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The Filesharing Conspiracy

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posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 05:58 AM
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Imagine you live in a world where every education and entertainment product, every piece of music, audio recording, movie, video, every book, work of art, every piece of information is available for free to anyone at anytime.

Wouldnt that be nice? The ultimate Utopia where noboy has property and everything is shared freely because "sharing is caring".

But guess what, thats already reality. Officially supposedly "illegal", everything is readily available as pirated filesharing, torrent downloads, free streaming and whatnot. Loads of movies, every video ever made, all books History has ever written and all new publications, any piece of music - it can ALL be accessed and had within a few minutes.

And for those who havent woken up to reality yet: There is a whole generation out there who thinks it is NORMAL to have instant free access to all of these commodities.

I`d like to look at possible hidden traps, downsides and conspiracies of the ever popular pasttime of downloading stuff and especially copyrighted stuff, for free. Lets also examine how the recording and movie industry have failed terribly in reacting to a change in overall culture and have thereby helped the "filesharing phenomenon" to grow.

It is not my intention to instill a feeling of guilt in readers. I understand the lure of easy access to everything imaginable and have myself greatly benefited from filesharing and streaming. What led me to write this is that I meet nice, normal, friendly people, your average joe - and they ALL, without exception, consider it normal to be entitled to a wide array of products without having to pay for them.

"You bought a CD? Man, you're old-fashioned. I can Download that for you in minutes"

"Why would I buy a book? I can download it within minutes"

"Wait, before you buy that software, maybe I can get it for free"

These people are not criminals, they are my neighbours, friends, colleagues.

It is a sign of a wealthy society that all kinds of goods are easily and instantly accesible. It is the climax point of the convencience-movement that began in 18th-Century America. But there are Downsides...

First of all, its complete overload, like overeating to the point of vomit. It enslaves millions of people into mega-consumers who spend most of the day in entertainment - at the expense of creatvity, productivity or contemplation.

Secondly, the majority of downloads happening are against the laws as defined by society. Illegal. So what has happened here, almost overnight, is that 90% of the younger Generation (90% - that is my guess from knowing and meeting a lot of people, youngsters and their parents in my line of work) have been allowed to become criminals.

And this is where the Conspiracy-Theory comes in: Have some hidden hands indeed allowed this to happen? Have they allowed it to happen so that - when the time is right - they can announce 90% of the population as criminals and impose limits to freedom because of it? Or why else was it suddenly so easy to steal? Or why else was it seen as normal and even good to steal ("sharing is caring")?

When the PirateBay founders say "Well, we dont do anything illegal, we just provide a search-engine" that is such a ridiculous cop-out no court ruling could take it seriously.Its like saying "We dont deal drugs, we only provide the venue, the packaging and bringing the people together." And nevertheless, lawyers have been powerless against new torrent-download sites springing up daily. "If we get shut down in this country thats no problem - we`ll just get a server in another country"

Thirdly - doesnt anyone want to reward those book-writers, movie-makers and musicians for their work? What ever happene to appreciation of value?

A week ago I bought a book at a bookstore.I like bookstores. Their smell and ambience is something you dont get on a Computer-Screen. a girlfriend saw the book and asked me:

"Huh? Why didnt you Download it? What a waste of money"

At this point I actually got a little angry.

"So you are saying I am wasting my money because I actually bought something for a change?"

"Why buy it when you can get it for free?" she responded.

What angered me is thethe matter-of-course with which she assumed it was completely normal to steal stuff.

"Because I like the author" I said. "If everyone thinks like you, authors wont make any money. And if they cant make a living or survive as an author they will quit being an author and the world will run out great works."

She laughed it off as if I was crazy. "Most of the money is not made by authors but by publishing houses."

I had heard this before.

"Musicians dont make the money, its record companies"

"Actors dont make the money, its movie companies"

A bright side of the Internet is that artists can now offer their stuff without the middleman publishing house or record company, A&R Manager, Studio, Film Distributor, etc. But reality is: Most Independent Artists actually struggle to pay the rent or buy food. Why? Firstly because they dont have the Budget to do a mass-advertising campaign. And secondly because the "filesharing movement" doesnt stop at products by big companies. The "I am entitled to have everything for free" crowd doesnt stop at anything.

