Hollywood has a Good Friend in Government…The Attorney General of Mississippi

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Jim Hood (AP photo)

The movie industry is at odds with Google, particularly because Hollywood claims the search engine doesn’t do enough to remove links to pirated movies. So the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) set out to find a prosecutor who would investigate the Internet giant. They found one in Jim Hood, state attorney general of Mississippi.

 

The Verge uncovered documents as part of the Sony leak that reveal Hollywood secretly launched a campaign, known as Project Goliath, to dig up incriminating evidence on Google.

 

Hood has spearheaded the effort, probing Google’s “involvement in both pharmaceutical counterfeiting and content piracy,” Russell Brandon wrote at The Verge. To date, Hood hasn’t compiled sufficient information to file charges against Google. He has acted as MPAA’s mouthpiece on the subject, however.

 

A letter printed on Hood’s AG stationary last year that slammed Google “for aiding piracy was almost entirely copied from text provided to him by lawyers working for the MPAA. In short, Hood’s lips were moving, but it was the MPAA’s approved text coming out,” according to Brandon.

 

Hood held a press conference last week, accusing Google of theft of secrets from the Sony leaks. “I want to talk about a story that’s been pushed out by a large corporation called Google. I mean, they pushed this story out. They rifled through the emails that were stolen from Sony. And, you know, I equate it to rifling through someone’s stolen property,” Hood said, according to Techdirt.

 

Hood’s predecessor in office, Mike Moore, has been hired by the drug industry and more recently the movie industry to spearhead campaigns against Google. Moore, a friend of Hood’s, has reported back to Hollywood on how Hood’s investigation is progressing, including informing them of a subpoena issued to Google before the search company had been informed of it.

 

Hood’s campaigns for office have been rewarded by Hollywood, with major players like Comcast, NBC Universal and 21st Century Fox contributing at least $6,500 to his election committees.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Documents In Sony Leak Show How State Attorney General Was Cozy With Hollywood (by Russell Brandon, The Verge)

Google’s Detractors Take Their Fight to the States (by Nick Wingfield and Eric Lipton, New York Times)

Whether Or Not Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Is In Hollywood’s Pocket, He Sure Doesn’t Understand Free Speech Or The Internet (by Mike Masnick, TechDirt)

More Evidence Revealed Of Hollywood's Chummy Relationship With State Attorney General... Even As He Plays Dumb (by Mike Masnick, TechDirt)

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