Hollywood lost a legal battle in Australia last week, where they were trying to force local Internet Service Providers (ISP's) to be responsible for copyright infringement by their users. This is actually the exact case that our douchebag friend Julian Assange informed us about, via the Wikileaks diplomatic cables, that the U.S. organization MPAA was actually behind it (through the local Australian equivalent, called AFACT). That's right, they're suing ISP's in Australia to try to get them to watch everything their users do and say on the internet, in order to protect the century-plus long copyright on things like this.
Now beyond the mere insanity of going to these lengths, it's useful to note that in the cable, the U.S. Embassy seemed very friendly with the MPAA. These folks have an outsize reach compared to the actual size of their entire industry. Seriously, Google could by the entire U.S. movie industry before breakfast--literally.
And that, in turn, brings home the nature of their influence and the importance of this issue. They are very visible. People in the U.S. are rightly proud of our cultural imperialism--it has many benefits for us around the world in the battle for hearts and minds in the world, which even our incompetent politicians can't completely ruin.
But in all seriousness, a $36 billion industry is chickenshit in the U.S. of A. That's just a fair size company. Oracle, for example. Google is $4 billion bigger, even, than the entire U.S. movie industry.
Yet they appear to have the regular attention of the U.S. diplomatic corps, and obviously quite of lot of clout in Congress.
So a small industry seeks to impose Orwellian monitoring of all internet use on a friendly country on the other side of the world. Nice. And our government not only doesn't object, but appears quite benevolently disposed. Not a good thing.
So we can see the problem is a problem because these retards want to try to impose their control over everybody, not just people trying to make a buck from their work. And that is why I believe that the expansion of fair use to cover all non-commercial activity is the only sane solution to this problem.
Nobody is going to let them get away with censoring or monitoring the entire internet just to get to a few bad actors. But we seem perilously close to letting them do it in order to go after all of us.