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How To Address A Visit from MPAA Senior VP Rich Taylor?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-tar-or-feathers-please dept.

Education 314

tedswiss writes "Fate has dropped a unique opportunity upon my lap: I teach at a moderately small independent school who has as one of its alums Richard Taylor. Mr. Taylor is both speaking at our start-of-year festivities and being honored with this year's "Distinguished Alum Award." Having followed and been disgusted by the MPAA's corporate practices regarding DRM and government lobbying in the past (Anyone remember DeCSS?), I would love to make his visit a chance to truly educate our student body, not just indoctrinate them. The school administration is sympathetic to my plight, but I want to present them with more than just my complaints. How would you best make use of this opportunity if you found yourself in my shoes?"

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314 comments

Hmmm. (5, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377163)

Ask him if the MPAA uses the same "accounting" for determining losses due to piracy which its members so often use when declaring that movies rolling in cash in fact lost money.

Re:Hmmm. (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377589)

Ask him to say hello to your little friend..

Re:Hmmm. (0, Redundant)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377653)

That was obviously a joke by the way- I don't want the MPAA to pressure the police into charging me with conspiracy to murder or something!

With such a visit (5, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377759)

from someone as illustrious as this ...

It is well worth it to propose a week long series of special classes about the man, the organization, and the controversies. This allows plenty of time for a balanced presentation from all of the viewpoints. And of course, you can encourage students to put on their on presentations and reports, etc. This should be done in advance of the visit, so that when there is a question and answer period with the celebrity, you can rest well assured that students will ask well informed questions.

Remember that Copyright [youthforhumanrights.org] is included (under Article 27) [un.org] in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (some clever human rights PSAs here [youthforhumanrights.org])

Article 27.

  1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
and this provides for other angles and viewpoints that the MPAA might not be actually friendly to, even if they claim to be artist friendly. (Remember Hollywood accounting!) There is also the argument that the corporations are not acting in the best interest of the Artists, but their own personal profit.

finally, the European view on copyright and an artist's rights are significantly different compared to typical american viewpoints.

Tear Gas (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377167)

I think that would be the very best way to welcome your fellow alum back to campus.

shut your mouth (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377171)

quit your bitchin. Take the sheepskin and run. No one cares about your politics. You want to indoctrinate them as well, just into your philiosphy. Mind your own business, all will be happier

Re:shut your mouth (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377357)

No kidding. Poor little crybaby can't get free movies or music any more. Cry me a river.

Hey, tedswiss, change your major now to something that has a chance at earning you a decent living. Otherwise, the world will have to put up with your whining for the rest of your life. Please spare us your barstool philosophy that you will surely spout after each and every day of your 35 hour work week at the coffee shop. And, no, we will not buy your witty bumper sticker from your blog.

Re:shut your mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377433)

DRAMA!

Re:shut your mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377545)

um, you did notice that he teaches at the university, right?

Re:shut your mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377555)

Shut your mouth and let the abuse continue. It's the American Way.

Teamwork (5, Insightful)

Raindance (680694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377175)

I suppose it depends on the opportunities and contexts you have access to (what classes you teach, whether you can hold a seminar or discussion panel before/after his address, etc). But my primary advice would be:

Be respectful. Think teamwork. Don't try to rain on the parade the college is throwing for him. Nobody will thank you for that. Not that you seem to be leaning that way, but it bears mentioning on Slashdot.

Consider sitting down with Mr. Taylor privately (asap, if it'll be in addition to other things). The article you linked said he seems willing to take outside concerns seriously. It sure seems that he could be a great resource in 1. getting the MPAA to take consumer/citizen concerns more seriously, and 2. helping educate the student body about what's at stake here (on both sides).

Perhaps you could set up a panel on intellectual property/DRM while he's in town (you, him, maybe some other relevant folks), and invite the student body. Man, I'd love to go to that.

Re:Teamwork (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377217)

Just let him do his talk, usher him out of the building with a nice certificate, and leave it at that. The MPAA isn't going to change its ways because you had a talk with this guy. You'd be wasting your time talking to him privately, and would embarass your school if you went after him publicly.

