There have been a ton of post mortems about the whole SOPA/PIPA fight, with many trying to figure out where and how the MPAA "went wrong." After all, this is a group that is very used to getting its way inside DC. And it got slaughtered. We've already discussed our thoughts on why the MPAA failed, but what stuns me is how every time someone from the MPAA opens their mouth, they seem to make the situation worse by demonstrating just how tone deaf they are to the online community and what their concerns were. Whether it's just blaming Google or thinking that the solution is more backroom dealing, each response just sounds like a group of people who are playing a different game, and still don't realize the rules have changed.
The Hollywood Reporter's version of the postmortem is a good read, even though it covers much the same ground as many other such recaps. Still, it's worth reading to get a good feel for Hollywood's view of the world. But the really stunning part is the quote from Michael O'Leary, the MPAA's number two guy, who makes what may be the most tone-deaf statement we've seen to date in this fight:
The MPAA's O'Leary concedes that the industry was out-manned and outgunned in cyberspace. He says the MPAA "is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we're not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform."
Yes, even when he tries to say that they're trying to learn about that confounded internet thingy, he sounds ridiculous and dismissive. But the real point is his inadvertent admission within that statement: the MPAA (and the rest of "old" Hollywood) simply "is not comfortable with" the internet. And that's really what SOPA and PIPA were about. Rather than trying to understand this new platform, and learn from the many entertainers who do get the internet, they did what the MPAA does and simply tried to regulate that which they don't understand and fear.
Fill up the bucket with your tears tiny little man!