Filesharing, copyrights, libraries, oh my!

UPDATE:  from http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/riaa-and-isps-to-police-your-traffic-starting-july-12.ars?comments=1&start=40#comment-22664142

Stupid question:

doesn’t [sic] that mean that we should all have free, unlimited access, to every single song, movie, tv show, book, etc? Well of course that sounds awesome! But is it right?

Smart, well-informed response [emphasis mine]:

It’s a _very_ old idea. It’s called a Public Library. Fans will _still_ support content _creators_.
RIAA and MPAA are not _creators_, they are obsolete middlemen.

Apparently, the myopic and stubborn **AA (RI and MP both) are feeling threatened by their own inevitable obsolescence, as are “content providers” such as Comcast.  Policing internet traffic is their rather draconian way of stalling their inevitable downfall…but it reality it will only piss people off, raise awareness and hasten their downfall.   Cue the caustic laughter…

Full story here: http://arst.ch/swz

I am sick and tired of hearing that people who file-share “copyrighted materials” are thieves. That they break laws. That what they are doing is wrong. They aren’t, they don’t, and it isn’t. Here’s why…

[most] People who share music, I think do it for one reason: It has meaning to them, and they want to make it more accessible, more available to others. Simply put, file sharing and digital media have transformed every person into curators of a vast digital library. This analogy is not lost on the evil people at the RIAA — they don’t like libraries for the same reason they don’t like file sharers: it takes control over access to and distribution of media away from them, and it puts it in the hands of common people, same as Martin Luther did with the Bible. Who argues that Protestantism destroyed Christianity, much less religion in general?

Similarly, file sharers just want to use digital media and P2P networking to connect with others, to form a common narrative outside of the narrow confines of capitalism. They want artists to be heard, seen, experienced, more widely. They want people to listen, watch, read, study, discuss the works of others. What is wrong with facilitating these activities? We’ve done it for centuries, long before capitalism, the RIAA and MPAA reared their ugly heads. Long before the insanity of our modern, sociopathic “copyright” laws, we were — and still are — beholden to the sane, social ways of the CopyLeft.

File sharing does not undermine starving artists — the insane capitalist economy and sociopathic corporations that comprise the RIAA and MPAA do that well enough on their own. They squeeze their artists for everything they are worth and then throw them to the curb before they even think of reducing their profits to take care of their artists. The real thiefs are the profiteers, and they don’t need any additional help screwing us over. They do it well enough simply by putting profits over people. File sharing doesn’t take food from the plates of artists and software developers — capitalism does. The greedy mindset of the people who “Already Have a Lot but Want More” is the real source of theft.

For all the harm that the Powers That Be insist file sharing does, the music has not stopped. It hasn’t even slowed down. Movies didn’t slow down when the VCR came out, either. So if it’s not the art that’s at stake, what is?

Let’s get rid of the RIAA and MPAA and see if the music stops. I’m willing to bet it won’t. Because it — and the people who make it up — are superfluous. We don’t need them. At all. They need us. Yet they think that they can dictate how we live our lives. Whom we can talk to, share and interact with, and how. That is nothing less than abuse. The RIAA and MPAA are the corporate equivalents of the man who sits on the couch watching TV while yelling at his wife while she cooks the meals, cleans the house, cares for the kids. The man who beats and belittles the ones he says he loves because they failed to perfectly obey him. For our own sake, for the sake of music, we must rid ourselves of these abusers, any way we can. Any. Way. We. Can. Got that?

On the flip side, we do need to hold file sharers accountable. Allow me to explain: We must take the responsibility of filesharing — of digital curation to maintain this vast library — seriously. As I go through my lossless [FLAC] music archives, I find copy errors in much of it. These copy errors produce sound errors. Yikes! Likewise, sharing lossy music (.ogg, .mp3, etc) is OK, but proper digital curation dictates that a lossless, archive-quality version be available as well, using programs such as Exact Audio Copy or CD Paranoia. Archive-quality also means including full and accurate tagging, liner notes and album artwork — everything that comes with the artist’s original package. Our digital library depends on it.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/riaa-and-isps-to-police-your-traffic-starting-july-12.ars?comments=1#comment-22663825

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