Blackout protest? My feelings…

I don’t want the government sticking its fingers anywhere in the internet pie.

At the same time, as a storyteller, I understand that musicians, movie makers, writers and artists of all kinds should have their work protected and be fairly compensated.  Who will put in that kind of effort, creative sweat, hard – damn hard work for nothing?  Why should anyone produce anything?  So people can just take it for free while they have to continue to shuck corn for some sales and marketing company?

We are rapidly headed toward the day when only a few rich and altruistic people will bother to make music or films or books or anything, and I guarantee that most of what we will get will be crap. 

People should be, indeed they need to be fairly compensated for their work – and it should be their work.  And the people who want everything for free off the internet?  They are worse than thieves.  They are dream killers.

2 thoughts on “Blackout protest? My feelings…

  1. Yes, it’s complicated. Despite not being a US national or resident I’ve been following the action on this closely once I realised it would have global implications.

    Like you, I’d like to see creative effort protected and proper compensation for it. It clearly doesn’t happen at the moment; Spain just passed new anti-piracy legislation because it was estimated there that about 98% of all music downloads were from or via pirate sites…

    At the same time, looking at the published analyses of SOPA and PIPA, two things are clear: they won’t be effective against piracy, and they require sweeping changes to the architecture of the internet that will impact a whole range of other things I care about, like human rights activism. Plus, as usual, there’s no real equality of arms – individual struggling creatives, small independent publishers and film-makers, and bands just starting out will all be left behind.

    I don’t know what the solutions are, but it doesn’t look like SOPA and PIPA are solutions.

    One thing that would help is a more moral stance by big business. I looked at Pirate Bay last night and most of the advertising on it was from dating companies, but the last time I looked it had ads from banks, supermarkets and other national and multinational companies – people who wouldn’t hesitate to prosecute if you walked into their stores and took stuff for free, which in my view would be a morally equivalent action.

    Maybe it’s time to say current definitions of copyright are broken and unworkable, and start looking for new ways to structure intellectual property. In the music industry it used to be that bands toured to get known and made money off record sales. Now they release new music on YouTube for free and make their money from touring and merchandise. I don’t know how a parallel system for writers would work, especially for people just starting out with a first novel etc., but maybe it’s time to start considering the options. If supermarkets that have advertised on Pirate Bay had to give away their produce for free and make money in other ways, like running community events, we’d pretty quickly get some new ways of thinking about this…

    Finally – ‘dream killers’. Yes, that’s a great description of the pirates and those who want everything for free. Can I use that phrase – with proper attribution of course?

  2. Jon,
    Thank you for your comment. Yes, something has to be resolved, but… How is the big question. As for this little post, by all means use whatever you like.
    -Michael

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