I know this from experience. 2 years ago I gave up a Business of mine because everytime I produced something it was available for free only a few hours after I put it in the Internet.

I received emails from people dissapointed that I am quitting. But the world will just have to do without my output in those regards. My line of work needs to support at least food and rent. Wanting a little something in exchange for what was given does not mean one is a "capitalist pig". Meanwhile I am in a Business that is not dependent on music, movies or books and doing very well. However: What will ultimately become of my beloved music, movies and books?

Intellectual Property means something to me. Intellectual value may be the highest value we have as humankind. Its terrible to me that bombs are the most expensive item on earth while books can be had for free. That shows what value earth gives to bombs as compared to books.

I personally know a few musicians who have given up. Why? Because nobody wants to pay for music, it can be had for free. Here's what a musician-friend of mine says:

"Nowdays most people first check if they can get it for free before going to my shop. Others demand a streaming version of the tracks. So although I have about 3000 fans and can fill a room of 200 when playing live, I make less than $20 off online sales a month. I cant live on that. I have to get a regular job and cut back on making music"

20 years ago, if you had 3000 fans you could build on that and make a decent living.

An author I know, who used to sell quite well (not Bestselling, but enough to make a decent living) saw his book sales plummet gradually from the year 2000 onward. Now in 2010 he has quit writing altogether.

A few years ago I tried selling all of my DVDs and CDs at a garage-sale. Nobody wanted any of my junk. So I tried giving it all away for free. Still no takers! Although I had a great collection. One kid - the teenage Cousin of an Acquaintance went through my movies showing me all the ones he has already Downloaded.

"You bought all these movies?" his mother naively asks.

"I have my sources" he dryly states.

Of Course this is not only the fault of the Filesharing crowd but also the result of backward thinking by the recording and movie industry. Fighting single Filesharing sites is just about the most stupid thing you can do because when one is finally down ten others have sprung up. Yet more reason to ask about some Conspiracy:

Who would invest money in strategies that are so obviously guaranteed to fail? Are these lawsuits only a staged attempt to make the public think that "they are trying to combat piracy"?

The petty restrictions imposed by the recording and movie industry are self-damaging. For example restricting viewership depending on country is utterly idiotic because it drives Millions of foreigners to sites where they can "acquire" the products "by other means".If these companies were smart they would have gone with the flow and started offering their stuff much earlier - at a reasonable price - for all to view - and the full selection.

A friend of mine who lives in Europe, says: "Dude, if I were allowed to use netflix from my country I wouldnt be illegally Downloading movies. Id be willing to pay. Id be willing to pay good money to have access to movies. But access is blocked. On Youtube Sony blocks access videos where I live"

The old media industries are too slow and sluggish to understand whats going on. The old media is not all-powerful. It is dying. How many people between 13 and 25 do you know that read the printed newspaper? Is the old media aware that times have changed? Because by their behaviour its as if they still dont know. Thats great news for free-flow-of-information and for world democratization. But maybe it becomes a problem when intellectual and creative output is not seen as property but as part of that free-flow of information.

Of Course I could always be mistaken. Maybe there is nothing sinister at all going on and maybe we are moving toward a society in which people are willing to work for free. This very website is a good example of thousands of people performing journalistic work completely free of charge. That is a revolution, a new age of some kind and I can see the good in that.

Maybe there is no filesharing conspiracy. Maybe downloading intellectual property and internet piracy will be decriminalized. Or maybe new encoding and encrypting systems will be found. Much of the content of the Internet finances itself over allowing advertising on its sites. Conventional newspapers who offer their content for free on the Internet can only do so because of ad-space. This will work until someday advertisers find out that internet-advertising is not as effective is they were told it is. But Im getting ahead of myself, thats another controversial topic for another thread.

Thoughts?



+1 more 
posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 06:16 AM
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This is a very well written piece!

I personally feel that we are headed towards a society where the pursuit of bettering ourselves, and humanity will be pinnacle. Where people will research, write, and pursue art out of the love for it and its benefits to everyone.

[edit on 27-6-2010 by DJM8507]



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 06:27 AM
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reply to post by DJM8507
 


I agree that self-betterment is our planetary-future, the next thing after our current "Information Age" and the prior "Industrial Age".



