The Null Device
The Guardian debunks the movie industry's claims that DVD counterfeiting funds al-Qaeda and other terrorists groups:
A couple of years ago, the Bush administration launched a major anti-drugs television campaign. It showed teenagers "confessing" to having killed a judge or a police officer because they had used drugs, and it said that drugs funded terrorism. Even if you were just having a joint in your back yard, the ad said, you could be helping terrorists. This was nonsense. The main profiteers from drugs in the US are American citizens who, if they are smart, vote Republican to ensure that the value of their product remains artificially high.
The chief backer of the September 11 attacks made his millions from his family's construction business. So should we stop all house-building now? By telling us that we are fighting terrorism by boycotting pirated DVDs, the industry is patronising us and misleading us. Our message should be: don't buy counterfeit and alarmist propaganda from these people.
Remember kids: every time you play an MP3, Osama bin Laden gets 50c to kill Americans with. Just say no.
(More indirectly, though, one could possibly make a terrorism case against those who provide copyright-enforcement-circumvention tools and file-sharing software, on the grounds that they are attacking the infrastructure of the US economy on which millions of lives ultimately depend. It's like that Bruce Sterling story in which a belligerent China bankrupts the US by setting up big fileservers hosting copies of Microsoft Office and the latest Hollywood blockbusters, free for the downloading.)