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Homeland Security Running NBC-Owned PSAs

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the help-us-help-you dept.

Government 240

An anonymous reader writes "A few months ago, Homeland Security's ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) group started placing an anti-piracy video PSA on various domains that it had seized. What it didn't say was who created the PSA. A Freedom of Information Act request by Techdirt has revealed that the videos are actually created & owned by NBC Universal, but nowhere does Homeland Security publicly admit this. As Techdirt writes: 'Could you imagine how the press would react if, say, the FDA ran PSAs that were created and owned by McDonald's without making that clear to the public? How about if the Treasury Department ran a PSA created and owned by Goldman Sachs? So, shouldn't we be asking serious questions about why Homeland Security and ICE are running a one-sided, misleading corporate propaganda video, created and owned by a private company, without mentioning the rather pertinent information of who made it?'"

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Oh come on, what's the big deal? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390150)

How about if the Treasury Department ran a PSA created and owned by Goldman Sachs?

It's called a Congressional hearing, they hold 'em every day!

Re:Oh come on, what's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390352)

What's a PSA in this context, anyway? Google gives "prostate-specific antigen", which doesn't seem entirely relevant.

Re:Oh come on, what's the big deal? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390394)

Public Service Announcement?

Re:Oh come on, what's the big deal? (1)

Code Master (164951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390398)

Public Service Announcement

Re:Oh come on, what's the big deal? (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390524)

Excellent observation.

Now, let's all go back to Mussolini's textbook definition of Fascism, shall we?

âoeFascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate powerâ

There is much in this, that explain the metaphoric "wars" on drugs and "piracy", as well as the never-ending Imperial adventures the Satanic States of AmeriKKKa:

"War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it. Fascism carries this anti-pacifist struggle into the lives of individuals. It is education for combat... war is to man what maternity is to the woman. I do not believe in perpetual peace; not only do I not believe in it but I find it depressing and a negation of all the fundamental virtues of a man."

Re:Oh come on, what's the big deal? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390720)

Excellent observation.

Now, let's all go back to Mussolini's textbook definition of Fascism, shall we?

âoeFascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate powerâ

There is much in this, that explain the metaphoric "wars" on drugs and "piracy", as well as the never-ending Imperial adventures the Satanic States of AmeriKKKa:

"War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it. Fascism carries this anti-pacifist struggle into the lives of individuals. It is education for combat... war is to man what maternity is to the woman. I do not believe in perpetual peace; not only do I not believe in it but I find it depressing and a negation of all the fundamental virtues of a man."

Let's see:

"Bailouts and more bailouts" for Wall Street, with high-flying bankers flying in and out of the revolving door of working for the government and big banks.

"Bailouts and more bailouts" for automakers

GE paying zero taxes

Started a war in Libya

Started ANOTHER war in Yemen!!!! [nytimes.com]

Troops still in Iraq

No end in sight in Afghanistan

Gitmo still open, no plans to close

Unconsitutional wiretaps continue

Seriously - Obama sure as hell meets the definition of FASCIST, doesn't he?

Re:Oh come on, what's the big deal? (0, Offtopic)

RCGodward (1235102) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391090)

Satanic States of AmeriKKKa

Thanks for throwing that in, I knew to stop reading then.

Re:Oh come on, what's the big deal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36391206)

+5 Insightful for a post that actually uses the phrase "Satanic States of AmeriKKKa". Yea, I think slashdot is pretty much done.

Re:Oh come on, what's the big deal? (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390800)

Hell, Dick Cheney even let the companies literally write the government policy [wikipedia.org] that regulated them. Pretty sweet deal if you've got the fat cash for some big campaign contributions.

You too can own your very own elected representative. For just hundreds of dollars a day, you can help these poor Congressmen and their reelection campaigns. Won't you please help?

Must See TV! (3, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390152)

That's "Must See" as in "you are legally required to watch and learn, citizens."

Re:Must See TV! (2)

RedACE7500 (904963) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390224)

Pick up that can.

Re:Must See TV! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390238)

I'll wait for the torrent.

Re:Must See TV! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390376)

I'll wait for the torrent.

That would cause a legal paradox! The Universe would come to an end! Dogs and Cats and lobbyists sleeping together! Fire and brimstone and BMWs falling from the sky!

No sir! Do not download the Torrent!

