The most effective form of distribution

It was a sad day when the Pirate Bay guys – Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde – were been banged up and ordered to pay $4.5m damages.

“There has been a perception that piracy is OK and that the music industry should just have to accept it. This verdict will change that,” said International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) chairman John Kennedy. Unbelievable. And it gets worse: “The trial of the operators of The Pirate Bay was about defending the rights of creators, confirming the illegality of the service and creating a fair environment for legal music services that respect the rights of the creative community. Today’s verdict is the right outcome on all three counts.”

What a load of crap.

Up speaks Ludvig Werner, Chairman of IFPI Sweden: “The court has delivered a simple and clear judgement, which is that people and businesses engaged in creative activities have the fundamental right to be rewarded for their work and to be protected from massive copyright violators like Pirate Bay. The criminal conviction of the Pirate Bay operators will not only hearten the music and film community – it is also a huge shot in the arm for legitimate producers and entrepreneurs, who are trying to create a thriving legitimate online business based on proper respect of copyright.”

I’m in the music and film community. I’m a legitimate producer and entrepreneur. I’m trying to create a thriving legitimate online business. But I’m certainly not trying to do is ‘based on proper respect of copyright’. That would just be plain dumb.

Yet more nonsense, this time Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA: “This is music to the ears of the thousands of small independents and artists who produce the majority of new releases today. It demonstrates a real understanding of the dilemma that if no one pays for music today who will make the exciting new music of tomorrow?”

The unimaginative granny-suing sticking plasters and folksy claims on behalf of us little producer/creative types will only stretch so far. Reminds me of a mobile operator head putting his hand up at a recent conference and asking what they were supposed to do if mobile ads switched from opt-out to opt-in… aw… shame! No, it’s not business as usual, but while ‘industry’ scratches its had and jails creative developers, those who’ve bothered to think of a better way are taking over. Industry has had it too easy for too long. The result? Imbalance and hampered innovation. Not for long.

A more rational comment from Rickard Falkvinge, leader of The Pirate Party… “This wasn’t a criminal trial, it was a political trial. It is just gross beyond description that you can jail four people for providing infrastructure.”

Micah White, a Contributing Editor at Adbuster, claims in this recent blog posting ‘The only way forward, toward the original dream of censorship-free communication, is to build mainstream support for online piracy based on the argument that piracy is a litmus test for authentic culture.’

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