Wednesday, April 25, 2007

RIAA debacle reveals hidden truth

Everyone knows:

  1. File sharing copyrighted material is illegal.
  2. You have to use a Peer to Peer file sharing program and send copyrighted files for the RIAA to go after you - though there are plenty of noted exceptions, it goes without saying: If every claim the RIAA made was totally specious, every defendant would hold their innocence and show up to court to avoid summary judgment.
  3. The RIAA is attacking people with intimidation.
What's fascinating about this whole debacle isn't that the RIAA is ethically and morally wrong in how they attack people, making false litigious claims, suing whole families and so on...

It is fascinating that the Internet public at large has galvanized into a pure hatred of the RIAA, one that is not reflected in the outside world. Joe Schmo has no real opinion of the matter, or might even say "File Sharing is wrong!" Certainly Republicans with vast investments actually support the RIAA for supporting their interests as shareholders.

What this tells me is that the legal problems with the RIAA isn't really the issue: the issue is a kind of business/cultural revolution, one that only people involved in the Internet really have the ability to know about and partake in.

As I've pointed out before:
  1. RIAA: Guilty of not following the market
  2. One Man Understood What Market He Was In
  3. Suing Innovation models have changed, but moreover, how people want to interact with content has changed, and how they want to treat it. These things aren't going away with Fascist strong-arm tactics - at least not in this country.

So remember next time you hate the RIAA, remember your own hypocrisy: are you downloading free music, but smart enough to do so over encrypted bit torrent protocols? Realize what you are: you're a revolutionary engaged in an illegal activity, active in something that isn't recognized as a revolution (so you won't be treated nicely). calling something a grand revolution which isn't. It's just the standard, changing market, shifting to yet another piece of technology that changes the way people do things faster than business models, and laws, can adjust.

We are not idealic soldiers if all we do is sit back and download. We are opportunists, waving our fists in the air hoping one day we'll be legitimatized. As of yet, the market has not found an equilibrium, and sitting back and bit torrenting only helps further the need for change - it does not create balance and harmony in and of itself.

No comments: