Monday, 3 September 2012

Ponderous Pandering: And why the world stands at the brink of total collapse

We, as a race of human beings,(as opposed to Bonobo monkeys, who are much friendlier) have a nasty irritating habit of placing bear traps in our own path. A bit like the sort of creative hara-kiri you would expect of lemmings and the Japanese, only much more incredulous. In a few sad months for the impressive ideals of free speech and capitalism we have managed to subvert the patent system, persecute(rather than prosecute, or even prostitute) Julian Assange, and close down some rather useless file sharing sites. All the while, Tim Cook, or some other parvenu left swimming in his own desultory money bin, would be contemplating the paraboloid nature of karma. Or why, when a boomerang is left to its own devices, inevitably tends to return to its thrower.

What we have achieved, is scary to the point of being completely ignored by most of the human populace. The logic goes, hey..if you cant stop it..don't worry about it..ooh look, a bonobo!! After the closing down of Megaupload.com, and the purported extradition of Kim Schmidt, that brought with it a raft of other closures, the founder of The Pirate Bay has been arrested in Cambodia, FileSonic.com has decided to down its shutters, and well, the world is pretty much going to hell even without Wikileaks to provide running commentary.

The idea is to prevent that most cataclysmically pernicious of all human evils...piracy. Because piracy stops the author getting his legitimate due, the executives who write up the author getting their legitimate cut, the distributors who do such a hard job distributing from getting their cut, and the fat cats who spot the author's talent from getting their cut. In short, pirates probably cause half of the world's poverty, and record company moguls probably routinely have to send their kids to bed hungry because of depraved lechers like you downloading stuff free off the internet. Yes you!! dont pretend to be innocent, you've done it too.

It's shameful. In a world of "Occupy...." and "The Protester" , to enact laws that prevent the free and easy sharing of entertainment, to people who can't afford it, or probably do not have easy access to it. It is also shameful to restrict the sale of products and restrict competition based on a couple of ridiculous arguments. Frivolity is probably the buzzword in America's courtrooms today, with lawsuits probably being filed now on who invented the shoelace, and on who Santa Claus really is. It is shameful also to assert that piracy causes people to lost their jobs, or restricts talent, or that it is tantamount to theft.

As a demotivaitonal poster once put it..think of it as your car getting stolen, but its still there the next day, piracy isn't theft,it's just..piracy. Piracy helps talented people get inspiration, helps talented people get the tools to harness that inspiration and  create quality without requiring startup capital. Most importantly, piracy makes things better, because you know you've got to go that extra mile to get people off their asses and buy your product. Piracy helps promote your product to areas with little knowledge, but a fast internet connection, going viral(anyone?), and piracy helps cultivate free speech and the ideals of democracy that we have so long cherished.

If  your product is good enough, then people who form an emotional attachment to it will surely support you. Hell or hard weather, fans are fans, and the right way to do things is by creating something that people need and that people would be enriched by. Rather than spending those billions on marketing.

But no one really gets that. The whole of human kind now seems to be one large cattle market, at the mercy of our overlords. The only question is how fat we would be allowed to get before we're slaughtered.

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