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 06:46 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 

So the Piracy through Filesharing is bad and the Digital Right Management that implemented on digital media like software and so forth that increasingly restrictive are also no better than Piracy through Filesharing because it isn't reduces Piracy through Filesharing, it makes Piracy through Filesharing even worse and can turns software like Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight computer game into epic fail and what's the business that you gave up because of this?


[edit on 27/6/2010 by masonicon]


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posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 06:47 AM
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times are changing maybe artists make to much money
i know my shelf i just cant seem to find a decent paying job most of the time

and nowadays a persons money really doesn't get them much and in most cases i simply cant afford to go buy everything i want and or need
i cant afford a 60 dollar night at the movies
i cant afford to buy the newest game
i wish i could
so if it comes down to buying alot of them the money is just not there to do it
in canada we pay a tax on all blank media cd dvd and they have been doing this for 10 years now or close to it
so in fact we all pay all ready for copyright on those in canada

besides i paid for a sony monitor and a sony computer and a sony dvd burner
how many times do i have to pay for something
constant 40 dollar a month internet power to run it all

alot of people make money off me allready

if they really didnt want you doing it they would of never invented and sold cd and dvd burners mp3 players because there is almost nothing you can legally do with them



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 06:47 AM
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I understand what you expressed. I've done my share of downloading music.

But then realized that I feel better about myself when I can goto the store, spend my cash I worked hard for, and purchase something and call it my own. Add to my collection, or what not. Gives me a hint of success if you understand me.

As for downloading a book. I wouldn't get the same feeling as if I have it in my hands. Probably would'nt be able to imagine and play it on in my mind with this bright computer monitor anyways.



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:10 AM
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I actually prefer something that I can hold in my hands over digital. According to my way of thinking, hard copy books have stood the test of time whereas digital media may not stand the test of time. What happens if the delivery technology (i.e. computers, ipads, etc..) become unavailable for some reason?

On the other hand, I sure would like to get ahold of Goldman Sach's predictive software, any idea where to download that?



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:12 AM
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reply to post by Oozii
 


Ive also found that it it feels very different to go purchase stuff and does do something for ones self-worth and maybe even the appreciation of the product. Some interesting psychological phenomena going on there.



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:14 AM
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reply to post by dean007
 


You make a valid point. CDs for example were way overpriced, driving people to do without paying 40 Dollars for some second-rate music album full of fillers


+11 more 
posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:16 AM
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Originally posted by dean007
and nowadays a persons money really doesn't get them much and in most cases i simply cant afford to go buy everything i want and or need
i cant afford a 60 dollar night at the movies
i cant afford to buy the newest game
i wish i could
so if it comes down to buying alot of them the money is just not there to do it


Not to pick on you dean007, but this is the new mentality... I want it now even though I can't afford it now... This is the mentality that has gotten everyone across the world into trouble. We really don't have to have everything right now. Whatever happened to "I want that game but I can't afford, so I'm going to save my money so that I can buy it in the future?"



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:19 AM
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Originally posted by Iamonlyhuman
On the other hand, I sure would like to get ahold of Goldman Sach's predictive software, any idea where to download that?




As skeptical as I am of illegal Downloading, I cant help but look for rarities that are not available in shops.

There are some real gems out there, some of which havent been available for decades.




edit on by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:20 AM
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reply to post by masonicon
 


I dont understand what you mean - you mean the copyright-protection doesnt work and makes stuff worse?

The Business I gave up was related to selling mp3s.



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:27 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Great post SkyFloating.

The issues and concerns you addressed are something that deserve to have some though-time invested by everyone who makes use of the web to obtain things for free.

It is important stuff and I'm glad you raised the points you did.

Hopefully one day there will be a happy medium that is reached, were open-source and truly free products are available that are of equivalent quality to their commercial counterparts.

It is a good that it appears we are heading in that direction, one can only hope that the transition period does not ruin anyone's livelihood or result in massive profit loss.


*Thread Starred and Flagged*


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posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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I find the issue of downloading is a reaction to being ripped off.
If they priced things as they are worth and made quality product
and didn't promote gangsterism so highly then downloading would be insignificant...

The corporate types have created the situation out of their own greed
and now they complain...
Well Obummer has his internet kill switch now..
wait and see what using that does to the just in time economy and the consumer

So if I buy a physics text worth 120 bucks for 50 cents at a garage sale
am I commiting a crime?
Your Yard Sale Is Illegal
reason.com...

