“With today’s announcement, we hope the dynamics of the conversation can change and become a sincere discussion about how best to protect the millions of American jobs affected by the theft of American intellectual property,” Dodd said. “The threat posed by these criminal operations has been widely acknowledged by even the most ardent critics. It is incumbent that they now sincerely work with all of us to achieve a meaningful solution to this critically important goal.”
It is not. It is Not. IT IS NOT THEFT. It is copyright infringement. It is theft just like taking a photo of the Statue of Liberty is theft. Can we stop using this term? Neither is it piracy. Piracy happens on the high seas – sometimes the low seas. But definitely on the water – where they shoot at you and board your boat. And sometimes they get shot through the eye while their lifeboat bobs up and down on rough waters by navy seals. So it’s not piracy.
Now. Let’s address the idea that millions of American jobs are at stake. Copyright infringement occurs after those millions of people have already been paid their hourly wage to haul cables and hold cameras and serve food on the set. They were already paid. They won’t be paid any more or any less because Jerry made a copy. So let’s stop pretending that it’s about the “little people”. The little people are all union and their biggest threat is the studio.
Illegally copied movies have always been a problem for the movie studios. Illegally copies cassettes have always been a problem for the recording industry. Swap meets and flea markets were full of these copied movies and songs. The movie studios and recording studios weren’t clamoring to have the streets in front of the swap meets closed down based upon someone deciding that there were “stolen” movies at the swap meet. No. The people selling illegal copies were arrested and punished. The whole stinking swap meet wasn’t shut down. That’s what the movie and recording studios want. They want the whole swap meet shut down. And they want the telephone pole where someone posted a flyer chopped down. And they want the corner gas station to be seized if someone posts a flyer on the wall. And they want the road to the gas station ripped up, too. That’s what SOPA and PIPA would have done. Over react to an overblown problem.
Stop calling it “piracy”. Stop calling it “theft”. Call it what it is, infringement. Stop adding stupid laws to prevent me from watching a movie I bought on whichever device I choose. Stop convincing manufacturers to build defective CDs and players so I can’t listen to the CD I bought in my car. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act could have effectively outlawed the sharpie marker if it was used to “circumvent” the copyright stripe on your CD.
These bills were over reaching and draconian. The movie studios want to have meaningful protections? They need to start with meaningful and realistic language.