Re:Teamwork (5, Informative)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377425)

I disagree. I think this is a good opportunity to make a point. No, the MPAA isn't going to change, but you're at a school, and educating the students by getting them to think about things they might not otherwise is a good thing to do.

I don't have specific ideas about what to do, but I have some advice on what NOT to do. Don't attempt to harass, trap, or otherwise embarass this guy. Be civil. Your goal here is to get people thinking, not to attack this particular person. Likewise, your goal isn't to express your anger or disgust - it's to educate the student body about the very real and sometimes subtle issues. Handouts? Teach-ins? Big signs and pamphlets? Parody films? It depends on your target audience, venue, etc.

But do something!

Re:Teamwork (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377503)

His point isn't to change the mind of the MPAA, it is to prevent the MPAA from indoctrinating his students with their views on the matter (or rather, indoctrinate them with his own). No offense, but I HATE it when people claim to be "helping the children" by "telling them the real story". So often that "real story", is a bunch of bias garbage that ends up hurting them 10 fold when the reach adulthood. They end up having a completely warped view of reality (at least warped relative to the their peers; even if they are right, they are stilling playing with a handicap). For instance, lets say that we took a group of elementary aged kids and taught that that IP was a totally evil concept. To US (adults) that is okay because we have grown up around IP and understand the reason that it needs to be changed; however, if you teach somebody that has no frame of reference that IP is evil, they won't understand why. This will end up actually hurting them in the long run. People need the ability to come to their own conclusions. People who try and let their kids skip that whole "experience" thing, and jump right into the understanding part are doing their children a great injustice.

Re:Teamwork (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377553)

We're talking about a bunch of kids that probably download episodes of their favorite TV shows, so I doubt very much that some MPAA mouthpiece is going to make them burn their DVD burners, shave their heads and begin worshipping Hollywood.

Re:Teamwork (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377683)

I really think its a problem that kids are growing up today not know that blatant copyright violations really ARE stealing. Somebody really DID have to go through the work to create whatever it is that you're getting online for free. Most of us grew up having to actually purchase our music in a record store. When we download something online, we know that it is something that we would have normally had to pay for. If we understand that the recording industry is screwing the artists, that this CD used to cost us 13 dollars, and that the majority of artists make their living from touring, we are more likely to actually attend one of those shows for the sake of supporting the musicians. Sure we can tell the kids that are growing up around this that music is really something that they should have to pay for, but the internet found the problem and routed around it ;-), however without the actual memories of mowing some grass in exchange for an album, or actually handing a clerk some cash, they won't really have a FULL understand of what is going on.

Re:Teamwork (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377627)

"even if they are right, they are stilling playing with a handicap" O_O Do you realize what you're saying?! Doublethink > Truth?

Re:Teamwork (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377787)

And in the story that you're referencing with "doublethink" what happened to winston? He ended up exiled from his city, barely survived the ministry of justice, and had to live out the rest of his life in the proles knowing that his society had serious problems, but that there was nothing he could do to change it.

Think about a person sitting on their deathbed; if they truly believe that when they die they will live out eternity in heaven, they will have a MUCH more peaceful death than if they know that they body will become, essentially, worm food. They will decay into what is basically liquid filth, and will become the nourishment for a bunch of bacteria and parasites.

Ignorance is not always, but can be, bliss.

so yes, sometimes Doublethink > Truth.

Re:Teamwork (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377579)

> Be respectful. Think teamwork. Don't try to rain on the parade the college is throwing for him. Nobody will thank you for that. Not that you seem to be leaning that way, but it bears mentioning on Slashdot.

And by "respectful", we mean "moon him so wide the Goatase Guy would be impressed", and by "teamwork", we mean "everyone in the auditorium", and by "don't try to rain on the parade", we're not sure, but it probably involves some sort of Rube Goldberg contraption involving an enema bag, a colostomy bag, and an industrial-size manure spreader.

