Copyright Law

Where to begin?

This week, as I’m sure you all already know, police in Finland raided the home of a 9-year-old girl who was a Pirate Bay user because she downloaded a single album. The CIAPC sent a demand for 600 euros to the home in return for not taking the case to court. Obviously, the father refused. Also, they had already gone out and bought the album by this time. However, this was not enough for the CIAPC. So, the police were sent to confiscate her Winnie the Pooh laptop.

Along with this dramatic display of extreme copyright protection, a study recently released has found that the shutdown of Megaupload harmed box office sales. It turns out that pirates tend to be big spenders. While it didn’t affect the big blockbusters, it still had a malevolent effect on sales for other movies.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady increase in the extremes that anti-piracy groups will go to to make their stance clear. However, these events are beginning to cause public outrage. As this occurs more and more, there will likely be a change in the mood of the public regarding piracy. Eventually, it may be anti-piracy that is looked down upon. While this is extremely unlikely to happen in the next few years, the mafia-like activities of these groups is certainly going to be a huge source of damage to their image overall.

While I do not advocate piracy, I do not care much for these companies that attack individuals for it. In fact, I am not even sure that I will sign up with a record company. However, I must ask for anyone to not pirate my works, especially in such a case, as that might end up being the only source of my income then. Writing takes quite a while, so that wouldn’t be the best way of making a living either. However, I would not threaten with legal action. If I were in that situation, I would plead with would-be pirates to at least pay for it later.

I do realize that many reading this might scoff at my idea, but I am quite serious. Firstly, threatening someone with legal action often leads to an increased chance of them acting the way you don’t want them to. Additionally, if people were to realize that they would not be supporting the record company, they might feel better about paying for it. If you pirate from the freelancer, it’s like stealing from a family-run little shop on the corner of a street in some small town. And that’d be more likely to leave one feeling guilty than if it were some huge corporation that could afford to replace the stolen goods. Lastly, being polite is quite important. Many companies realize this, but don’t implement it the way it really should be implemented. Common manners are very important. Consumer sovereignty is an extremely important factor in the market.

And this may or may not be a good idea, so it will obviously take quite a while for me to decide on whether it’d be in my best interest to sell my music that way. Nevertheless, the point still stands — despite the increase in the strictness of copyright laws, this is not the way to get things done the way you want them to be done. If you want to get people to stop infringing on copyrights, don’t make threats. This issue can also be likened to the alcohol laws in the US. The US has some of the strictest regulations on alcohol use. However, alcohol abuse remains a huge problem here. Meanwhile, in many European countries, where their regulations on the substance are much more lax, it’s not nearly as terrible a problem.

Regulating people’s activities only makes them more likely to disobey. Humans have a natural tendency to rebel against authority. When faced with a threat, we stand up against it. It is completely natural. Yet companies and governments alike don’t seem to understand this yet, despite tens of thousands of years of evidence to support this quite simple fact. Their ignorance is hurting them now. And it always really has. There’s a reason why the US is no longer an English colony and why there are no monarchs in France. There was a reason for the dissolution of the USSR. While many other factors played in to all these events, a glaringly obvious one was plainly that humans don’t respond well to control by fear — the same strategy that anti-piracy organizations are beginning to use today.

So it is my belief that these groups may end up with the same fate as those before them, especially when I consider the size difference. While what I am saying may sound rather extreme, so are the events taking place across the world that are direct results of these groups’ attempts to protect copyrights.

As always, I encourage you to think before you take this to heart. Form your own opinions. Whether or not they are in agreement with mine is not for me to say. Never accept words without thinking about them first. Always beware he who poisons them. His are deadly.

Veritatem.

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