Imagine getting a call in the middle of the night. On the end of the phone is a police officer explaining that a burglar has broken into your store and stolen a large number of CD’s. This is somewhat how producers of movies and music feel when they find out that untold number of copies of their work are being distributed without compensation.
The Hollywood and music industry is along dealing with rogue websites trafficking in stolen work or goods. Though some websites look legitimate, the websites feature advertising, accepting major credit cards, and enable thieves to profit from intellectual property.
SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) was introduced to give copyright holders more protective power over their intellectual property and make trafficking in counterfeit goods illegal. PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) on the other hand, would give copyright holders additional tools to curb access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods,” especially those registered outside the United States.
Hollywood and the music industry need to respond to the campaign against SOPA and PIPA with strategic care and effectively communicate their argument for SOPA and PIPA.
Public Relations can do a better job than advertising and marketing when it comes to representing Hollywood and the music industry with the campaign against SOPA and PIPA. Public Relations can represent Hollywood/Music industry by responding to the public using this concept:
Research – learn about audience, client and situation
Planning – devise strategies to meet communication needs
Communication – spread the message through various outlets
Evaluation – determine if the strategy(s) was effective is exactly what this dilemma needs so
This strategic idea can help oppose the ‘Campaign of Misinformation‘ on SOPA and PIPA. Public relations can change opinions and make people aware of SOPA and PIPA positivity, whereas advertising and marketing can not.
For Hollywood/Music industry, students and members of Congress are most important in this situation.
Students and members of Congress should receive the same kind of message from the Hollywood and music industry about SOPA and PIPA but with a different approach or angle that will catch their interest and engage them to listen to the Hollywood and music industry.
It is also important to achieve effective communication with both students and members of Congress. By using the 4Cs Model (which stands for Comprehension, Connection, Credibility, and Contagiousness) PR practitioners can help clients pinpoint why any message works or doesn’t work, and how to improve it.
Students appreciate and expect exceptional creativity and originality from artist in the Hollywood/Music Industry. The music and Hollywood industry need to stress to students that the music that they listen to or even the movies that they see would be better quality if SOPA and PIPA were in effect. If the Hollywood/Music industry felt confident that their work was being recognized and awarded for then their work would progress. Since artist work are being stolen and unpaid, there is a lack of creativity in their work and efforts. Instead of students seeing downloading albums off the internet or downloading movies as a way of “violating their rights”, it would be best to express to students that not participating in piracy is a way of showing respect Hollywood and music industry.
In the end, when artists get ripped off, everybody loses.
As for members of Congress, they should be reminded that it is the governments job to protect Hollywood and music industry interest. Media companies have been trying to find a way to fight piracy. Media companies tried suing individual users and even getting Internet service providers to take action against subscribers. Unfortunately, these actions can not stop overseas websites from infringing copyrights, or prevent Internet users from accessing those sites.
SOPA isn’t just about piracy. It’s about intellectual property — all property.
Therefore, Tepp argues, acts like SOPA and the PIPA Act are necessary. Since the U.S. has no jurisdiction to shut down foreign sites, all it can do is block access to these sites and hope that Americans are not duped into purchasing fake goods.