Re:Must See TV! (1)

Roduku (950552) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390734)

Interesting thought. Are anti-piracy PSAs copyright protected? I'm sure they are. What would be the legal implications of downloading and redistributing these PSAs? Would the **AA or whoever produced them file infringement suits? Inquiring minds want to know.

The press doesn't care (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390178)

The press wouldn't care, because they do it too. They happily run videos produced by corporations and present them as news. It makes them a little money and helps them be lazy.

Besides, who's going to report than NBC produced the videos? NBC?

Actually the press does care (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390620)

Besides, who's going to report than NBC produced the videos? NBC?

The more important question is why would any other network want to show a PSA that credits NBC? The lack of references to NBC probably has more to due with network rivalry than anything else. I have a faint recollection that the networks like to overlay *their* logo over the PSA, "this PSA brought to you by [insert network here] and ICE."

Re:The press doesn't care (2)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390866)

And this is why you should not allow Newspapers to own TV stations/networks to own production monopolies to own Congress and vice-versa.

But what do you expect from a Corporatocracy?

Re:The press doesn't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390936)

It kind of works out like this. [youtube.com]

And no, it's not a Rick-roll. I believe it's actually somehow relevant to the topic.

And how long does one have to wait before being able to use "Slashdot's resource". Whatever the hell that means... :(

lost jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390182)

how many people lots their jobs because i watched that on youtube with out paying for it

Homeland Security? (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390190)

So, shouldn't we be asking serious questions about why Homeland Security and ICE are running a one-sided, misleading corporate propaganda video, created and owned by a private company, without mentioning the rather pertinent information of who made it?

Yes, we should, but I'll be happy to wait until after they've answered the more pressing question about what the hell Homeland Security are doing enforcing copyright claims in the first place.

Re:Homeland Security? (3, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390252)

If you post copyrighted material on YouTube, then the terrorists win. QED.

Re:Homeland Security? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390848)

Yep, you should use bittorrent instead, youtube uses private technologies.

Re:Homeland Security? (5, Funny)

TwiztidK (1723954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390314)

Well, as I'm sure we'll all admit, copyright infringement and terrorism are pretty much the same thing...kind of like jaywalking and murder.

Re:Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390522)

No not kind of...EXACTLY like jaywalking and murder...I'm so glad to see someone finally gets it.

-The Ghost of Jack

Re:Homeland Security? (4, Informative)

ChrisGoodwin (24375) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390382)

US Customs has been moved under Homeland Security.

Re:Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36391118)

Same question, then. How is copyright a customs issue?

Re:Homeland Security? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390384)

A government stretched the definition of something to fit their will, rather than bent their will to the definition?

I'm shocked.

Re:Homeland Security? (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390446)

As I've said earlier.

Piracy means people get free access.
Free access means everyone can have it.
Everyone can have it means Communism.
Communism is unamerican.

Better Dead than Red!
-
Its also probably because nothing gets the public riled up more than hunting down 'terrorists'. They're our new pariah group.

Re:Homeland Security? (2)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390700)

Wait . . . I thought piracy was what those people in financially destitute countries were getting paid to do near Somalia, to destabilize trade and cruises from The West .

Re:Homeland Security? (2)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390496)

So, shouldn't we be asking serious questions about why Homeland Security and ICE are running a one-sided, misleading corporate propaganda video, created and owned by a private company, without mentioning the rather pertinent information of who made it?

Yes, we should, but I'll be happy to wait until after they've answered the more pressing question about what the hell Homeland Security are doing enforcing copyright claims in the first place.

Good point.

Of course, if DHS and ICE had produced these videos in house, Anonymous Coward would complain that this was more government waste, as there are folks whose job it is to produce video who could do the job much more efficiently.

Re:Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390750)

Correction: A *different* Anonymous Coward would be complaining about government waste. It's a case of "you can't please everyone", not "the complainer is a hypocrite because I disagree with them."

Re:Homeland Security? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390996)

Perhaps the best solution is not to have DHS/ICE bother with this in the first place

Re:Homeland Security? (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391030)

Why do they need a PSA video in the first place? Doesn't a page with legal information suffice?

Re:Homeland Security? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390498)

Because under Bush, they absorbed the FBI from the Justice department. It was an absurd change, but that's why they're pursuing all sorts of non-terrorism related things.

Re:Homeland Security? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390624)

And under Obama they extended these powers.
 
