I know I’m on to something, I thought up this blog post in the shower today, and I doallmy best thinking in the shower.
I mean, I can’t help thinking I must be missing something, it can’t be this simple. Can it? And, if so, why hasn’t anyone else thought about it before?
Here’s the deal: we’re living in a progressively more strict society with less freedoms. Censorship seems to be the order of the day, driven by the media conglomerates, the content industry. Unfortunately, in this day and age, censorship is indistinguishable, inseparable, from surveillance.
It used to be that one could censor works, ideas, easily. If you didn’t want the Communist Manifesto being read, you burned the books, and arrested and shut down the printing presses that were printing the Communist Manifesto. Today, in the digital age, it’s not that simple. If you want to shut down communistmanifesto.com, next week it pops up as communistmanifesto.org. or c0mmun1stm4nifest0,net. or billscoolblog.edu. It’s a game of whack-a-mole, just witness The Pirate Bay, or all those counterfeit jersey websites.
So you need to prevent people from visiting communistmenifesto.com, and the only way to do that is to monitor their traffic and determine if they’re sending an email to grandma, surfing ebay, or trying to access communistmanifesto.com.
This is akin to having your phone conversations tapped, your mail steamed open, you being followed about your day. Surveillance.
And it’s a serious issue. Countries are being pressured to enforce stricter internet surveillance laws, all over the world. ACTA isn’t there for no reason. And the reason that countries are enforcing these laws, even when they disagree with them and support sharing freely (as is the case with Sweden) is under the veiled threat from the United States, the threat that you don’t want to be seen as a haven of lawlessness. That might cause the USA to distance themselves from your country, cease doing business with you, encourage (threaten) other countries into following suit, in other words embargoes. Witness Cuba.
So it’s really not much of a choice.
Or is it?
It never occurred to me, living through the 80s, under the threat of nuclear war, under the absolute certainty of a third world war, that the enemy in WWIII might eventually turn out to be the United States, leaders of the ‘free world’. But there you have it.
You know, WWII was all about money, too. Killing Jews was just a scapegoat, a rally for the people of Germany to have someone to vilify, to unite against, because it’s hard to unite against something intangible as hunger. WWII was all about raising Germany from the ashes after WWI. making them a society to be respected, even feared. Making them strong, and successful, and making the populace happy.
In other words, money. And yet it seems like we haven’t learned the lessons of WWII, all those freedoms that every November 11, we’re told our grandparents fought and died for.
Like the freedom to hold conversations that others might not appreciate. Like the freedom not to have communication monitored, or the freedom to express thoughts and ideas, write books, hold rallies, without fear of reprisal…
Look at Occupy, for God’s sake.
And I get it. dissidents are potential revolutionaries, affecting the status quo, which affects the financial sector and causes everyone problems. But does that mean that anyone disagreeing with the government is guilty of being a ‘low-level-terrorist?’ Because the US has a law in place if that’s the case, regardless of which country you’re in, called the NDAA. 2012’s update gives them the right to take any citizen of any country anywhere in the world, and ship them off to Guantanamo Bay, or execute them. It’s a slippery slope.
Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom, is it? I promised you a solution, didn’t I?
The problem is essentially the United States pressing their policy upon the rest of the world, as has happened to the UK’s Richard O’Dwyer, who committed no crimes in his home country, and has never set foot in the United States, yet is being shipped to the USA to face laws in their country that he somehow broke.
Knowing the problem, the solution seems to be to refuse to agree to the US’s “wishes” (demands.) But is that feasible?
Yes, as it turns out.
The fact of the matter is the US has nothing to offer the rest of the world. Their foreign policy is exactly that, foreign. And their exports are not much to speak of. scrap metal? recyclable plastic? What do they actuallymakethat is of significant use around the world to other countries? The whole reason China takes recyclable plastic is to recycle it and export it back to the United States for a profit.The US’s major export is Intellectual Property. Media. Patents. Copyrights. Which is exactly what is being shoved down our throats the world over.
In other words, the USA are being bullies…and how do you respond to bullies? Ignore them. What’s going to happen, worst case scenario? Well, worst case, they`ll embargo your country and tell other countries not to trade with you…that`s pretty bad. But other countries are also in hot water with the US for the same reason, the world over. What if they refused to trade with them, as well? The fact is the Unites States cannot function without imports, but the rest of the world can function without the United States.
