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Lend me your mind's ear — communications and portals

How not to defend SOPA and PIPA: In the face of perceived threats, open and honest communication should be in the final cut

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In what looks like a desperate attempt to rescue SOPA and PIPA, President and CEO of the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), Chris Dodd, issued an in-your-face statement regarding planned outages and protests related to the respective legislation.

Dodd’s going to succeed in doing nothing but further alienating individuals from supporting the MPAA.

You’d think the Netflix and News of the World debacles would cause some to pause and think as they strive to create dialogue.

From a public relations perspective, the MPAA deserves to have its say about what it sees as its side of the story, but, calling protests “pranks” and lumping in Wikipedia users (and others) as “corporate pawns” is utter madness.

Wikipedia’s embraced the protests and this undermines Dodd’s accusation of corporate Big Brothers’ manipulating naive users for their own greedy ends — as does the support of one of the founding fathers of the Internet. Vint Cerf sent an open letter to congress opposing SOPA.

One reader on the TechCrunch Website posted the following (and you can also see the MPAA’s statement here):

I’m the rightful copyright owner of the phrase “corporate pawns”. MPAA is illegally using this phrase and I demand their website … be removed from DNS and blocked from the Internet. (Failing) to do so will cost me greatly and I will not be able to hire (the) 100,000 U.S citizens that I have promised.

Touche!

The problem the MPAA has is, if they believe furthering open and honest communication with stakeholders occurs through berating, name-calling, and out-and-out subterfuge (investigate the sweeping powers of SOPA and PIPA, and you’ll discover their Draconian dangers), then someone’s mind is plainly misfiring.

While Dodd’d like all parties to work cooperatively, his language is an affront to that happening. The MPAA avoided addressing the invasive aspects of SOPA and PIPA.

Big mistake.

In a world where information travels through portals at the press of a button, and information is accessed at speed, it’s harder and harder to persuade audiences if you’re using less than honest communication.

In fact, substandard practices do more harm than good.

The entertainment industry has been heavily criticized for acting like a dinosaur in the face of immense, rapid change.

Dodd’s indignant approach to conversation on the subject will lead to nothing more than severe reputational damage for the MPAA.

The MPAA will undergo (is undergoing) serious criticism because of this news release. Good luck to them in recovering an already tarnished brand.

Also: Check out the explosion on Twitter over SOPA – 2.4 million tweets and counting

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