How's that two party system working out there for you, skippy?

Re:Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390716)

Because under Bush, they absorbed the FBI from the Justice department. It was an absurd change, but that's why they're pursuing all sorts of non-terrorism related things.

I remember the declared reasoning back around HLS's formation, but I am not knowledgeable to know how founded the thinking was in RL logic. It went like this: FBI investigates the interior (the US), the CIA investigates exterior (Foreign), therefore lumping them under HLS means better communication about threats that are simultaneously interior and exterior.

Re:Homeland Security? (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390704)

Yes, we should, but I'll be happy to wait until after they've answered the more pressing question about what the hell Homeland Security are doing enforcing copyright claims in the first place.

Fighting terrorism was just the government's way of getting its foot in the door.

I wish more people were outraged by the fact that DHS and ICE are getting away with shutting down websites without any kind of trial or even the promise of a trial. The government's current approach to domain seizures is more the behavior of an unaccountable government than that of a proper democracy. Those who truly stand for Freedom instead of just paying lip service to it should be outraged by this kind of behavior.

Re:Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36391182)

Why would they be?

Very few people were outraged when law enforcement ramped up their asset forfeiture programs for suspected drug dealers. In fact they often take assets without even charging suspects let alone actually convicting them. /Ha ha - the CAPTCHA I was just asked to enter was "corrupt".

Re:Homeland Security? (2, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390770)

Yes, we should, but I'll be happy to wait until after they've answered the more pressing question about what the hell Homeland Security are doing enforcing copyright claims in the first place.

So which department of the Executive Branch, you know the one that is suppose to enforce laws, should it fall to if not the Department of Homeland Security?

Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of State
Department of the Interior
Department of the Treasury
Department of Transportation
Department of Veterans Affairs

It would seem to me that DHS would be the best fit since there isn't a Department of Copyright Enforcement (yet).

Re:Homeland Security? (2)

parineum (1696018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391084)

Department of Commerce seems to fit pretty well.

Re:Homeland Security? (5, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391092)

Depart of Commerce is a better fit Since it's a legal thing, Department of Justice might fit better Also, the Statute of Anne, on which US copyright is largely based, was an "Act for the encouragement of learning", so even the Departmet of Education would fit If nobody is going to be blown up, shot, or poisoned, DHS probably shouldn't be involved

Re:Homeland Security? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391130)

>>>So which department of the Executive Branch

None of them.
Copyright should be enforced by the Judicial Branch, whenever a lawsuit is brought against someone who copied without permission.

Perhaps I could accept enforcement of the Copy Monopoly by the same branch that regulates other monopolies/cartels: Department of Justice. Or the FTC. Still no need for DHS to be involved. DHS was created to prevent 9/11 events, not people scanning books w/o permission.

Re:Homeland Security? (1)

Roduku (950552) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391210)

I'll take a wild stab here and say Department of Justice since they are responsible for the enforcement of federal law.

Re:Homeland Security? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390986)

>>>what the hell Homeland Security are doing enforcing copyright claims in the first place.

It's just NBC repaying its debt:

- Government give NBC-GE billions of dollars in bailout money.
- NBC gives free videos for government propa..... PSAs.
- Government says thank you and cracks-down on thieves of NBC products.
- NBC gives donations for the 2012 campaign.
Win.
Win.
"Bam. Winning!"

Re:Homeland Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390998)

Most of the larger global corporations are aiding the war machine effort and money that is stolen through copyright infringement doesn't make it to the missile factories. Doesn't anyone know anything about big money and the proliferation of world war lll?

Don't copy that floppy. (1)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390218)

And now Comcast and NBC are one..

So if i download NBC content on my COMCAST ineterweb service.. is it legal or not?

Remind me again (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390230)

What was 'Homeland Security' created for? What is its charter?

Re:Remind me again (5, Informative)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390254)

To turn the US into a Police State and umm I think there was something about terrorism in there.

Re:Remind me again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390680)

The worst kind in that it adheres to the doctrine of political correctness. So if you're looking to cause mayhem and not be screened, you should dress up in arab-muslim garb. Which is precisely the group of people that we should be profiling in the first place. No! In America, YOU are the enemy, not that "other" group that shall not be named.

