Jason McDermott
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Starting today

Starting today

Marco makes his point about SOPA crystal clear:

It’s also worth reconsidering our support of the MPAA. The MPAA is a hate-sink, a front to protect its members from negative PR. But unlike the similarly purposed Lodsys (and many others), it’s easy to see who the MPAA represents: Disney, Sony Pictures, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Brothers. (Essentially, all of the major movie studios.)

The MPAA studios hate us. They hate us with region locks and unskippable screens and encryption and criminalization of fair use. They see us as stupid eyeballs with wallets, and they are entitled to a constant stream of our money. They despise us, and they certainly don’t respect us.

Yet when we watch their movies, we support them.

Even if we don’t watch their movies in a theater or buy their plastic discs of hostility, we’re still supporting them. If we watch their movies on Netflix or other flat-rate streaming or rental services, the service effectively pays them on our behalf next time they negotiate the rights or buy another disc. And if we pirate their movies, we’re contributing to the statistics that help them convince Congress that these destructive laws are necessary.

They use our support to buy these laws.

So maybe, instead of waiting for the MPAA’s next law and changing our Twitter avatars for a few days in protest, it would be more productive to significantly reduce or eliminate our support of the MPAA member companies starting today, and start supporting campaign finance reform.

I’m way ahead of you (although perhaps not in the way you meant).

I’m reminded once again, of Horace’s break down of the studio system revenue stream and the way it distributes wealth in staggeringly unfair ways. The system is broken, and I do agree we need to reconsider our actions and how we support these businesses – as ultimately most of what we consume is produced by this small cadre of hugely successful businesses, and they’re not concerned about much other than their bottom line.

Recently there’s been quite a vocal subset of the internet community (led by those who are most active in creating the platforms, soap boxes or information catalogues we all use daily), about the nature of the proposed SOPA/PIPA legislation.  Interestingly, it seems that the fallout is just as interesting as the battle and protest.  More and more it’s becoming apparent that the Motion Picture Association of America, and the studio’s in Hollywood, are dead-set on halting progress and innovation in the internet.  They’ve even lost sight of the enormous potential for their business to grow and shift according to the technological innovations now available to so many.  Instead, they’re attempting to blockade the internet with a garage of clichés like american, foreign, criminal or jobs.  It’s lame and it’s absurd.

The old business models are being disrupted daily, that much is clear.  So where do we now stand on this?  Do we continue to support the old, the flailing, the stagnant and slow-moving businesses, those who do all they can to obfuscate and obscure clarity – those who seem to hold me at arms length, and do all they can to hinder my ability?  At the expense of the new, do I stand behind this old and outdated system?

I do not.

  • Jason,
  • January 22, 2012