Battle At Pirate Bay

Thanks to Kelly for the link to this story:

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/02/pirate_wednesda.html

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People have been illegally downloading music for over 10 years.  You’re grasping at straws if you think The Pirate Bay is responsible for the demise of the entire industry.   If anything, the labels are to blame for refusing to move forward with digital downloads, and stifling a major technological advance.

As for the “demis of an industry,” it’s complete bullshit.  The music industry isn’t going anywhere, it’s just changing.  Just like 45’s, and vinyl, and 8-tracks, CD’s are on the way out.  The kicker here is that this transition is a little harder for people to grasp because this time, it also means the end of physical product alltogether. Welcome to the digital age!

I would also like to point out that The Pirate Bay is hardly the first to fall victim to these litigious attacks by the RIAA and their entertainment industry counterparts.  The suits have been fighting Napster, Kazzaa, and other P2P networks, along with children and college students, since they got wind of file sharing.  Sure some poeple have been successfully frightened into setlements, but for the most part the RIAA has failed to keep illegal downloading to a minimum, and The Pirate Bay case is no different, especially because we’re fighting this one in international waters–note the cease-and-decist letters sent to The Pirate Bay, and their incredibly polite responses ;).  These Sweedish visionaries are completely justified when they point out that American law doesn’t apply to them, and that the executives who think it does are complete morons!  The same way that American artists are not paid a mechanical royalty in foriegn radio spins–even though foriegn artists are–, The Pirate Bay does not have any obligation to comply with the requests of MGM, Universal, and other major American corporations.

So what shoudl be done about this little dissagreement?  Corporate America has two choices: continue to fight the switch to digital and slowly run themselves into bankruptcy and oblivion, or cut their losses and figure out a way to make people want to pay for music.  After all, music deserves to be celebrated and shared the way it was intended to, not exploited for profit and dulled into homogeneity.  The only real way for that to happen is for people to have open and unlimited amounts of music available to them at all times, much like television, radio, and the World Wide Web are at present.  Cheers to The Pirate Bay and here’s hoping the cards fall in your favor or it will be a disappointing setback for the future of music.

Read more about the ins and outs of music piracy in The Future of Music by David Kusek.

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