle pulled his name Tuesday.

But the war ain’t over. An entertainment industry lobbying group by the name of Creative America (a dubious name) is flooding the airwaves today with this tripe:

Creative America also ran a billboard in New York’s Times Square on Wednesday reading, “What to do during an Internet blackout” and suggested the public read books, listen to music or watch movies.

In related news, not everyone in the entertainment industry is for draconian measures (which would result from such legislation). Musicians Trent Reznor, Amanda Palmer and OK Go, among other creative professionals, have published an open letter to Washington expressing their concerns about SOPA/PIPA. Here’s a clip from that letter:

We are deeply concerned that PIPA and SOPA’s impact on piracy will be negligible compared to the potential damage that would be caused to legitimate Internet services. Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods.

Speaking of damage to legitimate Internet services, this whole issue reminds me of the very serious run-ins with Internet companies trying to protect themselves from copyright wrath that I have had to deal with. Google-owned YouTube pulled my account out from under me for alleged copyright violations, when in fact the material I was posting was supplied by the copyright owners and their agents. YouTube also provided zero recourse for their abrupt actions, and the case remains unsolved.

Apple is another problem company that gets between the consumer of media and entertainment and the producers of said material. By infecting their files with Digital Rights Management (DRM), Apple clearly sides with Big Content and against their own customers, like me, who at one time spent liberally in the iTunes store. As I have written previously, I paid the price for Apple’s poor decisions when I changed my User ID in the iTunes store three years ago, and then lost the ability to play any of the music I had purchased under that ID. An Apple customer care professional did try to walk me through it on the phone, but he was unable to solve the problem, so it too remains an open wound.

I might add that Facebook has also flagged several commercials that I have uploaded to the AdPulp page on their site, but unlike YouTube, Facebook sides with their own users when the users properly contest uninformed judgements.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.