Nobody would thank you for that unless you get video of it from at least three strategically-placed cameras.

Not that you seem to be leaning that way, but it bears mentioning we'd at least fund your bandwidth bill, if not your legal defense team, if you had a change of heart.

Or you could just take the high road. Even a thousand-goatse-moon and a spraydown with a million gallons of manure won't make MPAA's bullshit smell any sweeter. So let him say his piece, and then hoist him by his own petard. The Emperor has no clothes, and the more he brags about how good he looks, the more obvious it'll be to your classmates who's full of shit. MPAA's business practices are their own worst enem...y.

A Simple Greeting: (3, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377177)

AK47

well... (4, Funny)

onemorehour (162028) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377189)

First off, I'd announce the planned visit on a very popular website (making sure to mention his name in the title), thus dramatically increasing the chances that he will catch wind of whatever clever plan I come up with.

Okay, sorry. In all seriousness, I think the coolest thing to do would be to invite him to a Q&A session with your class, and try to ask him questions that shed light on these issues (lobbying, legal overreaching).

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377201)


1) Pie in the face.
2) Roll in circles on floor hollering "Woo Woo Woo" ala Curly
3) ???
4> PROFIT!!!!

Just like home! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377203)

File a whole bunch of baseless lawsuits at him as soon as he walks in. He'll feel right at home!

Isn't it obvious? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377207)

Kill him with fire. For great justice.

Don't be a jerk (4, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377215)

Seriously.

Somebody more powerful than you thought it a good idea to bestow this honor on him. I wouldn't ruin the ceremony by sandbagging him. Perhaps you could invite him to your class to discuss some issues but I wouldn't use this opportunity to harangue him and make yourself look like a whiny prick in the process.

Re:Don't be a jerk (5, Interesting)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377251)

Somebody more powerful, yes, but not necessarily someone more intelligent.

Re:Don't be a jerk (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377275)

Somebody more powerful, yes, but not necessarily someone more intelligent.
That is the formula for the bulk of decision-making throughout history.

Re:Don't be a jerk (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377387)

Is that like when middle class people think that rich people shouldn't have to pay more taxes, because they hope that one day, when they themselves are rich, they won't have to pay more taxes either?

Power needs to be checked. It is wrong that people who abuse their power can go through their daily lives like nothing happened. Make their lives miserable, show them that you mind. But no, they get honors and preferential treatment instead, because their power somehow makes them better people, no matter what they do with that power. I'd rather be a jerk than a kiss-ass.

Re:Don't be a jerk (1)

Stubtify (610318) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377485)

I have to agree with OP on this. You'll be the one with the egg on your face. I've had the pleasure of meeting with high level executives. It's a strange feeling, when you converse you'll get to see that they are no different than you. Just as strongly as you believe they are wrong, they believe they are right. A discussion, even in private, is not going to bring to light the fact that you are indeed correct. Someone that high up has a strict script they must stick to in answering questions. Their personal feelings and the company's might be very different, but a great VP will never let you know this.

While the blanket statement that "someone more powerful than you..." might stir within you a basic need to push back against authority... this is your job we're talking about here. The last thing you'll want to do is throw him/MPAA right under the bus. A better idea might be to ask your students to debate, one side backing up the VP's claims, the other arguing the opposite. This can be done after the VP has left, and can have a lasting impression on your students, much more so than some stuffy suit's speech will.

Re:Don't be a jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377577)

I'd suggest holding the debate before the VP's visit.

Re:Don't be a jerk (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377835)

So let the people more powerful eat their canapes and drink their champagne, but the best YOU can do is to show total indifference. MPAA is a has-been on the way down, and is best ignored, lest it drag you with it.

In other words, don't treat this like an "opportunity", cause there's only opportunities for bad things, whether you honour the guy or ask him pointed questions.

what you should do (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377237)

get down on your knees and suck his dick cause that's what it sounds like you want to do anyways.

