Readers of this story on Politico probably won't believe that it was simply a messaging problem that killed the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills earlier this year. We were there and we know that it was millions of people who lobbied lawmakers in droves until they cried "uncle."
According to that report, Hollywood is "rewriting the script" on these laws, with plans to reintroduce them in a better light to the American public at a time as-of-yet undetermined.
"We can’t throw any old message out there," an unnamed entertainment industry executive told POLITICO. "We need to be smart about it — where we put it, how we say it, who says it."
But the most disturbing part of the POLITICO report is that it shows that the collusion between lawmakers and the Entertainment industry on these bills is not just some far-flung internet conspiracy theory. It's as real as the nose on your face. The anonymous executive said that lawmakers backing SOPA and PIPA have asked for "a more robust PR effort from the motion picture industry not only in Washington but outside of Washington to get people to understand why they should care about this issue as consumers."
The storyline for these bills was that piracy and counterfeiting costs jobs – a storyline, I might add, that has no data to back up such an amazing claim.
"The story the studios and content industry were selling is not what people wanted to buy," Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council and former Motion Picture Association of America executive told POLITICO. "The medium is important, but the message is even more important."
The article goes on to detail how the debut of Chris Dodd, former Connecticut senator and current president of the MPAA, on TV and on the Internet was a flop. His messaging wasn't all that great either – calling Wikipedia and Google's part in the protest a "gimmick" and a "publicity stunt."
Moving ahead the entertainment industry says that it needs to make in-roads to Silicon Valley, be willing to engage the academic community opposed to anti-piracy laws, and be quicker to respond to "false information."
At the end of the day, the industry needs to realize that giving these anti-piracy bills a "makeover" and going on a public relations campaign will not help them make this issue and their preferred methodology for dealing with piracy into something citizens are going to accept. The horse is out of the stall and it’s galloping down the road.
Anyway, you can read the whole thing here.
Image Credit: Shutterstock