Remember "indestructible" CDs that self desintegrate over time, or kellogs corn flakes albums- snap crackle and pop?
Is replacing them a crime?

How many CDs have come out where the music out weighs the filler?

How much does the author really make on a CD or a book..
what do they cost to make

I make fully produced work for pennies on modern equipement
compared to what it cost in the 70s- there is no comparison
other than skill

Try and find a portable cd player on the shelf these days
I bought mine at a warehouse sale for 10 bucks
-175 bucks 2 years before

the consumer is the one getting it not the corporations.
the corporations just want something for nothing while the consumer in most cases would settle for fair trade

PS
I play for the party
getting rich was never my goal as a musician
making some corpotard rich from my art makes me physically sick to my stomach

getting asked to play and getting free beers put on my table- priceless




[edit on 27-6-2010 by Danbones]



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Good thread! I am in a musical dead zone. I can access youtube, but not good quality recordings. iTunes still will not work with the country in which I live, and there are no local outlets for CDs (at least none that are new CDs and/or consistent with my musical tastes.) Amazon will not send music here. I choose to not utilize torrents and other free filesharing, as --- for me personally -- I consider that to be theft of property.

I'm left with finding what I like on youtube and then sending money to a friend in the U.S. along with a list. Very cumbersome way of acquiring music.


The petty restrictions imposed by the recording and movie industry are self-damaging. For example restricting viewership depending on country is utterly idiotic because it drives Millions of foreigners to sites where they can "acquire" the products "by other means".If these companies were smart they would have gone with the flow and started offering their stuff much earlier - at a reasonable price - for all to view - and the full selection.


Agree. I can't figure out why music is restricted from various countries. It's not like it's software or a device that might be used to harm someone. I suspect with iTunes that they simply don't want to fool around with money conversions and just cater to the larger nations.

Books. Sure, I'm old-fashioned in that sense. I treasure good works, and I like to have them in the physical form. I've been packing around more than 300 pounds of treasured books for more than 20 years. Every time a hurricane threatens, they all go into ziplock bags. I love a bookstore, ANY bookstore.

I think that if the producers of these works were to sell all music/books/artistic works cheaper, but make them widely available, they would acquire more net profits and most of these issues would go away.

I also think if I ever were to create my own music that was good enough to be appreciated by thousands of people, that I would quickly discover that the industry would not sign a contract to produce it for the seemingly paltry profit that I would want them to make.



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by Exuberant1
Hopefully one day there will be a happy medium that is reached, were open-source and truly free products are available that are of equivalent quality to their commercial counterparts.


Open Source is great. I cant believe, for example, that people still pay for stuff like a to-PDF-Converter when they can easily do that with open-source software. "Retail is for suckers" I guess



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 08:01 AM
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Originally posted by Danbonesgetting asked to play and getting free beers put on my table- priceless


But it wouldnt be bad to be able to make a living from music, would it? I hate seeing talented people driving cabs and working as waiters.



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 08:17 AM
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reply to post by argentus
 


Have you actually considered making music? Just curious.

Im glad internet makes musicians independent so that they can sell to the public directly. On the other hand the Internet and its open-source-music-software makes anyone a musician so there is more competition too


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posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 




a lot of people
have been allowed to become criminals.


Which is simply an ominous way of saying "a lot of people haven't been brainwashed to be scared into accepting a totally arbitrary convention of no real consequence."

Jaywalkers are "criminals" too.



the majority of downloads happening are against the laws as defined by society.


No. Clearly not. As you yourself point out, an entire generation has grown up regarding filesharing as completely ok. These things are not illegal because "society" has defined them as illegal.

These laws are archaic leftovers that a lot of people really don't care about.



Thirdly - doesnt anyone want to reward those book-writers,
movie-makers and musicians for their work?


No.

Look at the music and movie industries. Now like at the open source software industry. Both are viable. Both produce material that people use and like. Content will still be produced even if artists are not paid for their work.

Why is it better for money be to changing hands?



Thoughts?


There is no need for copyright to exist in our society.

[edit on 27-6-2010 by LordBucket]



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 08:25 AM
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you know i beleive that when i purchase something, i can give it to whomever i want. If im skilled enough to make them a copy, then i can. i paid for it, i can share it.


edit: spell

[edit on 27-6-2010 by Myendica]






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