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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Browbeating, Lies, Exaggeration, Misinforming...The Union's scare tactics.

This has been on my mind for a while now and I've been going back and forth on whether or not to post it.  I probably should have stood up that night and grabbed the microphone and spoke up, but I felt I was in a room of witch hunters and any thought to the contrary would be ignited.

I recently went to one of the entertainment Unions' membership meetings.  (If you're quick, you can figure out which one, but I wont name it here.)  It was long.  Boring.  Full of information that did not pertain to me and uninformed people asking questions like..."I heard from a friend that such and such.."  Which were all shot down as untuths.  I mean, we all know that rumors are usually not true.  And in this case none of them were.  Mostly rumors pertaining the the merging of two of the biggest entertainment unions in the country.

Oh we had some laughs though.  A Mr. Calamari...that's his real name, rambled on for quite some time unintelligibly until the moderator smiled and said, "thank you."  Because what else can you do when a crazy person drones on for a while without a real question or ending in site.  And old, from what I can tell..Willie Nelson impersonator, would yell from time to time, "Speak into the mic!" To which one time he got the reply, "If I was any closer it would be down my throat."  Thanks for the mental image old guy.  Thanks.

One of the major topics was online piracy.  Oh online piracy. I don't think I've ever been more ashamed of intelligent adults in my life.  At least in the month of November.

The person leading the meeting, the vice president apparently, shouted at all of us a slew of distorted facts and just flat out lies.  We were told that our work, as film and tv actors, is being downloaded by people all over the world.  And when we go online and download movies, tv shows, the sites make money off of this, can capture our information and sell it on the black market. What the hell is wrong with you buddy.  No offense, but the mean age of the population of the meeting was over 60.  If not then some people my age have not aged well.  So an older population who probably don't spend as much time online as the rest of us, nor are as savvy as the rest of us with the onlining and the interwebs and the facebooking.  So you've just scared your first group of people into believing what you say.  First of all, no one bit torrents anymore.  (what he was alluding to about the downloading.)  Almost all media is streamed right to your lap top or whatever device you have.  So no.  You're not downloading anything.  No one is getting your information.  You're watching something on a pirated site.  Ok, so, that's bad.  But you're safe from attackers.

(Talking to my grandparents, it seams that most of the older generation is afraid of the internet because of identity theft and hacking accounts.  Basically privacy and security.  So of course this guy hit home with his fer mongering.)

Next, said sites make money. Sure.  Adsense by Google is amazing.  It's on this blog as a matter of fact.  I've made....nothing with it, but who really visits this blog? The VP made it out that Adsense is an evil company.  Well...It's Google. So take that as you will.  (He made it seam like they were 2 different companies)  He then proceeded to vilify Google for placing adds on these pirate sites.  Well.  No. You can't do that.  Google doesn't care what's on your site so much.  There is an agreement you sign, but they're hands off.  Ads are just put up by the site owner.  Not google.  So now a whole room full of people hate Google and think that people in Russia have their SS#'s and bank accounts.  True story.

Then he lays into Netflix.  Saying how it's also doing the same thing and people are downloading (again...wrong) our work as actors and we're not seeing money for it.  Well.  I hate to tell you this, but those contracts you negotiate for us? Yeah, we sign away our work to the studio, producer, who ever owns the piece.  So they can do whatever they want with it.  And if they want Netflix to stream it to the world well then there it is.  You've already been compensated.  Stop whining.

People were complaining about Netflix and you tube and hulu.  How their work, shows and films they've been in are online for people to see and they don't see any money.  Of course not.  You've already seen that money.  The people who own the films are displaying it just like they're allowed according to the contracts. Be happy people are watching your work.

So to sum it up.  A room full of approx 250 people hate Google, hate adsense (that weird ad company that they don't know is Google), hate Netflix and youtube and hulu, and think Russion computer geniuses are going to sell their info on the black market.  You know, in the booth next to where they sell babies.

On top of that...yes it gets worse..his ranting had a positive side.  He made almost a room full of people FOR  the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives.  He said how good thes legislature are.  THESE ARE BAD pieces of legislature.  The best explanation I've found is here down below.  Watch it.  be educated and spread the word.