RIAA Cries Foul in NYT Editorial

If you are a fan of propaganda and that classic art form of stretching the truth, then you might want to check out this New York Times editorial penned by RIAA CEO Cary Sherman. In it he claims that technology companies like Google and Wikipedia were the only driving force behind the letter writing campaigns to lawmakers and website blackouts that happened in protest of SOPA last month. He also contends that misinformation was spread about SOPA and PIPA, causing unwarranted fear about bills that we can safely say he thought were "harmless."

There are a lot of astonishing claims in this lengthy editorial but the worst lie of all is that citizens were bamboozled by Wikipedia into believing lies. Others, like TechDirt, have done a pretty thorough job of debunking Sherman's claims, so we won't go there. It is quite disheartening to see that the RIAA hasn't learned anything from the protests that took place last month. They simply assume that what happened wasn't a reaction to what they were trying to do to the Internet, but rather a clever play on the part of Google, Facebook, and Wikipedia. Sure, those players finally forced the mainstream media to report on what was going on, but the truth is it was organizations like the EFF, ECA, Public Knowledge, websites like Reddit, Destructoid, Gamasutra, and Wired that really pointed every day internet users to places where they could have their voices heard; and everyday citizens that were upset with how our government was working against us. Sherman would love to discount the millions of people that emailed and phoned lawmakers voicing their opposition as being "confused" or "tricked."

The Internet has lead us to a new age where the corporate cronyism, influence peddling, and back-room dealings that we have let go on forever in Washington have finally been called out in real-time by the American public. Sure, it's scary to those interests who collude with lawmakers to get their way, but corporations and interests groups don't really understand that politicians have only so much courage and rightly fear those who can bring their careers to an end. We don't do these things because they are fun or because we crave power – we do these things because we believe in free speech and the free-flow of information. This is just my opinion, of course – in a free society we're allowed to have them.

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  1. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Hmm, that makes sense. It's possible they were way overconfident and figured keeping any media attention to the opposition blacked out was a enough.

  2. 0
    Hevach says:

    Actually, I think it shows just the opposite. They're not as cheap as their clients thought. They took that money and left the poor man standing there with his pants unzipped.

    It's a bit sad, but the lesson in all this is that they can't play half way on this stuff – these industries and others usually spend WAY more than this on bills that don't even benefit them as strongly as SOPA, and even those aren't always sure things.

    For all the noise, they just didn't pay enough for a happy ending.


    I like prostitution metaphors when discussing Congress. There's so many places you can go with it. Even the word Congress picks up a double meaning.

  3. 0
    Hevach says:

    Barely over two million according to the article the other day.

    That's chump change. Companies right now are investing more money on the nomination campaigns of people who are unlikely to actually get the nomination just on the off chance that maybe they'll be in a position in November that they could try to buy favors from them.

    They don't get to cry foul when they barely even showed up to play.

  4. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    "It is quite disheartening to see that the RIAA hasn't learned anything from the protests that took place last month"

    Did you expect them to? If they did, that would be like Hitler learning his lesson after D-Day.

  5. 0
    ddrfr33k says:

    His argument could be valid, except for the fact that my blog (see link below) would be considered infringing content because of the scans of game covers that I include with my game reviews.  I'm all for stopping the sale of fake Nikes and knockoff viagra.  But don't criminalize legitimate users in the process.

  6. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    I have only one question to the asshole who wrote that piece.

    Do you really believe what you wrote or are you just pretending to be an asshole?

    The reality distortion zone around the maggot must be really strong.

  7. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "Perhaps this is naïve, but I’d like to believe that the companies that opposed SOPA and PIPA will now feel some responsibility to help come up with constructive alternatives."

    They were willing to do so the first time, jackass.  You didn't let them.


    Andrew Eisen

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