Re:Remind me again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36391034)

It is called fascism.

public-private partnership (4, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390246)

In the UK we call this the public-private partnership (PPP - no, not that PPP), private finance initiative, introducing competitiveness into service provision, blah, blah, blah. What it actually means is a hegemony of large corporations selected by government cronies which siphon money off the tax payer to provide a service you either didn't want in the first place or which was once provided much more effectively at cost.

When finding out that a government is paying money to a corporation for a service, there is only one necessary question: what compensation will be paid to the men in government who made the decision by the executives of the firm which just won the multi-million-currency contract?

Good thing I have Directv and not CON CAST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390260)

Good thing I have Directv and not CON CAST

you get what you voted for (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390272)

hope and change XD

The More You Know... (1)

sgauss (639539) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390274)

*bum*bum*bum*bum ...starry rainbow logo...

Re:The More You Know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390732)

I think you just hum-spelled the Intel song... bum bum bum BUM.. when you meant the NBC jingle.. bum BUM bum..

Re:The More You Know... (1)

chickenarise (1597941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391054)

The "The More You Know..." PSAs didn't use the NBC jingle, they used a different 4 note jingle.

Do-Do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390284)

Do as we say, not as we do

NBC bid the production and won... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390292)

NBC bid the production and won... nothing to see here except the whining from the bidders that didn't make the cut.

Re:NBC bid the production and won... (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390532)

I agree . . .
Some media corporation would be needed to make the video. No matter which one makes it there would be complaints.

Well... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390302)

You wouldn't steal an CAR, would you????????

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

LoudNoiseElitist (1016584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390698)

No. However, if I could just get a copy of your car....

I assume this is a rhetorical question. (3, Interesting)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390306)

"why Homeland Security and ICE are running a one-sided, misleading corporate propaganda video, created and owned by a private company, without mentioning the rather pertinent information of who made it?"

Re:I assume this is a rhetorical question. (1, Insightful)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390374)

It's like asking "why does Slashdot only run stories that promote piracy as a human right?"

Re:I assume this is a rhetorical question. (-1, Troll)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390722)

Oh if I only had mod points to give you

I don't understand why this is such a big deal? A company that is hurt by stealing offers to make a PSA to help promote not stealing, seems like a pretty reasonable thing to happen. I especially love this quote from techdirt

Could you imagine how the press would react if, say, the FDA ran PSAs that were created and owned by McDonald's

Yeah, that would only apply if the PSA was about not stealing hamburgers, in which case I can't see how anyone could complain about that.

Re:I assume this is a rhetorical question. (2)

WhirlwindMonk (1975382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390988)

Oh if I only had mod points to give you

I don't understand why this is such a big deal? A company that is hurt by stealing offers to make a PSA to help promote not stealing, seems like a pretty reasonable thing to happen. I especially love this quote from techdirt

Could you imagine how the press would react if, say, the FDA ran PSAs that were created and owned by McDonald's

Yeah, that would only apply if the PSA was about not stealing hamburgers, in which case I can't see how anyone could complain about that.

What if the PSA stated, or even implied, that "fast food" *flashes McD's sign* isn't that bad for you *flashes images of skinny people at line at McD's* and you should eat it more often *flashes image of McD's drive through*, would you have an issue? Note, I have not seen the PSA, but if it included the ludicrously inflated "financial damage due to piracy" statistics the media companies like to drop, could you see why some people would think that this is an issue?

Re:I assume this is a rhetorical question. (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391154)

"stealing"
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:I assume this is a rhetorical question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36391194)

why that is such a big deal is, the government agency, which is supposed to be a tool of ALL the people who are participating in that society, is acting like a private company's personal strong arm, IN ADDITION TO what it is doing is definitely not in its mission definition.

in short, its thuggery.

Why does this matter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390310)

The Dept of Homeland Security can contract out jobs like video production to whoever they want. I haven't seen the video, but it should be judged for what it is and nothing more. If it is one-sided, then the DHS is to blame because they are ultimately responsible for the project. Who made it is simply irrelevant in my opinion.

Re:Why does this matter? (2)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390684)

DHS is funded by our tax dollars. There are procedures in place to make sure that government contracts are issued to companies in a fair manner. Do we know if this was done correctly? Of course, since Comcast NBC Universal is staffed by a former FCC board member, I guess things like due diligence don't matter anymore. Not to mention the fact that Jeff Immelt (CEO of GE who used to own NBC Universal) is the jobs czar. This just reeks of conflict of interest.

