pirates

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.

Shiver Me Neocons

by Jeff Huber

It was only a matter of time before Long Bill Kristol and his scurvy dogs of war used piracy as an excuse to goad young Mr. Bush into invading one last country before the door hits him. In the latest gurgitation of the Weekly Standard, Bill suggests that the best thing young Mr. Bush can do in his final days as commander in chief is send the Marines into Somalia to deep six those pesky buccaneers. Now: if we can't identify and capture pirates while they're plundering ships on the bounding main, I'd like to know how the yo-ho-ho Bill thinks the Marines can tell the pirates from the rest of the poor starving Somalis once they go ashore.

Blast from the Past: "The Pirates Aboard Our Ship of State"

On Saturday, 1 October 2006, I posted a piece in several locations entitled "The Pirates Aboard Our Ship of State."

We're now into May of 2008, and things have gone steadily downhill since then.

I thought it would be worth reprinting this, as-is, without adding in any of the newest outrages, new and continuing crimes or even the latest evidence of blatant disregard for the nation, the Constitution or the world we are building for our children.

So...onward.