NBC Gets Corny With P2P Fight

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Let’s hope the FCC is smarter than this. Wait, which FCC? Oh, crap. In a filing with the FCC, lobbyists for NBC Universal recently made this anti-piracy claim (paraphrased): Piracy hurts corn farmers and farm equipment manufacturers.

I’ll give that a moment to sink in.

Here’s the way it works: Everybody (and they mean everybody) steals movies via downloads; nobody goes to the movies any more; nobody buys popcorn; corn farmers have nobody to sell popcorn to, lose money; corn farmers stop buying farm equipment; everybody on God’s green Earth suffers.

I added the last part, but it’s not much of a stretch compared to the caterwauling coming out of that filing. Okay, okay, fine. I’ll put in what it actually says:

“Because of our nation’s interlocking economy, two-thirds of the lost earnings and lost jobs are in industries other than motion picture production. For example, in the absence of movie piracy, video retailers would sell and rent more titles. Movie theatres would sell more tickets and popcorn. Corn growers would earn greater profits and buy more farm equipment.”

And, if a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his butt when he jumped.

NBC’s argument followed a plea for the broadband service providers to be able to "use readily available means to prevent the use of their broadband capacity to transfer pirated content."

By "readily available means," they mean technology used to spy on what’s being transferred, according PublicKnowledge.org’s Art Brodsky, a blatant violation of civil rights, especially in the Big Brother era we are entering.

But the FCC doesn’t like to regulate right? Especially when it comes to the Internet, right? Well, that depends on who’s asking. If you, the citizen, ask, regulation’s no good. If the telecommunications, cable, or entertainment industry (except where otherwise stipulated by the Parents Television Council) asks, it’s a very good possibility.

Besides, just look at the numbers NBC produced: 60-70% of Internet traffic are P2P transfers generated from less than 5% of users; 90% of the transfers are "in knowing and flagrant violation of our nation’s copyright laws."

That’s weird. Could have sworn P2P made up just a third of Internet traffic. It must have really spiked in the past week. Or maybe they got those numbers from the same source that told them the nation’s poor ol’ corn farmers suffer the most from piracy.

Wait. Brodsky says that’s not true either. Visit his post at Public Knowledge to learn the real numbers on popcorn production and consumption. And if you ever wondered why some kernels refuse to pop, there’s an answer for that as well. 

NBC Gets Corny With P2P Fight
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