For those who would cross over to the dark side....to see the light
Well in the interest of fairness, I tuned into an interview with Senator Christopher Dodd (http://www.bloomberg.com/video/83704616/), who is now chairman of the MPAA. Although once a respected politician, he does seems to epitomize the clueless legions of big money moguls who think they know what is best and say "just get it done and screw the details".
If Hollywood really needs to go after pirates to save their dwindling fortunes, let them at I say. But don't ask for even more restrictive ad useless legislation. There are already courts and lawyers aplenty where you can spend your profits. The WTO's 153 members have all agreed that copyright infringement is wrong. Of course it would be a whole lot cheaper if you could just control the inter-tubes like the airwaves, but it ain't gonna happen because your industry won't live long enough. I'm sure the horse and buggy manufacturers would have loved to stick it to Henry Ford via Congress, but it just won't work
To Senator. Dodd, I would say the real challenge is to find some way to combat piracy which continues to "meet" all of the following criteria:
1) Target real villians (like those who SELL stuff they don't own, as opposed to grandmas who just want to listen to those old show-tunes one last time and are much easier to catch and prosecute). I would lump product counterfeiters into this group as well. I suspect this actual group is relatively small (unless you include Google et al and their many wierd and wonderful links and the entire interweb population who use search engines). That is indeed a very big number. Perhaps the MPAA should target these people as customers instead of crinimal, free-loading scum. I'm sure we would all appreciate it (and you) a lot more.
2) Puts and restricts the power to target truly bad folks (see above) into the hands of legally recognized bodies, i.e. courts, international law enforcement agencies, etc. This is sometimes done (and considered SOP) against real criminals such as drug lords and child pornographers. Such bodies need to be subject to review and face accountability for their actions. We should not use the same techniques against grandma / college students as those used against the billion dollar a year drug baron. No the punishment and enforcement should really fit the crime. Even during prohibition days, the Feds did not hose down the gin drinkers with lead bullets (unless they got in the way).
I personally don't consider the chronic freetard file-sharers as criminals, they are more accurately just misguided (and probably poor). Much like jailing the addict, jailing the freetard will do little to counter the real cause of drug addiction/piracy. Lowering the price of entertainment media would be a more intelligent and creative approach.
3) Allow any people who have been targeted by any cease and desist orders the time to contest and protest these actions, legally. Terms to be defined, oh wait, we already have laws like this. Are they going to be replaced by more anti-constitutional SOPA laws? Are the original laws not working? You mean people will still not take their family to the cinema anymore (which costs about 80 USD where I live). Does that mean we need more laws to change human nature (and econimic sense) and cause people to over-spend? The 1930's Depression was a boom time for the entertainment industry because it helped people forget their troubles. Maybe you should ask your accountants to explain why that isn't happening during this Depression.
4) Definitely not perform "shotgun" censorship of linking sites, domain names etc, this is just criminally stupid. Maybe we do need to force some ISPs to take down some egregiously and outrageously infringing sites, going through the local courts where the ISP is domiciled (even though it will always be a waste of time and money). Yes, the infringers will move elsewhere. No you will never be fast enough to stop them all. So deal with it. Media companies do not need to control internet access any more then they do already, they just need to compete on the provebial level playng field. Sadly, competing inside a new paradigm can be very hard when you can't (or won't) understand it. That would require clear-headed and innovative thinking, something that is clearly in short supply in the media industry's head space.
5) Stop basing bad legislation on bull-shit statistics. How in the hell can online piracy cost the ecomomy 100 billion a year? That's twice as much as people spend on drugs and probably a lot more than is spent on malaria prevention. Where is this money going? Who is getting it? Give us some facts, senator. Show me the money. Show me the freetards living in obscene opulence with their ill-gotten gains (I am not talking about your supporters). Show me why stopping people from getting free music is more important than investing money into better education, renewable power, better infra-structure or simply allowing online commerce to continue flourishing without governmental interference. Do (I am probably going out on a limb with this one) googles, ebays and youtubes ask the government to protect them from the nasty bullys on the playground who stole all their marbles ? No! Successful companies innovate, invest, invent and think about how to best harness one of the coolest things ever created by mankind: THE INTERNET. They then try to make some money with their new ideas. Sometimes they succeed. Why doesn't the MPAA promote that kind of thinking instead? Why do I have to spend so much money to see a film that might be complete garbage? How long do you think that will keep working as a business model?
This is not a Hollywood blockbuster plot line, boys, where shining hero wins against evil pirates with his magical legislative powers and influence. It is the future. And the future is leaving some people very, very far behind. Such a shame that these same people all seem to be concentrated in a few very distinct locations, such as Capitol Hill and the pockets of rich media and entertainment moguls. Good luck....
By their fruits ye shall know them....
Matthew 7: 16