I read an article written by a friend (and neighbor) to Gottfrid Svartholm, one of The Pirate Bay co founders, who has been arrested (again), this time for hacking the Swedish Tax department. The way the Cambodian and Swedish government handled the arrest made me embarrassed and I want to emigrate to wherever people is born with a working ethical brain function. It also made me think about the verdict from The Pirate Bay trial where they where convicted for assistance to copyright infringement but sentenced like if the committed the actual crime. You find links to articles and blog posts related to this post at the bottom.
I don’t think music, software, movies etc. should be 100% free since we need to pay our bills BUT I DO THINK that the copyright laws has to be rewritten to fit the digital age. The copyright peddlers (media conglomerates) consistent efforts to hunt down services such as The Pirate Bay, Limewire and the funny villain Kim Dotcom and his Mega- series services all proves that they use aggressive lobbyism to mislead the courts, governments and the public and in the end succeed to rewrite the law (or how the current laws is interpreted) so that they can go on selling content the way they dictates. There are plenty of examples from bands and indie labels who give away their music for free and make all money from gigs and perhaps from selling special edition versions of their records (or maybe just a signed copy). So why can’t the world wide copyright peddlers change their marketing methods in similar ways, they sure have the cash to create all kinds of crazy products that contain music (or other media content)… Oh no, they have to pervert democracy and twist the law by hunting down the people behind i.e. a small search engine. Sure, you can argue that it’s unethical to link to copyrighted material but you can’t say it’s illegal. If that is illegal we would have to close Google, Yahoo and Bing since they help people find all sorts of illegal content much worse than a copied Lady Gaga track on a daily basis.
I think that in a real democracy the user commits the crime, directing people to illegal content is unethical but should not be illegal. The Swedish prostitution laws are written that way and it works well. Think of it like this; there’s a guy standing in a crossing telling everyone who passes that a guy on the other side of the road sells cocaine. Did he commit a crime by just passing that information?
Sony, probably the world’s biggest media conglomerate, had a leading role in the development of all the technology for pirated content. They pushed the CDR and DVD-r development and where among the first to create and sell portable mp3 players that in 90% of all cases would end up filled with illegal copied music. Before that, they where widely known for the Walkman cassette player series that made people realize that they could copy music from friends and listening to it on the go. In short, they created the demand for pirated content themselves. Isn’t it more unethical to create a demand for pirated content and the technology to use it just to sue everyone you find who doesn’t have the means to fight back than set up a search engine for torrents?
I realize while writing this that I don’t understand what the media conglomerates really want (except make more money), it’s like they’re a blind giant hitting in every direction but they don’t know why?
And just for fun:
Google vs. The Pirate Bay:
We tried a search for “The Possession Torrent” and here’s the results.
Google 11,100,000 hits
The Pirate Bay 31 hits
Google vs. The Pirate Bay = 1 – 0
The letter from Niklas Femerstrand:
Techdirt have a short article where EU Commission VP Neelie Kroes comment the copyright collapse, read it here:
Link to the The Pirate Bay verdict (in Swedish):