Demonstrate ... (5, Funny)

joeyspqr (629639) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377245)

how easy and rewarding it is play one his client's movies using software approved by his organization ... say, an HD movie on a Vista laptop? be sure to point out how the enhanced experience will motivate customers to pour bushels of cash on them.

Or.. (1, Insightful)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377331)

Play a pirated HD movie (make sure the name is clearly visible when you start the movie, and make sure it is an obviously "torrent style" name) in Linux using unapproved software. See if they actually come after you for it, or if they would rather just pick on the little guys.

i for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377257)

welcome our senior vice-president overlords.

Don't be a jerk. (4, Insightful)

wheatwilliams (605974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377271)

The word that worries me in your discussion above is where you say that you have been "disgusted" with the Motion Picture Association's activities.

If you've got a distinguished and influential guest addressing your class, you need to show him respect.

You are not in the business of making or financing motion pictures or record albums, so you have no real stake in the argument. It does not affect your ability to earn a living and feed your family one way or another. Richard Taylor, on the other hand, speaks for tens of thousands of people who earn their livings making and financing motion pictures and record albums. He wants to present their point of view, and he knows what he is talking about.

So show some class, act like a gentleman, and make sure your students are respectful as well.

You won't convince or influence anybody with scorn and invective. If you listen to Richard Taylor, you might learn a few things and better understand his point of view.

Don't be a spitton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377435)

"The word that worries me in your discussion above is where you say that you have been "disgusted" with the Motion Picture Association's activities."

Not as worrying as when slashdot spit on the grave of the last guy.

Re:Don't be a jerk. (4, Insightful)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377557)

If you've got a distinguished and influential guest addressing your class, you need to show him respect.

Why? Respect is something that must be earned, and people devoid of ethics deserve none.

Re:Don't be a jerk. (0, Troll)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377857)

Yeah, let's stick it to those dirty bastards who want to be paid for producing the content everyone else wants for free. I see where the MPAA has the ethics problem here.

Re:Don't be a jerk. (5, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377613)

You are not in the business of making or financing motion pictures or record albums, so you have no real stake in the argument.

I have to disagree here. The legislation that is produced on behalf of MPAA and similar lobbying has real effects on many, many more people than just those who make or finance movies or music. It's one thing for an industry group to try and promote their own interests; it's something completely different when they do it at the expense of the public.

Certainly I agree with the necessity of showing respect, but on the other hand, the MPAA's representatives would do well to show some respect and attention to these students, as well - they are the generation that is growing up with torrents while Blockbuster slowly disappears. Their attitudes towards media consumption are shaping and will continue to shape the industry, whether the MPAA likes it or not.

Re:Don't be a jerk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377629)

Richard Taylor, on the other hand, speaks for tens of thousands of people who earn their livings making and financing motion pictures and record albums. He wants to present their point of view

Every opinion put forth by the MPAA since the 80s has been dishonest rhetoric designed to mislead or demonise. What on earth makes you think this time will be any different?

Make him sign a ten page agreement including a long list of ludicrous things he is not permitted to do before you let him set foot on the premises. And if he dares quote anybody during his speech, call him a thief.

I'll buy the "be respectful" part at least... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377647)

I'll give you the "Be Respectful" part because I agree with that on principle, even if the guy might be a douchebag. The rest, however, I do not buy.

This may not be the best time to get on a soapbox--after all, he's being brought in as a "distinguished alumnus" or something, so that's not a great time to rain on anyone's parade. If you do anything, make it subtle and innocent.

It wouldn't hurt to let him know that normal people are sick of their shenanigans, but it WOULD hurt to do so by embarrassing him in public.

Re:Don't be a jerk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377695)

The word that worries me in your discussion above is where you say that you have been "disgusted" with the Motion Picture Association's activities.

So the guy's in touch with his feelings, I'm not seeing the problem here. Bottom line, the guy feels how he feels - but what he does in response to his feelings is another matter.

If you've got a distinguished and influential guest addressing your class, you need to show him respect.

What's with this "need" business? There are a number of reasons for "should show respect" (and there are also a number of reasons for "should not show respect") - but what's with the "need".

