The MPAA is offering advice to its members on how to tackle the case publicly
The MPAA, being a lobbying group, should know a thing or two about communicating to people and influencing opinion. Yet, for the most part, both the MPAA and the RIAA have done nothing than sink deeper into the PR disasters they create.It does make sense though, both groups have been created to "talk" to politicians and influence legislature, skills that are different to the ones they need to talk to actual people. For one, they can't really pay people when their "talking" fails to persuade them.
Still, both groups are sticking to their talking points, the poor artists who are starving and the raving internet crooks out to make a quick buck at the expense of thousands or tens of thousands of people.
A leaked MPAA memo portraits just how the group wants the public to view the case of TVShack, a UK site that offered links to movies and TV episodes found online.
That site would be legal in the UK, courts have found in previous similar cases. So the media industry didn't sue the site and its owner, Richard O'Dwyer in the UK. Instead, it filed a lawsuit in the US and is asking for the 24-year-old to be extradited.
Unfortunately for him, the British authorities are more than willing to send him to his fate and have agreed to the extradition. In light of this, criticism of the move has been mounting.
A couple of months back, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, spoke up and said that the extradition request was a massive overreaction and a threat to the freedom of the internet.
It's these particular events that the MPAA memo tackles. It offers talking points and preferred answers to some of the questions that may come up to MPAA members and anyone else on that side of the barricade.
"This case isn’t about Internet freedom. It’s about a man profiting from theft. However, we do welcome a larger discussion about how best to protect intellectual property online while ensuring an Internet that works for everyone," the memo offers as a response to Wales' allegations.
"We think it’s presumptuous of Mr. Wales to claim to speak for the ‘general public.’ That’s because the ‘general public’ includes the hundreds of thousands of creators and makers who create and make the compelling entertainment and content that virtually all of us enjoy on a daily basis. Their hard work deserves to be protected," the memo continued.
The memo also offers points on how to describe O'Dwyer, who the MPAA believes to be hardly the young computer enthusiast some are trying to make him look like.
"O’Dwyer actively advertised the amount of money users would save by illegally streaming content via TVShack rather than by acquiring it legitimately. At the same time, he profited handsomely from advertizing on the site," the memo said.
"Being 24, posing for newspaper photo shoots in a cartoon sweatshirt, and having your mother and Jimmy Wales speak for you, does not mean you are incapable for breaking the law," it added.