Actions taken by Hood’s office and the MPAA as the scandal unfolded suggest that they knew they’d been caught red-handed. Hood called a “timeout,” and when from the watchdog blog TechDirt asked for the release of emails exchanged between Hood’s Office and members of the MPAA, the AG’s office refused to do so unless TechDirt agreed to pay $2,103.10 in advance to cover “estimated costs” of fulfilling the request. Similarly, Hood’s alleged co-conspirators at the MPAA resisted requests to turn over documents related to their own exchanges with Hood’s office, expressing their shock and dismay when Google subsequently sued Hood and filed its own counter subpoenas of the MPAA in New York Federal Court.
While outside observers can only speculate over the extent to which Hood and the MPAA are in cahoots, it’s clear that they have similar interests. Both parties were seeking to exert control over the Internet by ganging up on Google, one of the biggest online intermediaries out there.