Politician Reveals Lobbying Tactics Of The Recording Industry: All About Fear
from the fear,-fear-and-a-bit-more-fear dept
Mikester writes in to point to an opinion piece written by a Canadian politician that not only points out why it's time to stop rolling over and pushing through every law Big Content wants, but also sheds a bit of light on their lobbying process. It's not surprising, but you very rarely hear a politician admit what goes on behind closed doors. He notes that the first meeting he had with a recording industry lobbyist was about how the internet is a "highway of stolen goods and child pornography that goes into the bedroom of every kid in this country." In other words, the entire lobbying effort is built based on fear. It starts with fear that this one particular industry can't cope with the new technology, and then spreads to other kinds of fears about crimes and child pornography (things that are easy for politicians to rally behind for the sake of headlines). On the other side, unfortunately, there are many fewer lobbyists pointing out that this is only a small part of the internet, and that there are tremendous benefits to those who embrace it. The opinion piece notes that this is unfair, and clearly more about protecting an increasingly obsolete business model than a real concern:
"When it comes to assessing the "threats" or "benefits" from P2P, politicians need to be very wary about proscribing emerging technologies simply because it is upsetting existing business models. When high quality FM radio signals were invented in the 1930s, the U.S. regulatory agencies did everything they could to shut this technology down because it posed a competitive threat to large AM radio interests. Thus the public put up with crappy AM signals for 30 years because politicians didn't want to inconvenience big corporate players like RCA."And, before people start saying that this guy doesn't understand the industry, prior to his political career he was a musician for many years, depending on the traditional royalty system. However, he knows that the old business model just doesn't make as much sense any more: "The 20th century distribution system is dead and no amount of restrictive legislation will bring it back."