Next there is the issue of ownership. If our tax dollars paid for this PSA, we damn well better own it. When Northrop Grumman makes a bomber, they don't retain ownership of it. This is just ridiculous. I'll bet NBC already had the PSA's ready to go, maybe thinking they'd run their own war on piracy. But then they realized, "Hey, we could pitch this to the DHS and make millions!"

Maybe I need to get my tinfoil hat adjusted.

Re:Why does this matter? (1)

SilentChasm (998689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391096)

That would make sense if DHS actually owned the video afterwards, as in a work for hire. It was made by NBC for NYC as a PSA, then ICE (part of DHS) went and used it after taking out all the NYC references. The video is actually still owned by NBC, not NYC or ICE. If you ask someone to make something for you, you would likely be involved in it and get ownership of it afterward. This is just NBC getting a message they like out. I find it kind of hard to blame DHS for the content when they didn't make it, they just took an already made one. They should have at least credited NYC and NBC when they started putting it up on seized sites however.

It does have a nice claim of "Piracy doesn't work" at the end.

WAIT!!! (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390336)

What we really need to know is... do they have a proper license for the content? ;-)

Also, do they have to prove they have a proper license if someone files an improper DMCA takedown request in order to counterclaim it?

I logged in before posting, but when I went to preview the CAPTCHA was "hostage". Apropos. How very apropos.

Name Change (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390338)

Corporate Security has the ring of authenticity to it.

Re:Name Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36391168)

Can we throw it in a volcano, then?

Happens all the time (1)

Batmunk2000 (1878016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390370)

This happens all the time. PSAs don't come from nowhere... it is always some well-funded lobby with an agenda. Some groups are just better at hiding their tracks than others. . The abuse of power begins the moment the power is created. All government agencies exist because the pols want to be the focus of the corporate influence. Without these government agencies the actual citizens would be "lobbied" with, *gasp*, better services, prices and policies.

Re:Happens all the time (1)

eriklou (1027240) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390566)

Yep. The only way to fix the problem is to take away the the ability of the corporations to secure the same rights as living people. (I really wish I could rack up a million parking tickets, then dissolve my name and create a new name thus dropping all illegal activity off my record with zero accountability whatsoever.)

Who cares who made it ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390406)

Who cares who made it, IF the content was accurate(*) then fine. IF, and this is admittedly a big if, ICE gave some sort of specification or script to NBC then does it really matter? Producing a video might be the sort of thing you would want the government to outsource.

Alternative IF NBC wrote the script and the government found it to be accurate(*), then fine.

Note that I am not commenting on this video. I'm just challenging that idea that if someone else produced the video there is inherently a problem.

(*) Perhaps some would prefer "consistent with the government's position" rather than "accurate".

Re:Who cares who made it ... (3, Informative)

squidfood (149212) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390908)

Alternative IF NBC wrote the script and the government found it to be accurate(*), then fine.

No, maybe not fine.

Fine is: Government wants to produce a message. Government writes the message. Government puts production services out for bid, NBC is best by fair assessment (not just on price but possibly quality services). Video is made.

NOT fine is: Message is essentially a corporate message from NBC following NBC interests, so they give/donate/underbid their services in such a way that their corporate message is being sent and endorsed using the government as a mouthpiece.

Not quite the same ... (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390412)

Not saying that there isn't a conflict of interest here but the analogies fail because neither McDonald's nor Goldman Sachs are in the business of creating PSA's (basically advertisements) whereas NBC is, so you could argue that the Feds just outsourced the job to someone with expertise in the field.

Re:Not quite the same ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390596)

Bingo. This is more like talking about contracting Subway to provide lunch at a government press conference about healthy food initiatives. Yeah, it's mutually beneficial to both parties, but where is the harm in that?

Re:Not quite the same ... (1)

cygnwolf (601176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390850)

This. Seriously, what harm is it WHO produced the Public Service Announcement (PSA)? are they getting any benefit from it? IF you have to go digging to find out who produced it, then really what benefit is it to them? Most of the time, you see PSAs that have the logo of the company that created it, or a comment at the end, because the company who produced it is also trying to get some 'goodwill for us' out of it. I'll admit, some people here on /. may disagree with the content of the PSA and feel that Piracy is NOT BAD, but that's not really what this article is claiming. This article is claiming that a PSA produced 'in secret' by a company that might benefit from it because it benefits that company's industry as a whole is bad. A much better example than the one given would be one secretly run by McDonalds that said fried food wasn't so bad for you, or one by goldman sachs that says 'support your banking industry'. Again, what real benefit would the company in question get from it? sure they might see some, but so would their competitors. And most of the 'big evil corporations' aren't really in to doing anything that benefits their competitors. TL;DR : What benefit does being anonymous on this public service announcement really give NBC, aside from whatever the government paid them to make it?

