Techdirt Reading List: The Piracy Crusade

from the read-it-now dept

We're back again with another in our weekly reading list posts of books we think our community will find interesting and thought provoking. Once again, buying the book via the Amazon links in this story also help support Techdirt.
This week we're talking about a book from a couple of years ago but which still deserves plenty of attention. It's Aram Sinnreich's The Piracy Crusade: How the Music Industry's War on Sharing Destroys Markets and Erodes Civil Liberties. That subhead gives you a good sense of what the book is about, obviously, but I highly recommend reading the whole thing. It's thorough and tremendously thought-provoking, even if you already follow these issues closely.

For nearly two decades we've been discussing this space and trying to get people to understand that the fight over copyright isn't about how artists should get paid -- that tends to just be a smokescreen by the giant gatekeepers who have done an awful lot to screw over actual content creators for years. It's a fight about freedom of speech and civil liberties -- and yet, by turning it into a debate around "piracy" a small conglomerate of gatekeepers have been successful in clamping down on civil liberties, freedoms and free speech. Sinnreich's book does a great job dismantling the mythical arguments from the gatekeepers while highlighting the important civil liberties issues at stake in the copyright fights.

The book is a tremendous contribution to this discussion and a worthwhile read if you want to really understand some of the core issues that underlie the fight over copyright.

Oh, and of course, you can also download the book for free, if you'd like. Vuze is offering it as a bundle that comes with not just the books, but some video lectures by Sinnreich as well. Of course, if you buy it from the Amazon link above, it also helps Techdirt by giving us a cut, but in case you were looking for other options, Vuze has you covered.

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 3:49pm

    "For nearly two decades we've been discussing this space" -- Without effect. Anyone sane wouldn't brag on how much time he's wasted.

    After predicting "dinosaurs" dying during all that time, you recently cheered them for surviving rampant piracy. Anyone else with your track record would at least re-consider notions. Not you. Unmatched for oblivious to facts and arrogantly certain that you're right:

    "trying to get people to understand that the fight over copyright isn't about how artists should get paid" -- Right. It's over whether. Just as this screed -- that you're utterly contradictorily trying to gain money from! -- talks up "sharing", not paying. You do not wish copyright owners to get paid. That's absolutely nailed down by your ongoing support for Megaupload. What you say is just blather alongside actively supporting a commercial-scale pirate who got tens of millions merely hosting petabytes of expensive-to-make products while not paying their investors and creators a cent in total.

    "that tends to just be a smokescreen by the giant gatekeepers who have done an awful lot to screw over actual content creators for years." -- First read just above again. Hasn't Dotcom screwed over creators? -- Now tell me how much pirates have paid those creators. ... I'm waiting. ... Pirates don't pay.

    Don't say "pirates buy more than others", because those "studies" are lies in first place, unverifiable. What's fact as even Masnick was forced to admit is:
    "Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%"
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/08/megaupload_piracy_study/
    BTW: link there rather than the study itself because The Register has an entirely different slant on Megaupload from here.

    Besides that, sales to pirates actually cost because they're only buying to "share" it to unlimited others for free. -- "tends to" is childish fudging to hide the fact that gatekeepers can't pay what they don't get.

    The actual smokescreen is that you pretend nebulous danger to free speech, when you're just trying to excuse stealing empty entertainments.


    If you wonder why I comment here, kids: it's that the steaming piles of crap Masnick manufactures are deserving target for hootage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 3:51pm

    Re: "For nearly two decades we've been discussing this space" -- Without effect. Anyone sane wouldn't brag on how much time he's wasted.*

    I sure don't brag! I say it's a vice to comment here, and mean it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 4:37pm

    Well, I got it for "free" (JUST the book, not all 1.33G!), and... OMG! This book lauding piracy is COPYRIGHTED! Talk about insane!

    "Copyright 2013 by Aram Sinnreich"

    Think ya done broke my hooter! -- Only thing saved me is that it's DULL! Starts out with Genoa in 14th C!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 4:47pm

    "For nearly two decades we've been discussing this space" -- Without effect. Anyone sane wouldn't brag on how much time he's wasted.

    After predicting "dinosaurs" dying during all that time, you recently cheered them for surviving rampant piracy. Anyone else with your track record would at least re-consider notions. Not you. Unmatched for oblivious to facts and arrogantly certain that you're right:

    "trying to get people to understand that the fight over copyright isn't about how artists should get paid" -- Right. It's over whether. Just as this screed -- that you're utterly contradictorily trying to gain money from! -- talks up "sharing", not paying. You do not wish copyright owners to get paid. That's absolutely nailed down by your ongoing support for Megaupload. What you say is just blather alongside actively supporting a commercial-scale pirate who got tens of millions merely hosting petabytes of expensive-to-make products while not paying their investors and creators a cent in total.

    "that tends to just be a smokescreen by the giant gatekeepers who have done an awful lot to screw over actual content creators for years." -- First read just above again. Hasn't Dotcom screwed over creators? -- Now tell me how much pirates have paid those creators. ... I'm waiting. ... Pirates don't pay.

