We already wrote about the release this week of a highly misleading report
about how many jobs "piracy" was going to "cost" Europe. However, a bunch of folks have been sending in the Reuters coverage of the announcement of the report, which included some fascinating comments from Agnete Haaland, the president of the International Actors' Federation, who argues that there needs to be an even stronger word for infringement than "piracy,"
claiming that the "pirate" connotation is too glamorous:
"We should change the word piracy," she told reporters at the unveiling of the report on Wednesday.
"To me, piracy is something adventurous, it makes you think about Johnny Depp. We all want to be a bit like Johnny Depp. But we're talking about a criminal act. We're talking about making it impossible to make a living from what you do," she said.
Ok. Pick your jaw up off the floor. First, this is stunning in that it's been the entertainment industry itself that pushed and popularized the term "piracy" for copyright infringement. They did so very deliberately in an attempt to demonize the act of infringement, presenting it as something much worse. That some have since taken that term and embraced it hardly changes that initial fact. Second, she's wrong about the fact that they're "talking about a criminal act." Yes, in some cases copyright infringement may be a criminal act, but in most
cases the use of "piracy" these days refers to civil issues between two parties and not criminal acts at all.
Then again, given that this was a statement made in favor of a blatantly misleading report, perhaps it's not surprising that the speakers were blatantly misleading as well.
In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions for Ms. Haaland on what we should call the act of copyright infringement?