Check out this story about how the MPAA sponsored a study linking piracy to organized crime and terrorism. The mighty Motion Picture Association of America, you see, has a problem: prosecutors are reluctant to waste millions of dollars in public money going after millions of software, music and movie downloaders. Somehow, the MPAA has to screw with the priorities. So let’s review how politics, corporatism, law and heaps of bullshit are coming together to turn your kids into enemies of the state.
Early 19th Century – Intellectual property protections are created in Europe to that labors of the mind are enjoyed, for a short time, by their authors.
20th Century – Due to the logistics and cost of marketing and distributing media, music and movie creators sign over their work to publishers. Publishers get rich. Artists get a pittance.
1967 – World Intellectual Property Organization is created “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world” (from the preamble to the convention establishing WIPO)
1990s – Rise of personal computing and the Internet. Logistic complexity and cost of marketing and distributing media evaporates. Traditional publishers become obsolete.
1990s through today – Rise of collaboration, sharing, open source, remixing, etc. IP laws, particularly software patents and copyright law, cease to achieve their original purpose (to encourage innovation). IP Laws become obsolete.
1999 – Napster created.
2000 – Publishers realize they are becoming obsolete; go batshit crazy. Begin to trick artists into thinking the same way.
Summer 2001 – Publishers sue Napster into oblivion; begin diverting all remaining resources to scaring the shit out of the public by suing teenagers, senior citizens and anyone else they can intimidate for bajillions of dollars in damages those people never could have caused.
Fall 2001 – Bush/Cheiny/Rumsfeld invent “War on Terror” for the dual purposes of bankrupting the USA while enriching themselves and instituting a dictactatorship. Dictator Numbnuts then calls everyone he doesn’t like a terrorist, abducts them and imprisons them in the floating S&M dungeon we call Gauntanomo Bay. Dictator Numbnuts further labels any action he doesn’t like “terrorism” or “supporting terrorism.”
2005 – Artists like Radiohead begin realizing that publishers are obsolete, embrace the new order and begin independent online distribution.
2006 through today – Lawsuits begin to backfire. Courts begin realizing that publishers are trying to use civil courts to prosecute criminal offenses but cannot justify the damages they are seeking due technicality – they have no evidence.
2007 through today – Desperate, publishers attempt to delegate enforcement by leaning on Internet Service Providers and Universities. Harvard Law takes it personally.
2008 – Charles Nesson, Professor of Law at Harvard and Captain of the SS Fuckoff starts blasting dirty-big holes in the side of the RIAA’s Fort Bullshit.
2009 – Seeing the RIAA’s bullshit shield weakening, the MPAA realizes it’s in shit up to its collective eyeballs and decides to take radical action. The MPAA “commissions a study” (read, “pays someone to invent evidence for a pre-made conclusion”) to link piracy with terrorism.
How why do you think publishers would want to conflate piracy with terrorism? Wouldn’t that just muddy the whole issue? Yes. Yes it would. That’s how OJ got away with killing his wife, and that’s how the publishes intend to get away with screwing over artists and consumers for half a century. They are going to try to have you, yes you, declared a terrorist. They are going to use fear and stupidity to pressure prosecutors to put piracy cases on top of their lists. Then they are going to spend every dollar they can beg, borrow and steal to have you, and people like you, thrown in jail for a very long time. They are going to try to frighten the living shit out of as many people as possible so people stop downloading.
Terrorism: the systematic use of fear as a means of coercion.
Downloading movies and music is not terrorism. Using the legal system to protect your profit margin by scaring the public into changing its behavior is.