What I am advocating is ignoring the USA until they stop pressing their foreign policy upon the rest of the world, and to be perfectly honest they’re not even the only game in town. China is willing to trade anything with anybody, at any time.
The point is that the war on the rest of the world by the United States is getting out of control, and needs to be stopped. We need to ignore the big bully and get on with our lives. If we all band support one another we will all benefit in the long run.
I don’t know how to create a fact sheet, so someone else needs to.
Creative America has this ‘fact’ sheet (now ain’t that a laugh) that they’ve prepared in anticipation of ‘educating’ (har har har) the public about ‘piracy’ at the Oscars this Sunday.
Call it content theft, illegal downloading, illegal
streaming, or piracy… it’s still stealing.
No it’s not.
Since the statutorily defined property rights of a copyright holder have a character distinct from the possessory interest of the owner of simple “goods, wares, [or] merchandise,” interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use. Infringement implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.
95 000 businesses are threatened by content theft.
No, they’re threatened by competition, plain and simple. They’re threatened by innovation, they’re threatened by technology. This is not new for the industry, however.
Self playing piano, broadcast radio, movies with audio tracks, television, the photocopier, cassette tapes (equal to the Boston Strangler, in a historic faux pas), DJs with loudspeakers, video cassettes, DAT tapes (successfully killed that one), MP3s, PVRs…all of these were a threat to jobs to the industry. Heaven forfend we ever develop as a society.
Through a decade of economic and technological upheaval, the entertainment
industry grew 50% while consumers increased spending on entertainment
Doesn’t make much sense, now does it?
For the 2.4 million Americans who make and distribute movies and TV for a living, and for tens of thousands of workers whose jobs have been lost in the U.S. due to content theft, this is a matter of basic livelihood. Lost revenue means lost jobs.
See above. 50% growth does not equal lost jobs. Does filesharing affect the wage a boom mike operator makes, or the cost of said boom mikes?
$5.5 billion in lost earnings for U.S. workers
I am getting like a broken record. What lost earnings? The ones fabricated by the MPAA?
As technology advances, so has theft. Today, stolen content is distributed through peer-to-peer and streaming technologies that allow users to download and share copyrighted material across the Internet with millions of other users.
Still not theft. You still have your copy, you can still do whatever you want with it. Downloaders have a duplicate.
In other cases, stolen content is distributed through illegal download sites like “The Pirate Bay” for a user fee
One, The Pirate Bay doesn’t charge. That would make it real piracy, turning a profit on such counterfeiting. Two, download sites like The Pirate Bay are not illegal. They display links to material, but contain no material themselves. In Canada, as in many other countries in the world, linking is not a crime.
“Even though the primary author controls the link itself, the content that’s behind the link is in the hands of the one posting the materials.”
My favourite part of the story is at the end…
i MPAA, “The Motion Picture & Television Industry Contribution to the U.S. Economy,” April 2010
ii Variety, July 2010
iii American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, accessed 4/29/11
iv Stephen E. Siwek, “The True Cost of Motion Picture Piracy to the U.S. Economy,” Institute for Policy Innovation, September 2006
v Entertainment Merchant Association, accessed, 4/29/11
How incestuous can you get? If I claim that Chris Dodd broke into my house and stole a thousand dollars, and then I pay someone to state that it’s true, Chris Dodd stole a thousand dollars from me, and then I draft a study that shows that MPAA CEOs in the 201Xs are renowned for breaking into the houses of people writing blogs about piracy, and then I get an article published in a magazine claiming all of the above, does it make it true? This is all from the same organizations…and courts have been advised to stop quoting, or listening, to the numbers from the entertainment industries, since they are completely without any evidence, any facts to back up their claims, any substance whatsoever…you know, in other words, Hollywood accounting. What a surprise.
I love Rick Falkvinge’s work. He’s recently posted this particular gem, a wikipedia article for a case in which the Supreme Court judged that copyright infringement does not constitute theft, specifically since there are no physical goods taken
The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use. Infringement implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.