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Mach1

Piracy is the Internet’s Canary in the Coal Mine, MPAA Chief Says

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Mach1

MPAA chief Charles Rivkin is sounding the alarm bell. The healthy and vibrant Internet many people want is in serious jeopardy. Whether it's in response to fake news, hate speech, or piracy, Rivkin calls on Internet platforms to take responsibility and fix the web's "broken windows."

mpaa-new.pngThe entertainment industries are growing increasingly frustrated with major Internet platforms that, in their view, are not doing enough to tackle online piracy.

This was also the topic of a speech given by MPAA chief Charles Rivkin, during the TPI Aspen Forum yesterday.

The title of the speech is telling. Rivkin’s “Declaration of Accountability for Cyberspace” is a play on John Perry Barlow’s “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace,” which was written 22 years ago.

Barlow, who passed away earlier this year, was an artist, an Internet activist, and one of the founding members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. As an Internet pioneer, he repeatedly warned against stifling Internet restrictions, to keep cyberspace free and open.

According to the MPAA, however, Barlow’s vision of a cyberspace where inhabitants right any wrongs themselves has failed. Its chief instead argues that the future of the “healthy” Internet is in danger.

“I want to address one of the most vibrant and interconnected ecosystems in human history. That, of course, is the internet. And as we meet, the healthy and vibrant internet that we all want is in serious jeopardy,” Rivkin says.

“The title of this speech is ‘a declaration of accountability for cyberspace’ — a reference I’m sure is not lost on this audience,” he adds.

While the complaints about Internet piracy are not new, the MPAA ties piracy in with more recent debates about fake news, election meddling, and hate speech. From Cambridge Analytica to Infowars.

Rivkin calls for a national conversation on how to return the Internet to a place of vibrant but civil discourse. A place where fake news, hate speech, and piracy are properly dealt with.

Eventually, this leads the MPAA’s boss to Silicon Valley. Rivkin sees a major role for Internet platforms to do more to stop piracy and other types of abuse. If that doesn’t happen voluntarily, the US Government could step in, he suggests.

“The crescendo is rising within our ecosystem. The message is getting louder by the day: Internet platforms must bear responsibility. And they must do more to address the harms that, wittingly or not, they facilitate.

“Online platforms could increase their voluntary efforts to work with those affected to curb abuse of their services. Or perhaps Congress could recalibrate the online immunities to more explicitly require proactive steps as a condition of those protections,” Rivkin adds.

The widespread problem of online piracy is a sign of worse to come, the MPAA chief suggests.

“Online piracy is also the proverbial canary in a coal mine. The same pervasive theft that my industry faces is part of a continuum of toxic developments that harm all of us in this ecosystem – consumers, creators, and commercial operators alike,” he says.

In his speech, Rivkin refers to the “broken windows” theory to illustrate his point. This theory suggests that an atmosphere of lawlessness is created when small crimes are left unpunished. Seeing broken windows in the streets makes it more likely that others will start vandalizing as well.

This is also happening on the Internet today, according to Rivkin. When people continuously cross legal boundaries, by pirating, for example, others are more likely to follow suit.

To fix this problem, the MPAA has already started working with advertising companies, payment processors and other intermediaries. These companies have adopted a strict anti-piracy stance, and it is now time for the Twitters, YouTubes, and Facebooks to follow suit.

“If we want to bring back the internet we all want, it’s better to work together than cut each other off at the knees,” Rivkin says. “There are too many online windows broken and left unfixed for us to do anything but take collective action – and take it now.”

One of the major gripes of the MPAA and other rightsholder organizations is the fact that current laws shield Internet platforms from direct liability. This should be changed, if these platforms don’t work along, they argue.

Not everyone agrees that this is the case. Internet Association spokesman Noah Theran told Variety that the protections provided by laws such as the Communications Decency Act are a good thing.

“Without intermediary liability protections it would be harder, not easier, for online platforms to keep bad actors off the internet,” Theran notes, and many Internet platforms will share this view.

 

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steven36

I've never used the Twitters, YouTubes, and Facebooks to download a pirated movie or TV show so more power too this idiot, but i doubt he gets very far with Google who paid  out millions  to  try to stop EU upload filters from being past because that would mean they would actually have to pay  out royalties  on videos   shown on YouTube .. . :rofl:

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Alanon

Sure, I can appreciate his well-packaged spiel, piggybacking on fake news to peddle his shite, but responsibility and respectability need to start happening in the real world first, before expanding to the internet. This talking head seems to believe that corporations - like the ones that pay him - are actually responsible and accountable. In reality, they've just rigged the system so as to make what they're doing legal.

 

The MPAA has repeatedly insinuated itself into conversations it has no place in. It is a parasite existing off of various other corporate giants - in itself, it produces nothing of value. Six of the largest studios that control virtually all film production in the entire world created a regulating body that stifles those that aren't among the big six, throwing their money, monopoly and clout around to force everyone to play by their book.

 

Aint that grand. The no piracy, "fair" world they would have us live in would be filled with fully licensed bland crap that markets well, has a great turnaround and is utterly meaningless. The very thing that internet piracy is accused of, they've done in the real world by establishing monopolies that consumed real worth not belonging to them and lobbying for the legality of their suspect practices.

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Ryrynz

Socialism is the answer.. think of all the freed time when people have access to everything they want, no more time hosting sites, no more time encoding, no more time comparing releases and so on.

Standard entertainment shouldn't be charged for. If we didn't have Capitalism, there's no need for any of this.. No more pop ups, no more adverts you don't want to watch.. Imagine it.

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Alanon

I would disagree. People don't go into entertainment to not make money. Even charities give out salaries, have pension funds and benefits. Some would say that the issue is then in the notion of work, but that's anarchism, not socialism. Socialism involves centralised management, not a free-for-all commune. In all historical examples of socialism, there was no free entertainment, only free propaganda, and even then, it was cheap to watch and not too produce. Many large film projects were made only to prove that they were achievable, while people in some parts of the country were starving. Films and books in Soviet Russia could not see the light of day legally if they were considered unfit. Manuscripts were confiscated, film directors and politically unfit actors and singers imprisoned and sentenced to exile. Much of what we called dissident art had the same status as many illegal activities today.

 

The issue with the current entertainment industry isn't capitalism as such, only the corporatisation of said industry. Socialism wouldn't end that in any way, it would merely transfer ownership of the corporations - the artists would still be screened/blacklisted, content would still be heavily regulated, and the lion's share of the profits would still go directly to the owner - in this case, the state, instead of the artists. What this ideal relies on is a kind of benevolent control over money-making enterprises, a blind faith that under socialism, things would be run better and more justly. That never worked, and it's never going to work. Even if artists themselves managed a huge studio together as a union, they would still have to kowtow to the political establishment that provides them with funding. Capitalism is not to blame for this, it's human nature. The price of free entertainment is total obedience to the person that funds it.

 

 

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