You are not in the business of making or financing motion pictures or record albums, so you have no real stake in the argument.

Chances are the guy squanders many many hours of life his watching motion pictures and listening to record albums. At the very least, he will, in his capacity as an educator, be constrained by copyrights on motion pictures and records.

It does not affect your ability to earn a living and feed your family one way or another.

The motion picture industry could go away entirely and people would still be able to feed their families (with other jobs) - or are you one of those people who thinks that slave plantations were a good thing because they allowed the plantation owners to feed their families?

So show some class, act like a gentleman, and make sure your students are respectful as well.

Well, if I were to give the guy some advice it would start with "So how much do you want to get fired?" 'Cause chances are good that there's an administrator somewhere in this guy's educational outfit that thinks like the parent post. It's not the ability of the people in the motion picture industry to feed their families that's at stake here - it's this educational guys ability that's at stake.

Eh? What about protesting (1)

rgaginol (950787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377785)

Not that I'm saying protesting is called for here: the MPAA do have a right to protect their income source... but if someone felt strongly enough against the MPAA's practices, I actually don't think that protesting should be out of the question. Being 'polite' and 'a gentleman' is the path to faffy ineffectual management practices. If you think about their intrusion of privacy and the dodgy means their going about investigating it - not to mention the fact that the punishments far far far exceed the crime which would lean towards making an example of someone rather then finding adequate punishment, I'd almost say that protesting would be quite adequate if someone felt strongly enough about it. As long as you're protesting in a peaceful manor, I don't see what harm there is in there. In fact, I'd go on to say that you'll teach your students a much better lesson by showing them that your society allows people the right to peaceful protest by standing up for what you believe in.

Re:Don't be a jerk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377795)

Uh, no. Your point would also have applied to most of most disgusting individuals from the past century. Not all distinguished and influential speakers need or should be treated with respect. Would you have extended such courtesy to, say, Idi Amin, Pol Pot and Al Capone? They were, no doubt, very distinguished, and unfortunately rather influential (within their respective areas of control).

Thing is: just because someone higher up has no problems with inviting leader of such infamous organizations as MPAA (or RIAA) doesn't mean everyone must be toothless and just "give him a fair chance".

This is not to say that it wouldn't pay to avoid being seen as a raving lunatic, and acting in civilized manner. But there is no need to lose sight of one's values and principles: if MPAA is seen as an evil conglomerate that abuses legal system in order to try to maximize short-term profits (as well as quite possibly risking long-term sustainability of the very industry it represents) there is no point in spinelessly hiding these views. They can be expressed in appropriate manner, effectively but sternly. But there's nothing more disgusting than cowardly smile-at-your-face - but - whine-behind-your-back demeanor.

Alternatively, just ignore the whole thing. Do not go see or listen to the scumbag; do not lend any credibility for anything to related to visit of this "distinguished gentleman". That is probably what I would do: it should be a bigger insult to be ignored, than to be harangued.

As much as I do appreciate basic american small-talk commodity politeness, I wish it was not displayed in wrong places/times. This is an example where less is more.

Re:Don't be a jerk. (1)

mycroft822 (822167) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377847)

You are not in the business of making or financing motion pictures or record albums, so you have no real stake in the argument.
I disagree with this part of your post. As a consumer of Mr. Taylor's products, he does have a stake in the arguments surrounding DRM and the consumer's rights. As a tax paying (I assume anyway ;) ) citizen of the US he also has a large stake in the argument of lobbying and essentially buying laws favorable to the MPAA. These are the actions he says disgust him.

I'll tell you (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377279)

Get ahold of Ali G and let him handle the interview...

there you go.
MPAA owned

Here are some suggestions... (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377291)

Put 'im in the scuppers with a hosepipe on him.
Put him in the longboat till he's sober.
Heave him by the leg in a running bowline.
Put 'im in the cabin with the captain's daughter*.

I could go on...

