February 09, 2012, 12:43 PM — RIAA chief complains anti-SOPA forces used his own dirty tricks against him.
Misinformation may be a dirty trick, but it works. – Cary H. Sherman, CEO, Recording Industry Association of America, NYT op/ed Feb. 7, 2012
The CEO of the organization most militantly dedicated to enforcing copyright at the expense of its customers, its business model, its credibility and the basic protections of the Constitution wrote an op/ed piece for the New York Times demonstrating the chance to abuse his enemies with half truths and invective is more important than rebuilding the credibility of his organization.
Cary H. Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America called accused opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) of hypocritically violating the net neutrality they aggressively defend in other circumstances and arguing their case using "hyperbolic mistruths presented on the home pages of some of the world's most popular web sites."
What are the hyperbolic mistruths? That SOPA and PIPA would have amounted to censorship, would have required ISPs and content providers to monitor content posted by subscribers to ensure none are violating copyrights and that it was demagoguery rather than democracy that made up the flood of public outrage that stopped both bills in Congress and ultimately killed them (in Sherman's opinion, until some new conspiracy can be crafted).
Sherman washes away another layer of RIAA's credibility – or what's left of it after the string of attacks on its own customers that made it look more like a Keystone Kops version of the Gestapo than a reputable organization trying to enforce its legal rights – with accusations that are not only wrong but completely off target.
The enforcement requirements in both SOPA and PIPA that made site owners responsible for any copyright violations committed by their subscribers, the no-trial, no-evidence process by which whole sites could be shut down following unsupported complaints by an alleged copyright owner and the chilling effect both would have on even content that is not covered by copyright has nothing to do with censorship, Sherman wrote.
All those things are just good law enforcement, protection of the copyrights of the music industry which is struggling to survive despite more than 10 years of experience with and opportunity to adapt to the new realities of the entertainment market.