I was off work yesterday, and listening to the radio. A news bulletin tells me that EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal had been successful in their case taken against UPC, Imagine, Vodafone, Digiweb, Hutchinson (t/a Three) and O2. In the case Sean Sherlock told us would never happen, they’d secured an injunction forcing these ISPs to block the Pirate Bay.
I didn’t know if it was temporary or not, but The Pirate Bay site was indeed down for me yesterday, going through my own ISP.
Even as the newsreader told me “It’s going to be much harder for people to download music illegally”, I’d opened a proxy site and yes – there we were, Pirates!
This case generated so much bullshit it’s almost impossible to know where to start.
“Experts also calculated up to US$36 million advertising revenue is generated annually for the Pirate Bay sites”, the plaintiffs claimed. So? And really? That many people click on really bad adverts for ways to grow… certain body parts? Doubt it.
The plaintiffs claim they were losing sales of €20 million annually due to piracy. Um… no.
There’s an internet now, all right, but people buy stuff on it, too. Haven’t these people heard of iTunes, Google Play, Spotify – or if you want physical CDs, Amazon, Play.uk, and so on. I’ll pay €15 for a CD – but not if I can get the tracks on Google Play for €5. And presuming I can find a handy record shop. All the ones I used to know and love have turned into mobile phone shops, or Spars. This seems to have passed by the “businessmen” at Warner and IRMA, who presumably still think home taping is killing music.
This case was taken because of the Statutory Instrument introduced by that notable debater, Sean Sherlock, TD. Don’t ask him any questions on Twitter, now, or he’ll block you (cf #Sherblock). Anyway, presumably he’s busy. Outlawing roads, on the grounds they’re used by getaway drivers?
Artists, of course, deserve to be paid for their work. But the solution is take out the middle men, not to try to force the tide back. The Oatmeal put it best of all.