The MPAA is Using Underhanded Political Games to Undermine Google & Revive SOPA

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    A new report was just filed on the web from Google pointing to some very shady shenanigans perpetrated by the (Motion Picture Association of America) MPAA and Hollywood. Google has pointed out several reports which detail the MPAA's underhanded attempts to put a vice-hold on Google behind the scenes.

    Supposedly, the MPAA is still "smarting" from the pain of their loss on the failed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) legislation which would have created a strangle-hold on free speech across the web. Google was one of the primary leaders of a massive movement of people which stopped that legislation in its tracks.

    Since then, The MPAA has been lobbying State legislatures behind the scenes to more aggressively block Google, and revive some version of SOPA for the future. Furthermore, they even hired a law firm for the express purpose of attacking Google, and are colluding behind the scenes with the Mississippi State Attorney General, amongst other things. Google calls the MPAA out and expresses their deep legal concern on this matter.

    When you boil it all down, Google is basically pointing out the hypocrisy of the MPAA. This organization is meant to help protect free speech, but instead they are actively trying to censor the Internet. We've included the full statement from Google in the thread below (and the source link as well). It's definitely worth a read so you can see just how shady things are going behind the scenes on this topic.

    Source: Google Blog
     
  2. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    Here's that full statement from Google on the MPAA matter:

    "The MPAA’s Attempt to Revive SOPA Through A State Attorney General
    Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Posted by Kent Walker, SVP and General Counsel

    We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed SOPA legislation through other means, and helped manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood.

    Almost three years ago, millions of Americans helped stop a piece of congressional legislation—supported by the MPAA—called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). If passed, SOPA would have led to censorship across the web. No wonder that 115,000 websites—including Google—participated in a protest, and over the course of a single day, Congress received more than 8 million phone calls and 4 million emails, as well as getting 10 million petition signatures.

    Here is what recent press reports have revealed over the past few days about the MPAA’s campaign:

    The MPAA conspired to achieve SOPA’s goals through non-legislative means
    According to The Verge, “at the beginning of this year, the MPAA and six studios … joined together to begin a new campaign” to figure how it could secretly revive SOPA. It “joined together to begin a new campaign” to achieve wholesale site-blocking by “[convincing] state prosecutors to take up the fight against [Google].” The movie studios “budgeted $500,000 a year towards providing legal support”—and the MPAA later sought up to $1.175 million for this campaign.

    The MPAA pointed its guns at Google
    With that money, the MPAA then hired its long-time law firm Jenner & Block to go after Google while also funding an astroturf group—the Digital Citizens Alliance—with the same goal of attacking Google. (Source: The New York Times).

    The MPAA did the legal legwork for the Mississippi State Attorney General
    The MPAA then pitched Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood, an admitted SOPA supporter, and Attorney General Hood sent Google a letter making numerous accusations about the company. The letter was signed by General Hood but was actually drafted by an attorney at Jenner & Block—the MPAA’s law firm. As the New York Times has reported, the letter was only minimally edited by the state Attorney General before he signed it. Here is what the document showed about its true origin:
    [​IMG]
    We've redacted the name of the attorney to protect her privacy

    Even though Google takes industry-leading measures in dealing with problematic content on our services, Attorney General Hood proceeded to send Google a sweeping 79-page subpoena, covering a variety of topics over which he lacks jurisdiction. The Verge reported that the MPAA and its members discussed such subpoenas and certainly knew about this subpoena’s existence before it was even sent to Google.

    Attorney General Hood told the Huffington Post earlier this week that the MPAA "has no major influence on my decision-making,” and that he “has never asked [the] MPAA a legal question” and “isn't sure which lawyers they employ.” And yet today the Huffington Post and the Verge revealed that Attorney General Hood had numerous conversations with both MPAA staff and Jenner & Block attorneys about this matter.

    While we of course have serious legal concerns about all of this, one disappointing part of this story is what this all means for the MPAA itself, an organization founded in part “to promote and defend the First Amendment and artists' right to free expression.” Why, then, is it trying to secretly censor the Internet?"
     
  3. Heero121

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    i dont care what political party someone aligns with to me its just choosing between the lesser of two evils, that being said, none of this would have happened, if the supreme court had NOT made the decision that money = speech. im not sure if i worded that correctly..so let me clarify.MONEY SHOULD NOT EQUAL SPEECH. ahem..That ruling alone has set precedent for some really corrupt practices. In a nation where 99.8% are not controlling the wealth, then (as per the supreme court ruling) essentially 0.2% of the population has the power of "speech" that over runs the majority of the population. I would like to say the people shouldnt be afraid of the government, and the government should be afraid of the people..but that simply isnt applicable. More fitting would be People should not be afraid of the corporations, however, Corporations should be afraid of the people!
     
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  4. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    I think it was Thomas Jefferson that said "when the people fear the government it's called totalitarian. When the government fears the people it's called democracy".
    Might've been Reagan.

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  5. thunderbolt_nick

    thunderbolt_nick Thunderbolt Rescue Squad
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    Are we honestly surprised these people keep trying to revive SOPA? One of these days they will try and breakthrough and pass this thing. That day will be one in infamy.
     
