Jesus Christ, at last, can I breathe now ? Is it OK to breathe now ! The stifling atmosphere of going after normal people while the real criminals get away seems to be coming to an end. Fingers crossed. Obama closes Gitmo. A prison where torture is condoned which extracts inaccurate confessions that make life more dangerous for the rest of us ! Any military affectionardo knows that it was proven years ago that torturing someone completely destroys any hope of getting anything accurate out of them ! That is what was being pushed by these “legitimisers of stupidity” that have stalked America, this country and the rest of the world.
Now Gordon Brown has backed down from keeping secret Ministers expenses. Now we also have the Minister for Intellectual Property, David Lammy actually talking some sense on the subject of file sharing (also see Slashdot and here). You don’t have to agree with what he says. The music industry are still quite entitled to put their views across for stricter legislation. But it is very refreshing to at least see a balanced viewpoint and outlook on the subject. This is what was missing in the Bush and Blair years.
Can you breathe better yet ?
Lammy also revealed that he had a different opinion on file sharers than many people in the music industry. He pointed out that there’s a big difference between organized counterfeiting gangs and ‘younger people not quite buying into the system’. He added that ‘we can’t have a system where we’re talking about arresting teenagers in their bedrooms. People can rent a room in an hotel and leave with a bar of soap — there’s a big difference between leaving with a bar of soap and leaving with the television. ( Source )
Of course no one should be collecting those bars of soap and selling them down the market. But the music industry spokesman seems to completely miss the point …
However, one anonymous representative of the music industry responded to his comments in The Times, saying that ‘the relative cost of stealing a bar of soap from an hotel might be small, but if it came to seven million people nicking the soap each year, which is what we have in the music industry, I’m sure that hotel chain would do something about it.’ ( Source )
“Nicking” ? He does’nt get it does he ? “Nicking” would be taking the bars of soap and, as I said, selling them off down the market … a nice little earner mate .. sort of thing.
So, apart from the “anonymous” spokesman, we are moving away from the ridiculous position of criminalising people carrying out perfectly innocent pursuits in the privacy of their own homes. If a true pirate is arrested for selling copies of CD’s or mp3’s that he got off the file sharing networks then fair enough, but most people don’t do this. Why should they if they can get it for free over the sharing networks ? Having people sharing music in this way leads to an improved knowledge of what music is out there and greater sales for the music industry because people develop more informed and refined tastes. If the industry would just go with the flow and treat their consumers as adults who are growing and developing in a changing world then they would discover some very interesting and profitable marketing strategies I’m sure.
I wonder what other developments there will be in areas where the Bush / Blair oxygen restriction was causing a retarded debate to develop. Time to decompress ?