MPAA Admits (Sort of) to Drafting SOPA, Protect IP Acts

December 1, 2011 -

The New York Times Media Decoder blog has an interesting story about Michael O’Leary the senior executive vice president for global policy and external affairs of the Motion Picture Association of America. While the story is about toning down SOPA to address "legitimate concerns," the real story is something that opponents knew all along: the MPAA and friends are basically the authors of the bill. This explains why one of its key supporters, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) basically said during hearings that he didn't understand some of the technical aspects of the bill he was pushing for. He would probably know more about it if he'd actually had a hand in drafting it in the first place.

"We will come forward with language that will address some of the legitimate concerns" of technology companies such as Google and Yahoo that have opposed the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, and the Protect IP Act in the Senate, O’Leary said.

That short sentence speaks volumes about who is writing this legislation and how in bed our government is with special interest groups like the MPAA and RIAA. While O’Leary claims that "those who were pushing the legislation" have been huddling with members from both houses of congress and both political parties to address objections raised by Google, Yahoo and others, the companies that actually raised the objections are not a part of those meetings.

But it's easy to tell that the MPAA does not plan on addressing any of the serious concerns that the general public has about either bill:

"It’s all rhetoric and there are no proposals," he said of the opponents to the bills. "From where I sit, it’s hard to see that as anything but a pretext for running out the clock and preserving the status quo."

O’Leary believes that an anti-piracy/rogue web sites bill will eventually become law, though he admits that it will be an uphill battle. Those that oppose it hope it is the hardest battle they ever have to fight.

Source: NYT by way of TechDirt. Thanks to RedMage for the tip.


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