Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Mar 2010 16:58 UTC
Legal We have some very, very good news for Europeans (which happens to include myself): we have the European Parliament on our sides when it comes to battling ACTA. If you may recall, ACTA is basically an attempt by the US to impose upon the rest of the world draconian measures like three strikes laws and the DMCA. All parties within the European Parliament have together put forth a resolution that would effectively tackle ACTA.
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That amounts to legalized piracy.

Except that it is not. In recent times it has always been legal in The Netherlands to, say, borrow a CD in the library (or books for that matter), and making a copy for your own enjoyment. As long as it is for personal non-profit use. To compensate artists, there is a levy on blank media, such as CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. A minister of justice has decided that the situation for downloading is the same. Citizens have already paid for this fair-use right via levies.

Even if you do not have a levy system, downloading should be no criminal offense. Copying is not theft, since there no physical object is being stolen. Making a copy is nearly free. Additionally, research in our country has shown that frequent music downloaders are also people who buy music more frequently.

Why the system as it is set up in many countries is wrong can be shown easily. Suppose that I can spend only 50 Euros of my monthly income in music, and I do so. Now, suppose that I also download 500 Euros worth of material monthly. Is 500 Euros the real damage? No, if I stuck to the law, I'd still have spent the same amount of money on music. If I do not obey the law, downloading 500 Euros worth of music does not cost the industry anything. The 50 + 500 situation is clearly more beneficial for society, and should be aimed for.

The entertainment system is broken and old, and kept in tact by draconian laws. It is time to shoot down those laws (including the DMCA, EUCD, and ACTA), and leverage the real potential of the internet - infrastructure that can bring an enormous of culture to every citizen, and gives artists (and not the industry) the opportunity to earn money.

You're clearly for laws that favor pirates over content producers.

Sure, pirates and artists. Not big media. They should reinvent themselves, or disappear with other archaic 20th century business models and technology. The world is far better of without them.

Edited 2010-03-09 22:43 UTC

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