Major Close Down

Nick get_iplayer at
Tue Aug 5 14:52:26 PDT 2014

On Tue, 05 Aug 2014 20:59:53 +0100
Frankie Higgs <frankiehiggs at> wrote:
> What does genuinely continue to surprise me is that people continue to
> compare copyright violation to theft.

Pretty much every facet of the media uses copyright in the traditional
way and as such they will tend to take pro-copyright stances, even when
trying to be impartial.

eg the BBC, the bastion of impartiality. Loads of their programmes are
made by external companies, significant fractions of the staff of
the BBC will have worked in the non-BBC parts of industry where
questioning the fundamental philosophies of how the business works just
isn't an encouraged debate to bring up. Ultimately the products
these entities make will do things like demonise pirates - simply using
the word pirate is demonisation because of the stigma attached to
"pirate". Impartially the average "pirate" is a violator of copyright
law, a civil crime.

I will concede what comes close to theft (and then only metaphorically)
is the right the law gives to IP owners of control over distribution.
Mostly they pick exclusive distribution meaning that when someone does
something like upload on a torrent the uploader is breaking the law.
They are breaking civil law though, not criminal, which is where actual
theft (eg nicking a bike) lies.

IMHO though when the internet exists and machines to handle data are
everywhere and cheap that we cannot use technology to its fullest
because of the law is a bit laughable.

The media have very loud voices, we invite them into our homes and
pockets (which they obviously encourage) and no matter details of their
biases we stand to be influenced to varying degrees. I feel a big
influence is something abstract to do with notions of monopolising
ideas and information.

Plus there people who have a livelihood based on copyright, there's the
old phrase about someone will never get a subject if their salary
relies on them not understanding. How technology has moved on and made
past value-creation methods obsolete is something just not on the radar
for some people.

/end stoned ramble


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