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390414)

Having NBC produce an anti-piracy comerial is wrong? Arent they one of the many corporations that feel the effects of the theft? Basically what you are saying in this very inflammatory "story" is that it would be okay for the criminal to post PSA's but the victim isn't. Kind of like saying that the victim of the ship that was just hijacked can not put out an anti-piracy PSA but the pirate can.

Or is that two diffrent pirates that were thinking of, one steals media for personal entertainment while the other simply hijacks ships and extorts money from their victims.

Come on we have much better things to bash than this.

No need to imagine (5, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390424)

Could you imagine how the press would react if, say, the FDA ran PSAs that were created and owned by McDonald's without making that clear to the public? How about if the Treasury Department ran a PSA created and owned by Goldman Sachs?

US Agricultural policy is written by lobbyists for the likes of Monsanto and ADM. And are there any high-ranking officials in Treasury who don't have strong ties to Goldman or Bear Stearns?

The question isn't how the press would react, it's how the citizens react. And the answer is, they don't.

There have been many documentaries, exposes, and so forth about the incestuous relationships between industry and US regulators and law makers. The response has been a collective yawn.

Everyone (other than W.) in the White House or Congress who had any major role in getting the prescription drug plan passed went on to work for the drug industry. You don't need to imagine the reaction; just look around.

Oligarchy ... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390428)

So, shouldn't we be asking serious questions about why Homeland Security and ICE are running a one-sided, misleading corporate propaganda video, created and owned by a private company, without mentioning the rather pertinent information of who made it?

There's no need to ask.

Laws in the US are written at the behest of large corporations, to serve large corporations, with the people who enact those laws being paid by those large corporations.

The fact that the Department of Homeland Security is performing raids to protect the intellectual property of corporations is pretty much proof of that. Why is an agency tasked with the physical security of a nation responsible for seizing domain names suspect of copyright infringement? Because pretty much all US law and policy is in service to the wishes of the owners of this intellectual property.

When Goldman Sachs writes your economic policy, you seriously need to ask these questions?

What is a PSA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390432)

Editors: The entire summary makes no sense unless you know what a PSA is. When using acronyms for the first time you use the term, then place the acronym in parenthesis afterward like Random Access Memory (RAM).

Google define: PSA [google.com]

Prostate Specific Antigen
Professional Sports Authenticator
Professional Skaters Association

So it isn't even a common term if Google doesn't know it. I even watched the video and I still don't know.

Re:What is a PSA? (-1, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390538)

If you don't know what PSA means when government communications are the context, then you're a stupid cunt.

Hope and change!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390458)

2012 can't come fast enough.

They do it all the time: (1, Informative)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390516)

How's this different than the PSA's that the Ad Council regularly runs? They're often done by outside corporations. They're usually "nonprofit" corporations. That doesn't always mean they don't have an agenda. Often the agenda is their very reason for being.

Don't believe me? Well, the NRA is a nonprofit corp, for example. At least portions of Earth First are nonprofit corp. The American Conservative Union Foundation that puts on CPAC is a nonprofit corp.

I could go on, but I've given examples that should be suspect to various parts of the political spectrum.

Is the point that it's only OK if they partner with $(groups) that $(individual) agrees with?

Re:They do it all the time: (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391158)

The difference is that the Ad Council is a non-government organization. None of the examples you give are government organizations. When those organizations broadcast a PSA, you know that it is going to reflect the bias of that organization. The problem is not that NBC made and broadcast PSAs. The problem is that the government is taking PSAs created and owned by NBC and broadcasting them as the official government position without even telling people that this position was crafted by NBC.
What this amounts to is that the Department of Homeland Security is not even pretending that government policy on copyright infringement is not made by NBC.

Doesn't matter who made it. (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390526)

If its message is in line with the government's policy, then it doesn't matter who made it or who owns it. It's government policy information in a PSA. If you didn't have to pay for it, then that's a bonus.