*The "captain's daughter" is a cat o' nine tails.

get me within 500 yards of him.... (1)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377299)

I'll do the rest :)

(for any law enforcement reading this comment, its a joke, not a threat).

Re:get me within 500 yards of him.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377403)

you puss... why the disclaimer? we all knew you were joking :)
let me guess, you live in some paranoic rogue communist state?

Organize a protest (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377301)

Unless you can get the school to organize an official debate on intellectual property, that's all you can do.

Come to the event with a big sign illustrating your message and objections to his status as a distinguished alum. Have a group of students do the same as well as boo and chant before/during/after the event. Engage in civil disobedience by bringing a notebook and helping friends make backups of their own DVDs in his plain sight.

I would ask your students... (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377313)

To think about how they would solve the problem of compensating those involved in media production, and if lawsuits would be an ethically appropriate part of your business model.

Autograph plz! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377329)

Ask him to sign your burned copy of "Mean Girls"

I've hated the MPAA a long time, but... (1)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377333)

At a certain point you have to follow street advise of: Don't hate the player, hate the game.

The fact is the overzealous legal system, big-business government, and uninformed politicians have lead us down this path. The MPAA is winning within the rules given to it, and using loopholes to create their own rules. We are at that "certain point" where we (as a country made of citizens) have to take responsibility for what we have allowed to happen.

Don't be petty or childish and try to embarrass him in some sort of "win" against the MPAA.

Re:I've hated the MPAA a long time, but... (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377829)

What's wrong with hating the player? There is no game if there are no players.

How about a "What I would do" speech? (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377337)


Something along the lines of:

"Today, we welcome Richard Taylor, of the Motion Picture Association of America.

As a member of an association of movie makers, his task is to..." ...At this point, you can go two ways. First, you could be honest and say that his task is to help garner as much money as possible for his group and the studios that fund them. From that, you'd say, "What I would do if I were in his position, is to figure out how to milk even more money from artists, and to cheapen art as much as possible so that the only thing that filters to the imaginations of the viewing public is more explosions and weak innuendo."

The other approach, is to toe the line of "...his task is to assure that hard-working artists get their fare share, in an entertainment industry that continues to provide for all involved. That's why, what I would do if I were in his position would be to..." and then be honest in the other direction, and explain why there really is no role for an MPAA if all they wanted to do was to protect artists and the things they care about.

Ryan Fenton

So far it's only been a metaphor... (1)

TheWizardTim (599546) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377345)

but go on stage and say, "For so long you have been screwing the public, you might as well do it for real." and then drop your pants and bend over.

Who do you want to educate? (4, Interesting)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377351)

In your question, you are asking what question to ask to educate the student body - I would think that this would be an opportunity to educate Mr. Taylor.

If you read some of the other replies, you'll see that people believe that the appropriate greeting for him is tear gas or an AK-47.

I would think that the meeting would be a chance for him to see your fellow faculty and students as people and not as criminals as we are always viewed by the **AAs. It could be a good chance for him to sit down with students and understand how they would like to enjoy the products that he represents and discuss ways that are mutually beneficial to both parties.

If he isn't receptive to this idea, then bring out the tear gas and AK-47s.

myke

I know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377373)

Put an electronic surveillance device on his award, and make sure he knows it's there to prevent him from making illegal copies of it.

Sometimes the classics do it best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377379)

Ever seen the movie Carrie? Big bucket of Pig's Blood, you know you want to.

[Obvious] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377399)

"Through intense lobbying, your organization has all but purchased copyright legislation such as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and the DMCA. Many people take the position that this is eroding rights that have been enjoyed by the consumer ever since the beginning of copyright law. How do you respond to this?"

you are a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377411)

Just keep your mouth shut when he visits, you troll. Amusing how /. loves the term troll, unltil it's turned on them.

Why do they make pirated products more attractive? (5, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377437)

What I've always wondered about companies that require DRM on their products is simply this: why do they insist on making their paying customers suffer, which those that don't bother supporting the content creators get a more convenient product?

