Sunday, September 16, 2012

The War on Piracy/Drugs

If the War on Piracy continues--and I hesitate to even use the term, in case it gives anyone any ideas--it will have a lot of resemblance to the War on Drugs.

First, it is doomed to fail.  So there's that.  For some reason, humans often feel compelled to compel each other to do things or not to do things that are doomed to fail.  It's a sign of our incomplete rationality, in my opinion.

There are some differences, however.  First, drugs are bad, mmkay?  I think it's fair to say that at least the goal of the War on Drugs is a good goal--get people not to take so much drugs.  And so we endure the constant invasions of our civil rights at least for a goal that makes sense.

And indeed, like any law that makes it illegal to be "in possession" of something, somebody can plant pirated data on your computer just like drugs.  It is another lever that can be used by corrupt officialdom to screw people over.

But what is the goal of the war on piracy?  I mean seriously, hang on.  Is it to get people to change their behavior and not pirate anything on the internet?

Try to imagine what that would be like.  Everyone who enjoys pirating today just suddenly decides it's not worth and and stops doing it.  What would that mean?

It would mean that we are a bunch of fucking pussies to let someone bully us around on the internet.  I wouldn't even want to live in that world.

1 comment:

  1. From a comment on Techdirt:

    "I am not usually pessimistic. But I can see how the government's War on File Sharing will continue down the same path as the War on Drugs.

    "The two are very similar in terms of ignorance of reality, twisted philosophy and general hypocrisy.

    "The War on Drugs has cost billions of dollars, ruined millions of lives and contributed to severe erosion of Constitutional liberty and loss of respect for government and the police.

    "It's also turned drug production and sales into a hugely profitable business and then turned that business over to terrorist cartels and warlords.

    "Given that, it doesn't take a large stretch of the imagination to see the War on File Sharing turning into an amazing bonanza for a few special interests, further limiting the rights of "normal" citizens and pushing large portions of the tech and innovation industries onto foreign shores.

    "What is deeply frustrating about all this is that the solution is rather simple.

    "The entertainment industry does not have a 'right' to make money from any particular technology.

    "If they are losing the amount of money that they claim, then the simple answer is to abandon the technologies that are costing them money.

    "Stop releasing digital content!

    "Then it can't be pirated.

    "Restrict all movies to theaters, all music to live performances and low-quality FM broadcasts.

    "Problem solved.