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  6. FoxKat

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    Although I "liked" your comment @thunderbolt_nick , rather than "Agree", I only did so because I HOPE you're wrong! No disrespect intended, but if your prediction is true, it will be perhaps the single biggest turning point in the systematic and long-suffered dismantling of the Constitution of the United States of America in the better than 200 year history.

    I don't want to turn this into a political discussion for many reasons, not the least of which it's against the forum's guidelines, however I will say the following from a historical perspective. I believe in the greatest document in the history of modern mankind (differentiating it from documents written thousands of years ago so as not to diminish the importance of those which also deserve similar accolades).

    At the end of the Constitutional Convention, George Washington said, “I do not expect the Constitution to last for more than 20 years.” Instead of lasting 20 years, proving its tenacity, flexibility and brilliance it has stood the test of time for over 200 years.Today, the United States has oldest written constitution in the world. Why has the Constitution survived?

    The framers of the Constitution established the broad structure of government but also left the system flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions. The U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world. Perhaps one of the main reasons it has lasted so long is that it is less which is more. By building a strong and resilient framework, it allows for adaptation without dismantling. Sometimes it's better in construction to gut a building with "good bones", and simply re-outfit it with new walls and floors. I say that's what is likely the reason the Constitution of the United States of America has lasted so long.
     
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  7. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    Can't really respond to that without getting political. Where's that last post wins thread....

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  8. mountainbikermark

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    I had this basic discussion with a buddy recently when he said "the constitution needs to be rewritten because it's too vague". I told him "its vagueness is why it has lasted so long that amendments could be added as needed but the original document is just fine the way it is". We elect officials, who in turn decide what is done in said cabinets and and departments by those they appoint. The solution to these problems of defining free speech, how to police the internet, etc are the responsibility of We the People at the voting booth. As long as We the People keep reelecting criminals and thugs (yes I said thugs) , or replacing them with new criminals and thugs We the People will continue to lose our rights and privileges. While We sleep evil progresses in our government. There is only 1 political party in this nation now, republicrat, that is led by the 4th branch of government, the mega corporation which pulls the strings of the elected officials from both major political parties.
    This thread by its very nature is a political issue and steering clear of politics is ignoring the elephant in the room.

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  9. thunderbolt_nick

    thunderbolt_nick Thunderbolt Rescue Squad
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    I knew what you meant. No harm no foul because I do not want it to even be brought up again in a political arena...ever! I wish I could say what I normally say in these cases, "That I understand the reasoning behind it." I really don't. It's just like the Internet's version of the 'Patriot Act' in my opinion.

    Exactly why governing bodies like the FTC (Or is it FCC...I'm way too tired) should really consult these for such matters. What's funny is that I'm the type of person who doesn't really care about having a right to privacy for myself. I understand why most people do want it though in both small and big forms. Although, I am not one of those people who are a defeatist and just say, "I don't have anything to hide so take over my computer." Give me a reason first and if I feel it is probable cause...fine whatever go ahead and pop open the trunk because I already buried the dead body miles ago (gotta have fun with them sometimes). One of my other favorites was the NSA email reading I'm like, "They have the perfect business! I don't even read my email! Just sum it all up like Inbox does and charge a monthly nominal fee and send me an email with a brief summary of what I got during the week XD."

    In all seriousness though, there does seem to be a gray area where...I don't know about you guys but I feel there shouldn't be. Privacy is privacy and fairness is fairness. One person shouldn't get more privilege over another because of class or status. Trying to censor the Internet seems...stupid? People will just say what they want for one and two...Google isn't responsible for what a user tries to search for. In my opinion, maybe the MPAA should work with the FTC to combat copyright infringement rather than simply blaming one company for what their users search for.
     
    #9 thunderbolt_nick, Dec 20, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  10. mountainbikermark

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    That's where it gets sticky. By right, your inbox is yours, what you search for is yours, private I both accounts. The reason I post photos of Google/cyberdine is Google legally snoops your inbox and your searches in order to attempt to make money, like a grocery store or other uses your shopping history tied into your savings card. Where it got out of whack was when the government got access to your history and now wants to decide what history you're allowed to have. Where it's political is the party in power gets to decide what's legal and what's not and they base these decisions on what will get them re-elected or more influence/power within the government. Lobbyists pump a lot of money into the system in order to influence the politicians to vote in ways that what's legal is in THEIR best interest, not yours.
    It's a slippery slope that only puts a tighter leash on rights as more are taken away. The less rights you have the less freedom you have to do something once the line gets crossed. In many instances in the past totalitarian government came into power by the will of the people not knowing the consequences of what they demanded from their government. Hitler was the unintended consequence of the will of the people of Germany. By the time they realized what had happened it was too late to change it, they no longer had the ability to do so.

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  11. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    ^^ exactly Mark^^
    And IMO the mentality that the general population has of "I don't have anything to hide, so they can snoop all they want", it's what has slowly allowed the govt & big business to take away our rights (and more importantly our privacy) right out from under our noses, and nobody seems all that concerned. Before you know it, it'll be too late.... which btw, we're a lot closer to that happening than people realize.

    S5 tap'n