Originally Posted by HarryT
So you think that downloaders should be able to break the law with impunity? Both are equally guilty. It takes two to tango, as the saying goes.
Have you ever tried slaying an hydra? Where, for each head you cut off, two new grows up in its place? It's not an easy thing, fighting such a beast head by head. The fight isn't about "right" or "wrong", it's about finding the most efficient way of killing the beast.
No, I've not lost my mind. The hydra metafor is, in my opinion, very similar to what the big media houses is trying to do. Take the downloaders, one by one, and for each time they take one, the publicity makes two to take his/hers place.
Reasearch* has shown that a few people who make a living out of the pirate sites is behind most of the pirated material "out there". Which, to me, makes sense. I, as an "ordinary" person, has no advantage from uploading "stuff". It is illegal, I could get in trouble over it, it takes space on my hard drives and my bandwidth. The ordinary person may or may not be tempted to download, and if you want to go after all the downloaders you need the weapons of PIPA and SOPA and whatnot. These are weapons of mass destruction, capable of destroying the openness and freedom of speech and so on. But the ordinary person has no interest in uploading. That is why, if one takes down the biggest uploaders, you reduce the big problem of piracy to a much smaller problem.
It is easier to go after the few than the many; a stab through the hydras heart is easier than killing it head by head. Besides, it may not be neccessary to force sensorship and ruining the open internet to take down the hydra either. It is possible to use traditional methods (investigation, arrestation, charges and convictions) of the biggest uploaders with the means we have available today; there are some problems with international laws, US juristiction does not cover the entire earth and so on, but by rattling its sables, US have quite a bit of influence in other countries as well.
I say again: this fight should not be about "rigth" or "wrong", nor about punishing all infrigers. The main goal should be to solve the problem with as light methods as possible. By spending just a fraction of the amount used on DRM schemes, lobbying for these socalled "acts", bribing politicians, TV commercials and whatnot, it could have been possible to take down many of the largest uploaders or sites.
"Let the small fish go and focus on the big fish" has been fishers motto for a long time. If the MAFIAA (I just love that term) could follow the same motto, let the police and the courts focus on the biggest "fishes" out there instead of drowning the police and said courts with massive amounts of work, maybe we wouldn't find ourselves in this mess. Even Hercules, when cleaning Augias stables
, had to start somewhere. Why not start with the big fishes and see what happens?
I don't say that this will solve the problem of piracy, but it would limit it to a fraction of what it is today. Piracy is popular because you could find anything out there. By limiting the selection and availability by making it harder to run a pirate site pluss taking out the uploaders, I think it will become less popular.
I know that it is far from easy to take down a site in our divided world, the piratebay farce has shown that. The original people behind the piratebay is sentenced to jail and gigantic fines, but the current owners are not affected. It is difficult, but far more productive if successfull. Remember what happened after Megaupload was taken down? Almost all similar sites shut down in the aftershock of the quake. It's easier, cheaper and more efficient that anything involving suing en masse.
In my opinion, the MAFIAA are trying to solve the problem with far too heavy guns. They are using heavy artillery to take down Sparrows (sic!) instead of catching the big eagles, even though the big eagles are an easier target, even with traditional weaponry.
*I don't find a link to this article. I think this was discussed in an earlier debate
here, and I think
I read it in one of the articles discussed in said debate
, but I fail to remember which. Can anybody help with links here?