I think that anyone who reads Techdirt on a regular basis would recognize that we're pretty harsh on the entertainment industry and the way it goes about its business. Yet, there seems to be an unrealistic expectation that we should obviously slam the entertainment industry for every move it makes -- and if not, we're somehow wrong. That's simply untrue. While, yes, it is easy to trash the incredibly dumb things the industry does all of the time, that doesn't mean you should automatically jump to conclusions about the entire industry. Last week, in writing about how a lead investigator on the case against The Pirate Bay had taken a job
with Warner Brothers after the investigation concluded, I suggested this wasn't as ridiculous or "shocking" as some made it out to be. As long as there was no additional evidence of questionable activities, switching jobs isn't that surprising. The industry has a long history of hiring former police investigators and prosecutors for its anti-piracy activity. That, alone, shouldn't be considered strange or questionable -- but a lot of folks immediately assumed that something nefarious was up. In fact, one commenter even accused me
of being on the take from Warner. Given just how frequently I've totally trashed Warner Music's activities
(in just the last year alone), including the faux epiphany
of boss Edgar Bronfman, this seems rather laughable.
However, it is important to recognize that not everything is a conspiracy theory, and not every move the industry makes is as ridiculous as it's made out to be by critics. Totally overreacting to these things doesn't help the case of those of us trying to help educate the industry on why their strategy of suing fans and blaming piracy for their own inability to adapt and grow is a problem. So, while I'm sure I'll get beaten up over it again, the latest report that an expert witness in the Danish lawsuit
against The Pirate Bay used to work at the IFPI still doesn't seem particularly shocking or troublesome
. TorrentFreak, who normally has excellent coverage, continually paints this news as "shocking." However, I just don't see it. It's not surprising that a guy who used to work on IFPI investigations would go on to work at an anti-piracy company. And, just because he does so, it doesn't mean that he's obviously biased on their side (I certainly don't think fondly of all of my ex-employers). The simple fact is that any
expert witness has a bias. They're hired to help support one side of the case. So, of course he's going to present the IFPI's case in the best light. That's what he's paid to do -- and the court should take that into account. The fact that he used to work for the IFPI seems rather meaningless.