With movies, the pirated version usually jumps straight to the movie without going through previews or FBI warnings. It doesn't include slow, time-wasting menus. It doesn't force you to skip by commercials for other movies. It just gets you to the product and lets you view it with minimum hassle.

As an added bonus, the pirated version doesn't prevent me from transcoding to a format my iPod can support or prevent me from storing it on my computer and streaming it via my TiVo. If I ever get an XBox360 or a PS3, I can stream them to that too.

With a DRM-encumbered movie, I can't do any of that.

Why do they insist on giving their paying customers a product that's simply worse than the pirated version? Why do they think we'll put up with it?

I love idiots like this (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377719)

Hey. Moron. This isn't an interview. You can tell because it's in "Ask Slashdot" and not the "Interview" section.

It's a guy asking for advice on how to talk with someone who disagrees with him on something. Not an interview.

On that note, make sure you listen to what he's actually saying and don't just repeat idiotic anti-DRM talking points like the parent here did. Actually respond to what he's saying, listen to his arguments, and otherwise don't try and antagonize him. He's a guest, not a target.

SUCK IT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377447)

And don't be an asshole

management facing change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377465)

Ask if he thinks the lower costs and barriers to entry will lead to contract terms that are more favorable to writers, producers, and actors -- see southparkstudios.

Also, ask him why the MPAA isn't a non-profit (it doesn't appear to be)...he will probably mention lobbying, so follow it up with a question on why a trade association of _distributors_ has focused on lobbying and PR instead of working with their members to develop a high-quality internet distribution platform. (Instead of losing money to poor quality youtube, and higher quality stage6).

Ask him how distributors and producers can respond to sites linking to randomly named videos on You Tube/Stage 6, etc--cases where users don't even have to use p2p to get access, the company hosting the content has no idea what it is, and the linkers are user-generated.

Let the students handle it. (5, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377469)

1. A few days *before* his visit, open a debate in your classroom about filesharing, DMCA, DRM, piracy and the music and film industries' business models. Make your students do a research paper on it for homework (the homework will be BEFORE the class debate), and give the homework a +1 point over the final exam.

Perhaps you can research a little and give some pointers (links) that they can use for the research i.e. hackers' rants, slashdot posts, the 09 F9 scandal [wikipedia.org], and so on.

2. Invite the students to ask any questions they had when the MPAA Senior comes.
(I'm sure that after being educated with the debate, they'll ask questions on playing movies on Linux machines, DMCA, the broken DRM security model and so on).

3. Buy some popcorn and enjoy the fun. Trust me, It will get more embarrassing than Bill Gates' BSOD on the Win98 presentation. ;-)

Other ideas (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377529)

Let students bring protest cards saying "NO TO THE MAFIAA", "Don't take away my rights", "DMCA is EVIL", "09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0" and so on :)

Ask Why (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377473)

Ask why the DVD Forum feels it has the right to control a users DVD player that they do not own by using inserted User Operation Prohibition [wikipedia.org] controls such as disallowing fast-forward or skipping during trailers and ads. In other words, just because someone owns the IP of a movie does it give them the right to control the DVD player?

I would encourage everyone to bring a small (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377477)

fire extinguisher.

Then, whenever they say "Distinguished", let loose and "extinguish" him.

It's only fair.

tedswiss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377537)

what a pussy-ass name. fuckin cocksucker.

The Class way of doing this (4, Funny)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377549)

Before he speaks have a lawyer type give a 5 minute discussion on how the preceding speech is CopyRight (R) $date by $school and reproduction by any means
will result in prosecution. Then Lock the doors (make loud slamming noises) and have him give his talk.

Re:The Class way of doing this (1)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377789)

Before he speaks have a lawyer type give a 5 minute discussion on how the preceding speech is CopyRight (R) $date by $school and reproduction by any means
will result in prosecution. Then Lock the doors (make loud slamming noises) and have him give his talk.
Preceding speech? I'm resisting the urge to be pedantic and failing, sorry >.>

Supersoakers... (1, Funny)

El_Smack (267329) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377591)

...full of ferret pee.
Then offer to pay his dry cleaning bill. No need to be a jerk about it.

