MPAA Responds to Criticism by Putting Its Other Foot in Its Mouth

Does the MPAA understand how big a hole they’re digging for themselves when they don’t or can’t respond to criticism with any understanding of how they are hurting the film industry?

Torrent Freak wrote about the MPAA’s response to a previous criticism touting they did not even know Hollywood history.  In short, Thomas Edison formed the Motion Picture Patents Company to protect his copyrights. William Fox and other film company founders headed out west to a place called Hollywood to avoid the group and pirated movies at a profit.

Copyhype somewhat “countered” this charge with the statement that seems to suggest that the thought of heading out west to pirate films was a “little bit of historical revisionism.”

But consider this paragraph that Copyhype said was the real issue with MPCC:

The independents weren’t infringing on any patents themselves, they were violating the license and tie-in agreements that came with the MPPC’s equipment. The MPPC did enjoy some early success with its litigation efforts,  convincing several courts that illegal restraint of trade was not a defense to patent infringement.4

But the MPPC didn’t rely solely on the law — Edison enforced the Trust’s domination with violence. Hired thugs would smash cameras and raid the independents’ places of business.5 Historian Thaddeus Rockwell notes the extent of the violence perpetuated by the Trust: “They seized film, beat up directors and actors, forced audiences out of theaters, smashed the nickelodeon arcades and set fire to entire city blocks where they were concentrated.”  (bold emphasis mine)

Ah, so it wasn’t films that were pirated but equipment. That certainly makes a difference in the scheme of things doesn’t it? Honestly, do you think that the potential of thugs coming to beat up filmmakers and actors because of pirated equipment wasn’t used as a deterrent to independent filmmaking?

California courts eventually ruled that the Patents Company’s licensing practices presented “a potential power of evil” over indie movie producers and ruled against them.

Isn’t this turning out to become the pattern with Kim Dotcom? Seize his property and assets only to find a court rules against the FBI and he may not even go to trial now?

Dodd and company can’t see the irony right before their eyes.

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