It has been years now since talk of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) began to float around the web. The act, if passed, grants the US government and private corporations an insane amount of power over the internet, “to fight piracy.“ The admins of the internet, as we could call them, would have permission to revoke any domain name, shut down any website, slow down website speeds, make changes that would alter the total amount of website traffic and of course other, unknown, powers.
Luckily the bill failed to pass in 2012, but the need to control the internet still continues.
The Motion Picture Association of America (Hollywood) is one of the large-scale corporations that would benefit from the bill passing, any movie that the MPAA owns could be simply revoked from any website that it can be viewed on without the correct form of dealer-to-dealer licencing.
However, the internet giant Google is entirely opposed to the idea of internet censorship and thus have been taking some heat from the MPAA.
Back in December last year Google complained in a blog post about the efforts of the MPAA to push an investigation of Google through the office of Mississipi Attorney, General Jim Hood. In a new passed court document, the company submitted additional evidence that blatantly shows how deep the relationship between AG Hood and Hollywood Studios actually is.
An email sent between a director of external state government affairs for the MPAA and AG Hood’s staffers was discovered that details a planned and co-ordinated attack to try and damage Google’s stocks. The email included a recommendation that “NewsCorp… develop and place an editorial in the WSJ emphasizing that Google’s stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs”; the suggestion that NBC’s government relations department could help place an anti-Google segment on the today show; and that AG Hood’s office look into hiring a PR firm “to create an attack on Google (and other players who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy).”
Again, during last December, Google filled a suit against Hood that managed to uncover a 79 page subpoena that Hood planned to submit to court demanding that Google files 141 documents, attends 62 interviews and turn up anything else that may be considered as dangerous content on Google’s network.
“In order to respond to the subpoena in full, Google would have to produce millions of documents at great expense and disruption to its business.”
Google announced that Hood was simply abusing his authority within his company to hurt Google, as well as to better interest Hollywood’s gains.
It is now down to the courts to decide whether or not Hood and the MPAA had taken things too far.
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