Ninja Stars! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377609)

Give every student in the audience one. :-)

Or you could... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377639)

Roll him up in a carpet, and throw him off a bridge!
</homer>

The Biggest Lie (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377691)

The Biggest Lie of the MPAA (and RIAA) is that every download equates to a lost sale, or a percentage of a lost sale. I'd love for him to have to explain how he can truly justify that position.

Re:The Biggest Lie (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377853)

I would note in particular that the motion picture industry had perhaps their largest box office total ever this past summer... over $4 billion dollars worth just in the USA alone. And that little factoid has been in the news quite a bit lately.

More to the point, is this hardcore attitude toward cracking down on somebody who brings a camera into the theater and prosecuting somebody who grabs 3-5 mintues on their their cell phone something really worth prosecuting, or "charging" off to the respective movie studio P.R. budget instead?

Hardcore pirates are more likely to do something more obvious like when a movie theater owner was held up at gunpoint to hand over a complete print of Return of the Jedi on the opening day of wide release. Or simply get a copy from one of the studio production crew members or even studio executives themselves. Does arresting a kid in Podunk, Arkansas really make that much of a dent to stopping movie piracy when these much more obvious forms of piracy are being done (and seldom even prosecuted)?

How about this as a more "friendly" but related question..... what real prosecutions have occurred over the past 10 years to put major pirate groups behind bars? In other words, what real success has the MPAA had to stop piracy besides going after a grandmother who doesn't even have an e-mail address?

I'm not joking (4, Interesting)

squarefish (561836) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377707)

But rather than post here what you should ask him and risk he won't, see if he'd be willing to provide a /. interview.

It's worth a shot and may be the best way for someone to approach him directly about it. I'm sure he's probably been asked in the past and was able to easily ignore the emails or phone calls. Asking him to do so in person will put him on the spot and he may take it more seriously.

During his speach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377733)

see if you can cough 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 :D

Check his laptop for unauthorized content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20377763)

Scan his laptop and see if there is anything unlicensed on it.

Ask him if he stole his car. (5, Funny)

kramer (19951) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377777)

Interrupt the beginning of the speech. Ask him if he stole his car. When he says no, ignore him and launch into a 5 minute prepared speech about how stealing cars is wrong, and the effects of stolen cars on everyone. Tell him how bad he is for stealing his car, and how he'll be punished when he gets caught. Most importantly, do not let him interrupt you or skip any portion of your speech. When you're finished, ask him how he appreciates being treated to a lecture about being a thief during time that is supposed to be his.

Re:Ask him if he stole his car. (3, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377865)

If I ever saw someone behave in that manner, I would have to assume that whatever their point was, they couldn't possibly be right.

Personal vs. Corporate Copyrights (2, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377793)

Ask him to explain the difference between a copyright held by a corporation and by an individual, rights and protections for the individual copyright holder v.s the corporation and Fair Use.

Ask him to explain why some "copyright" (sic) works may be freely redistributed (GNU, BSD, Creative Commons, Public Domain etc.) and why others can't.

Ask him how technological measures to enforce copyright can respect these different regimes, and who polices them.

Ask him to explain the difference between copyrights, patents, intellectual property.

What I suggest... (1)

maino82 (851720) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377811)

is fire up a computer running your favorite Linux distro (sans libdvdcss), then pop in a home made "Welcome" DVD of sorts that you and your students make (the unencrypted DVD works just fine... splendid!). Then, introduce him and announce that you have some examples of works that the MPAA has produced that the students may find memorable. Then proceed to pull out DVDs of movies that you rightly purchased, and attempt to play them on the computer (Oh dear... there seems to be a problem with the disks...).

Be creative.... (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377837)

Put together a collage of video clips gleaned from pirated movies that welcomes him to the opening day festivities. Pirated clips of famous movie stars talking on your behalf would demonstrate that your immense creativity is only surpassed by the size of your balls.
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