Feeds

State Attorney – the MPAA's man – urges P2P ban

Elected official flaks for Hollywood

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The democratic veneer over the business of buying the legislation you want has never looked thinner. California's State Attorney General Bill Lockyer has been caught acting as a public relations front for Hollywood's big money copyright holders, only on the public's dime. Nominally, the role of Attorney General is to act on behalf of all citizens of California, including consumers and recording artists.

Lockyer called for a ban on peer-to-peer file sharing software, in a letter issued to other attorneys general, obtained by Wired. But earlier revisions of the Microsoft Word document indicate that the author was "stevensonv". This is believed to be one Vans Stevenson, the Motion Picture Association of America's senior vice president for legislative affairs, and one of its most visible lobbyists.

(This isn't the first time residual metadata left in a Word document has embarrassed its author. Two years ago, the UK Treasury accidentally revealed some of the deliberations behind the annual budget by failing to remove redacted portions from the public release. Few people are that Microsoft recently released a tool to remove metadata from Office documents.)

The pigopolists have been generous and consistent supporters of Bill Lockyer. His primary fund-raising vehicle, the Lockyer Committee, received four contributions from the MPAA in the 2002 Election Cycle totaling $4,500 and two from the RIAA, totaling $16,000. But these are complemented by corporate and private donations from the major studios, including The Paramount Pictures Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Warner Bros PAC, AOL Time Warner. Senior executives, such as Alan Horn and Howard Welinsky, respectively CEO and senior VP at Warner Brothers, have contributed too.

(This list is not exhaustive: for example, we haven't counted copyright-friendly affiliates such as law firm Manatt Phelps and Philips, which describes itself thus: "We are litigators, deal makers, lobbyists [our emphasis] and practitioners before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the U.S. Copyright Office, the FCC and the United States International Trade Commission." Spontaneously, 55 employees of Manatt Phelps and Phillips each decided to make contributions to Lockyer's 2006 campaign.

Lockyer has been in trouble over campaign contributions before. He was obliged to return $50,000 to Oracle to remove any impression of impropriety after the database giant was awarded a $95 million no-bid contract. Four officials were sacked as a consequences, but a recent investigation concluded that Lockyer hadn't acted illegally.

A Modest Proposal

It leaves a nagging question, however. Why not bring some technocratic rigor to the proceedings, and "disintermediate" the public officials and politicians completely? The lobbyists could simply be allowed to create their own legislation through some form of electronic voting; a much simpler and cleaner process that would remove any pretense of acting in the public interest. A few citizens itchy for the mechanical business of exercising choice could simply be wired up to vote in TV reality programs. A win-win for Hollywood, we suggest. reg;

External Link

"P2P in the Legal Crosshairs" - Wired News

Related Stories

MPAA seeks P2P Enforcer for antipiracy ops
California offical in court over Oracle mega-deal
Treasury leaks Word of Budget revisions

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.