You're just pissed because you want to steal copyrighted material.

Re:Doesn't matter who made it. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391208)

If it is government policy information I should be able to use it without violating copyright (under U.S. law, government publications are public domain). However, since this was created by NBC and NBC retains copyright on it, I need their permission to use it.
Second, this means that NBC is making government policy on copyright.

its corporate welfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390574)

This is classic corporate welfare. The government uses tax dollars to buy advertising slots on TV stations usually for crap like "just so no to drugs" but it could be anything. Bloomberg TV, you know the TV station owned by billionaire NYC mayor Bloomberg is notorious for this shit. Every ad block has at least one government ad on it (the rest are cheesy gold hucksters).

Um, no. (3, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390576)

"So, shouldn't we be asking serious questions about why Homeland Security and ICE are running a one-sided, misleading corporate propaganda video, created and owned by a private company, without mentioning the rather pertinent information of who made it?'"

Um, no. Let the Government do what they damned well please.

Or start firing your representatives, and hiring new ones. THEY are the ones not doing their jobs. It's called an election, and they happen every 2 years. Fire your Representatives, and your Senators, and your President, until they get it right. Then they will have to look over the other branch (judiciary) and get them re-oriented as well. This will take decades, my friends. It's ok, BTW, for the Congress to instruct the Judiciary, by law and by appointment. We have influence on that, if we choose to exercise it. Even the SCOTUS answers occasionally to Congress, in the form of nomination confirmations, and in new law to address disagreements. Not instantanous, not perfect, but it can work.

You know how at work, if the boss isn't paying attention, then the staff gets into trouble screwing around and failing to even try for goals, much less achieving them? Same problem with government. We are lax in our management of our own government. This must stop.

Gotta steer the boat, or it will end up on the rocks. Rock beats sailboat.

Re:Um, no. (1)

quorn_is_fungus (1076101) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391068)

Someone mod this up. I'd add that the way to get good candidates for national office is to pay attention to local elections.

Duh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36390602)

I think we really already know the answer to that, don't we?

You have seen nothing yet (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390742)

Wait until Net Neutrality passes and NBC is able to do far more than just push PSA's on you.

How about the federal reserve? (1)

codeAlDente (1643257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390772)

The Fed was also created and owned by a private companies, and how many people know who made it? Homeland security is just following their example. http://www.bigeye.com/griffin.htm [bigeye.com]

Surprise surpriseee (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36390880)

in a capitalist system, the ones with the money makes the rules ..... what made you think that it could have been otherwise ? saying 'even if you have the money, dont make the rules' .... ?

The Eternal Jew... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36391012)

The Jews own NBC, and the Jews own 'Homeland Security'. (Which really means 'Making sure JEWS are secure in somebody else's country, while they rule over their 'goyim' (cattle) who are too stupid to see what's being done to them'...)

Use Google and find out for yourselves what the Jews are doing to you.

Meh (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391062)

Seems like worrying that the pit bull coming for your neck has a tick.

I wonder why... (2)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 3 years ago | (#36391160)

Hmmm... I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I think it has something to do with the current administration...

  • Ian Heath Gershengorn, a partner with RIAA-firm Jenner & Block, represented the labels against Grokster (.pdf) and will be in charge of the DOJ Federal Programs Branch. That’s the unit that just told a federal judge the Obama administration supports monetary damages as high as $150,000 per purloined music track on a peer-to-peer file sharing program.
  • Donald Verrilli, associate deputy attorney general — the No. 3 in the DOJ, who unsuccessfully urged a federal judge to uphold the $222,000 file sharing verdict against Jammie Thomas.
  • Tom Perrilli, as Verrilli’s former boss, the Justice Department’s No. 2 argued in 2002 that internet service providers should release customer information to the RIAA even without a court subpoena.
  • Brian Hauck, counsel to associate attorney general, worked on the Grokster case on behalf of the record labels.
  • Ginger Anders, assistant to the solicitor general, litigated on the Cablevision case.

...and just the other day...

  • Donald Verrilli Jr. now serves as the nation's solicitor general.

For those of you that voted for Obama, apparently you didn't notice that he choose Mr. Joe Biden as his Vice President running mate. Mr. Joe is bought and paid for by the RIAA and MPAA. Now you get to see what all that campaign money bought. Congratulations!

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