Supporters of Richard O'Dwyer, the UK teenager US officials want to extradite for copyright offences, have got their hands on documents outlining movie industry tactics aimed at swaying public opinion against the youngster.
A memo from Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) officials accuses O'Dwyer of profiting from copyright abuse and discusses ways to discredit campaigns, such as the petition set up by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, that support O'Dwyer.
The document, which was obtained by Torrent Freak, reportedly discusses the position MPAA officials should take when talking to the media about the O'Dwyer case.
“This case isn’t about Internet freedom. It’s about a man profiting from theft,” the document states.
The MPAA also appears intent on puncturing the argument that the TVShack website, which was run by O'Dwyer, and provided links to streamed movies and TV shows, was similar to search engines.
“It was a site dedicated almost exclusively to making infringing content publicly available. Sites that act as clearing houses for stolen content have absolutely nothing in common with genuine search engines,” it read.
While many of the points in the document are scarcely a revelation, the document itself shows that the MPAA is worried about losing the public relations battle in this case.
Earlier this year, Wales set up a petition calling on the UK home secretary Theresa May to block the US request for O'Dwyer to be extradited, arguing that he should not be facing charges in a US court.
“We think it’s presumptuous of Mr. Wales to claim to speak for the 'general public'... The 'general public' also includes the millions of internet users who care about privacy and security, which are often compromised by illegal sites,” the document argued.
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