Is There A Middle Ground When It Comes To File Sharing?
from the ask-that-question-first... dept
In a bizarre opinion piece at News.com, a guy from a so-called "Think Tank" that has filed a brief in support of the MPAA/RIAA in the Grokster case (suggesting he's not exactly an impartial commentator), pushes what appears to be a very one-sided attack on a different "think tank" that supports the other side. The attack basically consists of two things: first claiming that supporting the idea of free content is an "extreme" position, outside the norm, and secondly, "guilt by association," by naming people associated with that other organization, as if they're some sort of evil influencers. All of this, he claims, is because he wants a "middle ground" solution to the file sharing issue. The fact that he filed a brief in favor of the the MPAA/RIAA suggests he's anything but middle ground, of course. However, the "middle ground" argument has come up before, and it's a very disingenuous argument. It suggests that there are two extremes, and neither is right. It's the same sort of thing that we've seen in some parts of the press lately that focus on "balance" in displaying two sides of an issue when "balance" may mean giving one side much more airtime than their statements deserve. Besides, there is no "middle ground" when it comes to innovating or keeping an existing business model. No one wanted to work out a "middle ground" between the monk scribes and the printing press. No one wanted to work out a "middle ground" between buggy makers and automobile makers. No one wanted to work out a "middle ground" between dialup and broadband. No one wanted to work out a "middle ground" between analog mobile phones and 3G wireless broadband. Middle ground, as used here, is simply a code word for protecting a business model that's being threatened, because those who benefit from that business model are unwilling or unable to adjust to the changing market.