Good Old Fashioned Rant On Overbearing Copyright Holders
from the who-said-what-now? dept
I wasn't sure I was going to write about it, but then a lot more of you also pointed to this beautiful old-fashioned rant by Charlie Brooker where he does a lovely job tying the "Damien Hirst puts a kid in jail" story to the new effort to kick file sharers offline in the UK. Basically, they're both stories about huge, ridiculous wealthy copyright holders totally overreacting to a rather minor inconsequential infringement. The whole thing is good, but here's a taste:
The vast majority of people who illegally download music from the internet do so because they bloody love music. They're resorting to theft because they're either too skint to afford 79p per track (often because they're students), or because what they're looking for is too obscure to find by commercial means, or because it's been leaked and isn't officially available and they're just too damn excited to wait. In the main, these are dedicated fans: precisely the same audience who in days of yore would've filled C90 cassettes with songs taped off the radio. In its heyday, the Radio 1 Sunday evening Top 40 countdown constituted the biggest file-sharing portal in British history, with millions of users hooked up simultaneously, mercilessly downloading content to their tape decks.
The government and the music industry should cheerfully view these people as eager young addicts. Let them have their illicit free samples because once they're hooked, they'll cough up later: when they've got more money, when the tracks are easier to find via legitimate means, or when they go to see an act they only discovered via free illegal downloads play live (and pay £30 for a ticket, £30 for drinks, and £30 for a poster and T-shirt).