Summary: The latest news regarding copyright and a perpetual war on the act of passing zeroes and ones around
COPYRIGHT infringement is illegal and that is not the question at stake. What’s at stake is our ability to share data with our peers, family, and friends. If data sharing can be suppressed, then we are left dependent on a so-called “content industry” which sells us temporary access to its so-called “content”. We become so-called “consumers” who distrust our friends and only ever go to multinational corporations for our so-called “entertainment”. A few days ago we mentioned how copyright infringement gets used to shut down medium after medium to suppress dissemination of data, be it family videos or whatever else. It seems like people nowadays choose surveillance platforms like Facebook to share such stuff (with the NSA and also perhaps with some other people who registered with the same surveillance platform).
“Sometimes a flaw needs to be treated like a given, then worked around, like an alternative business model.”The argument here is not over copyright law or copyright infringement. It’s about how far the copyright monopoly/cartel should be allowed to go and subvert our laws using the magical “copyright infringement” wand. The monopoly/cartel is already disrupting search engines , indoctrinating our children at our expense (taxpayers fund schools) , and sending people to prison for many years  for merely managing a service that can be used legally or illegally (depending on its users). Fortunately, however, the monopoly/cartel is losing this war. It’s a game of whack-a-mole. When I discovered that DropBox was flirting with the NSA I deleted the account (although the NSA can probably access data retroactively, even after account deletion) and moved to Mega. I never upload anything which constitutes copyright infringement, but this is a matter of principles. Enough is enough.
Next month there is going to be an event here in Manchester, organised by the Pirate Party UK. In the UK, more than in most other nations, the monopoly/cartel has been very conveniently rewriting the law to reduce online sharing, kill Web anonymity, and generally keep a digital dossier on everyone. Clearly, however, when it comes to copyright infringement the monopoly/cartel has hardly been successful. The Internet’s userbase being eavesdropped on would not suffice; people can also copy files using storage devices (some laws try to tax these under the presumption of copyright infringement), so activity associated with sharing just evolves and goes underground. DRM is the plague infecting those who try the monopoly’s “official” channels, so in a sense it has the effect of driving many people away from these channels. Some companies might feel very angry about copyright infringement. They might feel like great injustice is happening, but that in its own right is no assurance that a remedy or a solution will ever be made available. Sometimes a flaw needs to be treated like a given, then worked around, like an alternative business model. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
During the past week the MPAA has been reiterating its complaints that Google doesn’t do enough to slow down Internet piracy. However, speaking with TorrentFreak the admin of one of the world’s largest torrent sites claims that the world’s largest search engine has made numerous tweaks to its algorithms over the past 18 months that have had quite an impact on search traffic.
Listen up children: Cheating on your homework or cribbing notes from another student is bad, but not as bad as sharing a music track with a friend, or otherwise depriving the content-industry of its well-earned profits.
From previously being exceptionally lenient on those publishing links to copyrighted files without permission, Spain is now well on its way to cracking down on the problem. Amendments to the country’s penal code approved yesterday means that admins of sites offering links to copyrighted works without the owners’ permission could face jail sentences of up to six years. For individual file-sharers and those operating P2P software, the outlook is much better.
Just eight months after its launch Kim Dotcom’s Mega has established itself as one of the dominant players in the secure file-storage business. The site has now earned a spot among the top 1,000 most-visited websites on the Internet, overtaking its direct competitor RapidShare. Kim Dotcom says that Mega is already 50% of Megaupload in terms of the number of files stored, and that’s just the beginning.
But it will all be worth it if you can get down to Manchester, take a look at what is happening, and let us know what you want to do next. There is lots to do and we need people to help us do it, the more people we have the faster we can achieve our aims. Our Party is doing more, more effectively, it is managing to have an impact in local elections and we punch above our weight on the national stage, whether it’s in the press, or in meetings with OFCOM, that isn’t going to stop. The leaks from Edward Snowden over the last months show that so many of the things we do and work on are vital.