MPAA Emails Reveal Plan to Run Anti-Google Smear Campaign

Mike Masnick, Techdirt:

[In] a filing on Thursday, Google revealed one of the few emails that they have been able to get access to so far, and it’s stunning. It’s an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood’s top lawyers in the Mississippi AG’s office, discussing the big plan to “hurt” Google. Beyond influencing other Attorneys General (using misleading fake “setups” of searches for “bad” material) and paying for fake anti-Google research, the lawyers from Hood’s office flat out admit that they’re expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories


As Google notes in its legal filing about this email, the “plan” states that if this effort fails, then the next step will be to file the subpoena (technically a CID or “civil investigatory demand”) on Google, written by the MPAA but signed by Hood. As Google points out, this makes it pretty clear (1) that the MPAA, studios and Hood were working hand in hand in all of this and (2) that the subpoena had no legitimate purpose behind it, but rather was the final step in a coordinated media campaign to pressure Google to change the way its search engine works.

An “Anonymous Coward” in the comments points out that this could amount to securities fraud:

… conspiracy, fraud, bribery, and corruption.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Common violations that may lead to SEC investigations include:

• …
• Manipulating the market prices of securities
• …

That’s probably a stretch, but interesting to consider. The MPAA has way too much influence in Washington; they will be unlikely to feel any repercussions from this plan.