Pirated music has become more and more popular on the internet in recent years. Especially so due to the increase in Torrents, Usenet, and other means of downloading such media. With the increasing rise of the anti-intellectual property movement, in protesting moves to censor the internet with agreements such as PIPA, SOPA, and ACTA. In a recent survey, 70% of Americans believed that the need for free-flowing and uncensored information is more of a concern than the theft of intellectual property. In order to crack down on the so-called pirates, the industry is finding it awfully difficult to satify both themselves, and the millions upon millions of individuals who believe that the internet should remain almost deregulated to allow free access to news and culture.
With ACTA being proposed a few years ago, and with its recent return in style, many in Bulgaria and Poland have protested against it, demanding that their rights be upheld. In the younger generations, the need for information is greater than ever before; with countries finding it almost impossible to put a cap on this free-flowing information. With Wikileaks relying on this deregulated internet, any attempt to put a plug on it, will quite passionately be met with criticism and outcries.
It would appear as though the threat of intellectual property just doesn’t cut it with individuals these days. There are many countries around the world who believe that there are more important issues than intellectual property theft, such as the downloading of music and movies. Russia, for instance, is a country that suffers from high amounts of corruption and poverty, and has therefore never prioritised the prosecuting of alleged pirates. China is another country that believes that intellectual property theft just isn’t a “big concern”, and right they may be.
With the rise of AllOfMP3 in the 1990s, to early 2000s, Russia seemed quite reluctant in shutting down the website, due to them operating under a valid license in Russia that Russian radio stations utilise. This of course didn’t chime well with the authorities in the United States, who eventually began threatening Russia with political threats; by threatening to affect Russia’s application to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which they are now in. People suspect that this entry into the World Trade Organization has come with many stipulations, such as demanding that Russia clean up its appalling record on prosecuring suspected pirates, and closing down websites which, allegedly, breach copyright laws worldwide.
The big concerns come from the United States, where the common phrase for trying to implement acts such as PIPA and SOPA has been “protecting American jobs”. However, the case of “protecting children” has of course been another one. The trouble is, when you introduce the infrastructure to remove websites from the internet, then where does it stop? After all, for many years Wikileaks has been a thorn in the back of the United States government and its agencies, such as the FBI an CIA. If the infrastructure is there to remove such offending websites from the internet, then would the order be brought to the table? It’s difficult to imagine how such a possibility would be rejected in the interest of “internet freedom”.
There are many ideas floating around as to handle the problem of piracy globally. Steam itself have developed a fantastic way to combat piracy, and have reported an overwhelming success in the Russian and Chinese markets, by providing a service that allows people to easily take what they would like, for a minimal cost. If you can provide a much better service than that which the pirates can provide, then people don’t mind paying a little money for this. Whilst people will steal take things for free, it’s a question of, “how much money does one need?”. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the media distributors of our time have been legally scamming people, by selling CDs for as much as 20 dollars per CD! And the same for VHS tapes and DVDs. Sadly their days are coming to an end, but of course nobody would let go of such a grasp on the market THAT easily, and therefore I believe what we are seeing today is the dying industry, attempting to keep ahold of the glory days of the past; and being so narrowminded as not being willing to adapt to a new business model.
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