That's a good statement of the ethical case against the way copyright is being abused here. On the social side, I would propose that another consequence, besides piracy (which people correctly point out will only generate efforts at tighter and more comprehensive control of the Internet), could be...not consuming electronic media from such sources at all!
There are such things as books, doing real things in the real world, and interacting with actual people; even if they are not as charming as Jim Halper or appealing as Pam Beasley. There are also musical instruments to be abused and singing, using the (still freely avaialble) air around you. At some point, when people have been driven to such desperate measures while still having money in their pockets, our corporate overlords may realize there's only so many golden eggs they can beat from the dead horse of IP monetization.
It may be painful, but when you're paying $400-600/month for "content" and access to it already, can you blame them when they go fishing for another few hundreds/month?
No, it was a well-deserved verdict that will stand appeal (though they might get damages reduced by an amount greater than the legal fees to appeal it). In a gross example of "punching down", ridiculous accusations and threats were supported by the university, assuming the "free speech" of the students would protect any action they took. But not in a case of defamation, which seems pretty clear here.
Or maybe the jury was just a bunch of unenlightened rubes who think there's a difference between "speech" and "raging mobs of protesters, death and arson threats and interference with business operations".
As a practical matter, whatever you think of the members of the jury (who should, probably, be doxxed, threatened and have their employers and relatives called), it should not be hard to empanel a jury of people willing to make a like distinction anywhere in the country.
I worked for eBay, started not long after this change had been made. It clearly took about a nanosecond for the worst among the buyers to figure out scam procedures to take advantage of it. Keep in mind that your seller account was severely compromised by receiving as many as TWO whole negatives. I was constantly getting calls from people who were being scammed, and tasked with communicating eBay's official policy of "Tough shit." as nicely as possible.
In my mind, I always visualized a top management meeting in which Donahue was pontificating on some "grand principles" level and said something like "Without buyers, there's no money. Without money, there's no business. We need to be buyer-focused." Which is the kind of bland tautology you get from these 7-figure geniuses. But as the vague idea pachinkoed down through upper management, all trying to show they were doing SOMETHING for their own six-figure salaries, it became a brutal anti-seller policy.
As long as the bad actors chose their targets wisely (avoiding our big money sellers), there was fuckall we could do for them. And of course, you'd get disabled people making their living off eBay getting in-yo-face ripped off, long-time, perfect-rating sellers ruined by scammers, etc., It got depressing.
And this was back when the eBay working environment was still trying to push the trappings of a "innovative, fun, tech startup" that valued its' employees. Ugh. I learned: put enough zeroes behind a companies valuation and you get bog-standard corporate management, otherwise known as 'Save on the lube."
Sooo...in your equation, hurting someones' feelings in any way equals "bullying" and eternal unemployment, censoring and social shunning is a suitable punishment for hurt feelings? And this is to be enforced retroactively?
I guess it's too much to ask you to look at this from the outside, or from the viewpoint of a rational person?
What you present there is an oracular prediction. You seem to think it is some future reality. This must come from either an exceptional talent for divination (scatomancy?) or existence in a bubble of like-minded people who all agree it must be true.
The results of my prognosticative endeavors? You are under 25, urban and/or at university. The people you associate with all think you're smart, and the group agree almost 100% on almost everything. That about right?
I seriously doubt your prophetic utterances will prove to be any more valid than were mine at that age.
TechDirt comments make you want to bail on the Internet?? Wow. The list of places with worse content and/or comments is...wow. Just, don't look, otherwise you'd have to answer your own question "No, it isn't."
Sorry, it's just that being put off by the comments on TD is like being turned of YouTube comment threads because of the difficulty of the intellectual content there. It's just...wow...
Your conspiracy theory is as stupid as most conspiracy theories.
Please note the absence of reality in your claims that most democracies have elected conservative governments. Germany? France? Italy, after the economic crisis in 2008? US elected Obama twice. UK had Labour, then undecided in 2010. FAR from what you claim, if you want to go country-by-country. Canada? Australia? Not conservative.
Point of fact: the government in charge of the EU is not conservative and is passing data control and 'right to be forgotten" legislation that will benefit it greatly in assuring that the member states of the EU do NOT elect conservative governments which might act contrary to the interests of the Eurocrats in Brussels.
IOW, it's your good guys who are doing the bad things. But "keep putting your head in the sand and ignoring the reality around you to pretend that what you want to be true actually is". It's a very popular thing to do.
Note: I'll retain internet access, but not as a primary source of social interaction, entertainment or "current opinion"...I know, I'll be woefully uninformed as to the days "twitter outrage" and embarrassingly unfamiliar with the latest exchanges of witticisms between 24-year-old "author/influencer/ally"s and 75-year-old Heritage Foundation pundits.
I expect to survive with my understanding of how the world works largely undamaged.
And many other cats as well. I think, with the aid of a government grant and a nauseating project name (I'm thinking of going with "The Cat-astrophe of Uncontrolled Memes". Like it?), I can prove that this proto-meme normalized branch-hanging by cats, which shortened their lifespan by somenumber%.
Thing is, people are not using "social media" to create relationships, make friends or expand the pool of people they can communicate with. They are only seeking, in the vast number of people online, personal validation for whatever bizarre constellation of beliefs, political positions and emotional distortions they might exhibit. Nobody is so totally wrong-headed, misinformed or stupid that they cannot find online a thousand people who are 100% in agreement with them.
A lot of people nowadays find that irresistible, especially compared to RL where people will say things like "Uh...that's wrong." and "No, I think your facts are outdated there." Sheesh! Who signs up for THAT?