It’s hard to type while laughing. Reading the head of the RIAA complaining about what he claims are abuses of power tends to induce uncontrollable fits of irony. – Lauren Weinstein
RIAA represents the music industry in the US. Think of it as an association of mafia bosses.
Sopa and Pipa was cooked up behind closed doors. It would have led to unprecedented control of the internet. Once people found out, they sent the phones of politicians into meltdown and Sopa and Pipa were killed stone dead.
But, if we are to heed the head of RIAA, this was an abuse of the democratic process, bordering on demagoguery! That people lobbied raises questions about democracy in a digital age!
THE digital tsunami that swept over the Capitol last month, forcing Congress to set aside legislation to combat the online piracy of American music, movies, books and other creative works, raised questions about how the democratic process functions in the digital age.
While no legislation is perfect, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (or PIPA) was carefully devised, with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate, and its House counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA), was based on existing statutes and Supreme Court precedents. But at the 11th hour, a flood of e-mails and phone calls to Congress stopped the legislation in its tracks. Was this the result of democracy, or demagoguery?
The hyperbolic mistruths, presented on the home pages of some of the world’s most popular Web sites, amounted to an abuse of trust and a misuse of power. When Wikipedia and Google purport to be neutral sources of information, but then exploit their stature to present information that is not only not neutral but affirmatively incomplete and misleading, they are duping their users into accepting as truth what are merely self-serving political declarations.
Apparently this demagoguery was the result of dirty tricks by the likes of Wikipedia and Google whipping up hysteria against the music industry.
He goes on to repeat the same old crap peddled by the music industry, dealing in stolen goods, counterfeiting, lost jobs.
What the boss of RIAA is demonstrating is arrogant contempt for democracy, arrogant contempt for those who may purchase the products of the companies he represents.
Yes there are lost jobs, that is because the music industry is doing its best to destroy the industry. You do not win friends and influence people by criminalising the very folk who use wish to buy your products.
Police closing down a store selling stolen goods is not the same as shutting down a file sharing service!
He claims that old style media did not engage in the battle, because they know the difference between news and views. Obviously he has never watched or heard of Fox News, somehow missed the views of Murdoch, the man who has been repeatedly accused in the UK of heading up a criminal empire.
Apparently we are all ignorant morons who did not know what we were opposing.
We obviously do not understand how democracy works. It is cosy little vested interests (in this case Big Vested Interests) drawing up legislation behind closed doors with politicians in their pocket.
In the 1980s we had Home Taping is Killing Music.
The response of Malcolm McLaren was to release a blank cassette with instructions: record your own music.
In 2005, several hundred colleges were served writs for hosting file sharing servers.
There is not a piracy problem. No matter how often the industry repeats the lie it does not make it any more true. Did they all attend the Joseph Goebbels School of Public Relations?
File sharing, no matter how often it is claimed to be, is not theft!
Music sites like bandcamp encourage sharing. It is through sharing, we hear of new music.
Would I have heard of To Leave A Mark or Little Measurements both by Les Étoiles or The Traveler and The King by Stadtmusikantin und Sterntaler (now: Traveler’s Diary) or The Acoustic EP by Grace Mitchell were it not for sites like bandcamp or FrostClick? The simple answer is no. Would others, if I did not share? The answer again is no, or at best highly unlikely.
I like to share music. If that makes me a pirate, then I am proud to be a pirate.
Paulo Coelho, Neil Young, Neil Gaiman, and many others, all recognise the value of sharing. Neil Young calls piracy the new radio, as that’s how music gets around.
Before I found bandcamp, I would have to copy a CD or maybe rip a track or two. But now, all I have to do is link to bandcamp. Only bandcamp make it even easier than that.
I cannot repeat often enough the words of Andrew Dubber (see Hear / Like / Buy):
Music is pretty much unique when it comes to media consumption. You don’t buy a movie ticket because you liked the film so much, and while you might buy a book because you enjoyed reading it so much at the library, typically you’ll purchase first, then consume … But music is different — and radio proves that. By far the most reliable way to promote music is to have people hear it. Repeatedly, if possible — and for free. After a while, if you’re lucky, people get to know and love the music. Sooner or later, they’re going to want to own it…whether it’s a pop tune, a heavily political punk album, or an experimental, avant-garde suite — the key is very simple: people have to hear music, then they will grow to like it, and then finally, if you’re lucky, they will engage in an economic relationship in order to consume (not just buy and listen to) that music. That’s the order it has to happen in. It can’t happen in any other order. There’s no point in hoping that people will buy the music, then hear it, then like it. They just won’t. Nobody really wants to buy a piece of music they don’t know — let alone one they haven’t heard. Especially if it’s by someone who lies outside their usual frame of reference. And a 30-second sample is a waste of your time and bandwidth. It’s worse than useless. That’s not enough to get to like your music. Let them hear it, keep it, live with it. And then bring them back as a fan.
But the music industry and Hollywood, very often the same global corporations, do not like sharing, they wish to criminalise sharing. The tried with Sopa, cooked up in back room deals with corrupt politicians on the take and failed miserably. They are trying again with Acta, an international treaty that will criminalise sharing, would disconnect from the net those who share. We killed Sopa and we must kill Acta.
We have stopped Sopa and Pipa, but there is worse to come, Acta. Acta is an international treaty to control the internet. Cooked up in secret behind closed doors with corporate interests. National governments and parliaments are being bounced into ratifying Acta. Acta seeks via an international treaty what Sopa sought through national legislation.
Top Story in Piracy Daily (Friday 10 February 2012).