Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Just .... well ... just annoying!

I don't like censorship. It's just plain wrong.

If someone has something to say then they should be able to say it. Okay that's a bit of an over simplification since there are obviously issues of libel, accuracy, etc to consider but these should not be dealt with by blocking or censoring the original material.

So something like the following article gets me really, really annoyed:

IFPI Forces Danish ISP to Block The Pirate Bay

The whole copyright issue is a different matter, I'm not debating (well not yet) whether it's right/wrong to offer such items for download, but as the article points out, all the Pirate Bay does is provide links to these items, they don't host them.

It's been argued in many places that simply having links is, in itself, not illegal - for all practical purposes you could never make it illegal as the whole of the web works on links! Presumably this argument also stands up in court, if not the Pirate Bay would surely have been shutdown a long time ago?

In fact, if there was enough evidence to make a good case that the Pirate Bay is operating illegally then surely you could get an injunction directly against them pending a decision along these lines.

No, it doesn't appear to be that simple, so instead we see this type of action where access is censored. Well it's censored for now, as mentioned in the article there are ways round any such measures.

So the IFPI (and by association any other such organisations like the MPAA) are now very unpopular, they've spent money on the court case, presumably alot of money since I guess lawyers specialising in this area are expensive, and they have achieved what? Well nothing really. I bet torrents will still be accessibly, P2P tools are still out there, people are still downloading movies, the only real affect has been bad publicity, a waste of money, and the start of a slippery slope into censorship.

The solution? Well, I don't know what the real solution is but I would suggest that the money and time here would be better spent in coming up with some service that will tempt people away from their 'criminal' activities by giving them something they clearly want (online download of movies) with some added value (for a cost).

You simply can't fight Piracy head on, it is totally and utterly impossible, the only way to win is to offer something easier, better and more attractive - so that probably means setting up a legal Pirate Bay equivalent that can make money through subscriptions, advertising, marketing, and many other revenue streams ... oh and of course you'd save all that money on lawyers fees as well :D

UPDATE: I spoke too soon:


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