AMPTP

A different perspective on downloading?

The following piece was originally posted by Peskydang of DelphiForums here. -- GH

Right now, the RIAA and the AMPTP are engaged in enormous battles with "pirates."

The RIAA will sue a college student for a million dollars if he or she has downloaded and shared 22 songs. Not because that college student has cost them a million dollars, but because they want to terrify and intimidate other college students into not sharing files.

Does it work?

No.

It creates resentment among the biggest target audience for the music. What it creates is not less piracy, but more.

What are pirates? The RIAA would have you believe that a pirate is a loathesome villain, the scum of the Earth, plundering the wealth of those who have fairly earned it.

But the historical view of a pirate is something else entirely. Pirates were not criminal gangs as much as they were front-line fighters in an economic war against the oppressive weight of an empire. Pirates are often economic freedom-fighters. The Somali pirates aren't pirates simply because there is an opportunity there -- they are pirates because they have no government to protect their fishing rights from foreign vessels or to keep other nations from dumping toxic waste in their waters. They are an ad hoc Somali navy, providing the only influx of capital into a starving nation available to that population. To the Somalis, the pirates are heroes.

But even if pirates were everything the RIAA and the AMPTP want you to believe they are -- villainous scum of the Earth -- the weapons that these organizations are using are the wrong weapons. They are using the weapons of law to fight a battle based on economics.

Stop Hurting America: The WGA And The Daily Show

The ongoing strike by members of the Writer's Guild against the AMPTP is an important line in the sand for rights of the creative community in Hollywood and elsewhere. The producers have thus far proven that they are far more interested in hording their profits than in sharing credit and compensation with the people most responsible for generating those profits - the creators. But there has been an unanticipated drawback to this otherwise righteous cause that could have a significant impact on our nation.

A month from now the first of the presidential primary contests will take place in Iowa. The campaigns are already at cruising speed and the media is hurtling forward with their usual fare of speculation, conflict and the inane horserace chatter that they think passes for news. What's missing is the perspective of what has become the most insightful segment of the commentator class in the 21st century - Satire.

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