Thursday, October 04, 2007

Jeff Zucker loved 1984

I was just reading a short piece on the blotter at the IMDB about NBC CEO Jeff Zucker lamenting that "the unfortunate truth is that today we are losing the battle" against Internet Piracy... with a straight face no less, because everyone knows that they certainly aren't selling any copies of the Heroes, The Office, 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights DVD sets (which are #6, 15, 104 and 58 on's DVD sales rankings at the moment).

And I would be more willing to take that statement at face value if NBC didn't make its shows available in an electronic format for free for a week so people can catch up on their programs. And most of the other networks do the same. I'd also be happier with that assertion if there wasn't an element of statistical flimflammery. I mean, think about it this way. It was a record breaking summer for Hollywood with 4 Billion dollars grossed... and yet, we still read about how piracy is killing the industry. Guess what the trend on DVD sales is as well? And of course, the RIAA cooks its books on losses as well and here is some evidence.

But it wasn't Jeff Zucker's stance on piracy that chilled me to the bone. It was a passing reference to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing for someone to have the job title "intellectual property enforcement coordinator" at the White House because of this artificial hysteria over piracy.

Let me break that down for you so you can see that in a different way:

Intellectual property which is the product of Thought


A specific department of the government whose job would be to enforce or Police copyright infringement.

If this plan comes to pass, we will be in the era of Thought Police in the most literal of senses. Think about how litigious the RIAA and the MPAA are when it comes to the enforcement of their copyrights and then think about those two organizations with the full weight of the federal government behind them. And then I saw exactly what Mr. Zucker wants the federal government to do with said department.

He wants them to police every piece of information going through every IP address for copyrighted content and I am sure that some of the other law enforcement agencies would like a piece of that action to help them regulate that, after all, having that kind of access to that much information on people is a gold mine if it was even technically possible for one agency to do that.

So yeah, I think that analogy about Thought Police is quite apt in this case.


Micgar said...

Geez-if that would go down, that would be scary! It might.
You know what else is scary? memes! I got tagged and I know you pick and choose your memes, but I thought you might like this one! see my blog for more!

Micgar said...

Its about the evolution of your blog-from the beginnings to the present etc.

MC said...

Memes are always scary, especially if you send them to Diesel at Mattress Police.