    Don't say "pirates buy more than others", because those "studies" are lies in first place, unverifiable. What's fact as even Masnick was forced to admit is:
    "Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%"
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/08/megaupload_piracy_study/
    BTW: link there rather than the study itself because The Register has an entirely different slant on Megaupload from here.

    Besides that, sales to pirates actually cost because they're only buying to "share" it to unlimited others for free. -- "tends to" is childish fudging to hide the fact that gatekeepers can't pay what they don't get.

    The actual smokescreen is that you pretend nebulous danger to free speech, when you're just trying to excuse stealing empty entertainments.


    If you wonder why I comment here, kids: it's that the steaming piles of crap Masnick manufactures are deserving target for hootage.


    What's the point of hiding these, kids? Information wants to be free!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 4:52pm

    Re: "For nearly two decades we've been discussing this space" -- Without effect. Anyone sane wouldn't brag on how much time he's wasted.

    "After predicting "dinosaurs" dying during all that time, you recently cheered them for surviving rampant piracy."

    What he predicted is that if they don't adapt and give people a reason to buy they would die. To some extent they have, eventually, adapted and given people a reason to buy. It is by embracing new technologies that they have adapted and given people a reason to buy.

    and I'm not sure where exactly he predicted that they would necessarily die. Just that they will be forced, and were forced, to adapt to technology whether through kicking and screaming or by consent. If anything he has pointed out many times in the past how Hollywood screamed about how every new technology, from the printing press to the cassette player to the VCR, would destroy the industry and that never happened. He pointed out that new Internet technologies, if properly embraced, would also likely not destroy the industry. If they aren't embraced then the industry would die.

    "you recently cheered them for surviving rampant piracy."

    Which was the point he was making all along. If they keep focusing on piracy that takes away from creating a product and a more profitable business model.

    ""trying to get people to understand that the fight over copyright isn't about how artists should get paid" -- Right. It's over whether."

    That's a strawman. Copy protection laws are not the only possible way artists can get paid. In fact Megaupload provided alternative ways artists can get paid. Hollywood didn't approve because they want to be the only way.

    Also copy protection laws are not, or at least should not be, about whether or not artists should get paid. It should only be about promoting the progress and providing a public good. It should not be about preventing companies, like Megaupload, from engaging in your perverted definition of stealing. This is exactly why I want copy protection laws abolished. To the extent that they exist they should only exist to serve a public interest. To promote the progress. Any other reason is grounds for its abolition. You are the very strongest reason it should be abolished.

    "not paying."

    Again, IP law should only be about serving a public interest. Preventing people from 'not paying' should only be seen as a means to an end. When you see it as an end in and of itself I see that as a reason to abolish IP laws. Everything should enter into the public domain in a reasonable period of time because that should be seen as the intended end.

    "Hasn't Dotcom screwed over creators? "

    Again, preventing creators from being 'screwed' is not why IP laws should exist. In fact that you have perverted it to such is a good reason why they should be abolished. No one is entitled to IP laws, they are a gift of government, and like any other laws should only exist to serve a public interest.

    "Don't say "pirates buy more than others", because those "studies" are lies in first place, unverifiable. What's fact as even Masnick was forced to admit is:"

    Yes, only studies you agree with you are verifiable.

    No study has 100 percent uncertainty. That's the nature of science. But the studies do provide evidence for a specific stance.

    From that link

    "but it's worth noting that IDEA itself was created last year with funds provided by the MPAA. ®"

    Even if sales went up after Megaupload was taken down that's not to say correlation equals causation. Much of the reason could very well be that content providers have learned to adapt to newer technologies by giving people more and better legal alternatives. For example Netflix has been growing in the last few years. There are many more legal on demand options.

    It should also be noted that even if Megaupload's takedown was the cause of Hollywood's revenue that's not to say piracy through Megaupload harmed their revenue. It could very well be the case that Megaupload provided content creators and consumers with more legal ways of distributing and obtaining content. This could have competed with Hollywood. Also Megaupload did provide ways for content creators to get paid for their work and that could very well have helped supply more content that competed with Hollywood. Which is exactly why Hollywood and you don't like Megaupload despite the fact that they mostly complied with the law and, in many instances, went above and beyond what the law requires. Because they provide competition and Hollywood doesn't want to compete because that competition cuts into their revenue.

    Your hatred for mostly legal services like Megaupload and Google/Youtube, which do/did follow the laws, is evidence of your true agenda. You don't just want to stop piracy. You want to stop competition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: "For nearly two decades we've been discussing this space" -- Without effect. Anyone sane wouldn't brag on how much time he's wasted.*

    What have you got to brag about?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re: "For nearly two decades we've been discussing this space" -- Without effect. Anyone sane wouldn't brag on how much time he's wasted.*

    Ironic how you brag about how you don't brag.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 5:46pm

    out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2015 @ 9:24pm

    Re:

    Speaking of steaming piles. You're projecting again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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