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Studios conspired with Justice department in Google smear campaign

by on27 July 2015

They will do what they are told

The Big Content cartel, which runs the movie and music business, planned to run a campaign to smear Google for refusing to prop-up its failing business model with censorship.

The Today Show and the WSJ discovered the plans in a pile of MPAA emails.

Big Content was refusing to comply with the subpoenas obtained by Google about their relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. Hood was plainly running an investigation of Google but it looks more like it was part of a campaign run by the MPAA and the studios themselves.

However one of the emails Google got its paws was between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood's top lawyers in the Mississippi AG's office, discussing the big plan to "hurt" Google.

Hood's office admitted that they're expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories.

One email reads: "Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera) to see about working with a PR firm to create an attack on Google (and others who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy). This PR firm can be funded through a nonprofit dedicated to IP issues. The "live buys" should be available for the media to see, followed by a piece the next day on the Today Show (David green can help with this). After the Today Show piece, you want to have a large investor of Google (George can help us find out that) come forward and say that Google needs to change its behaviour/demand reform. Next, you want NewsCorp to develop and place an editorial in the WSJ stressing that Google's stock will lose value in the face of a lasting attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed."

Google noted the "plan" states that if this effort fails, then the next step will be to file the subpoena (technically a CID or "civil investigatory demand") on Google, written by the MPAA but signed by Hood.

This is scary if you are an American. It means the Big Studios owned an Attorney general and was using him to attack whoever it liked. It also showed the US press were in on the whole thing and constructing made up stories on behalf of the studios.

All this was nothing to do with law and order but part of a coordinated media campaign to pressure Google to change the way its search engine works so the studios did not have to.

Last modified on 27 July 2015
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