The anti-piracy DNS blacklist bill recently passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, as the RIAA and MPAA continue to find new methods to combat Internet piracy. A recent op-ed published by the MPAA offers a unique look into how the movie copyright group tries to battle piracy — and a flawed perspective on modern piracy.
MPAA interim CEO Bob Pisano wrote an op-ed for TheHill.com that discusses methods of combating online theft. The piece has numerous statements aimed at promoting the MPAA’s view, with an emphasis on how detrimental Internet piracy can be to copyright holders.
The full letter can be found here. Techdirt did an excellent job debunking different statements made by Pisano. Of note, Pisano starts his letter by discussing “rogue sites” that “exist” only for making profits using stolen copyrighted material to share with followers.
It’s ironic he would start the op-ed with such an asinine statement, as the majority of pirated material downloaded and shared over the Internet is available for free. Furthermore, some sites mentioned by the MPAA to the government also don’t use a for-pay method to share content, although donations and advertising can be used to pay hosting and other costs.
Instead of targeting individual file sharers, the MPAA has worked with lawmakers to try and find wider sweeping methods.
For example, the MPAA’s support of the controversial Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) has continued, while copyright groups deflect criticism of the bill.
First proposed in September, COICA would give the DoJ an “expedited process” to deal with websites found to distribute copyrighted materials. The anti-piracy bill was put on hold in early October, because there were concerns related to Internet censorship and possible long-term legal ramifications from the bill.
The bill has now passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, with the RIAA and MPAA both applauding the effort.
Specifically, there is concern the US Attorney General could easily shutdown websites with questionable content after an official complaint is filed in local court.
Even if COICA ran into a permanent roadblock, the US government already has one back-up plan ready to crackdown on piracy as they try to get ISP’s to voluntarily censor the Internet.
As the MPAA and other copyright trade groups look for ways to combat piracy, their level of desparation continues to grow at a rapid pace. Pisano’s op-ed clearly illustrates a much-needed reality check is in order, but heavy political lobbying continues to alter the changing war on piracy.