The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'file-sharing'
Recording artist, cultural commentator and left-wing intellectual type Momus weighs in on file-sharing and "piracy". He's all for it, and against the RIAA's crackdown; what's more, he's officially OK with people who are not sufficiently into his music to pay for a CD downloading MP3s instead:
No doubt some people will feel the same way about my new record, Ocky Milk, and that's fine too. These "unconvinced" listeners will at least listen, even if they don't buy. That may not matter to the RIAA, but it matters to me as an artist. And even if these people don't buy this record, they may buy another one, or they may come to a live show, or they may pay for a track off iTunes or E Music.
Or, you know, one of these downloaders may have sex with me, or give me a column in a magazine, or ask me to come and give a talk at an art school, or collaborate on a project, and that will lead to, you know, marriage, or a surprise twist in the career path, or something equally amazing. "Peer-to-peer" can mean much more than just sharing music. To the RIAA, a "peer" is simply a freeloading customer, a source of monetary loss. But to me a peer is a person, the source of all sorts of possible gains, quantifiable or not. To the RIAA, with a business agenda but no human agenda, that peer engaging in P2P can only mean the loss of dollars. To me it can mean the possibility of barter (the theme of artist Carolina Caycedo's work), but also friendship, communication, and a million other human possibilities.
Earthstation 5 is the newest file-sharing network to play whack-a-mole with the RIAA. This one's different; for one, its servers are hosted in a Palestinian refugee camp, rendering them immune to RIAA lawsuits. (Though presumably not Israeli missiles.) The service is legal under Palestinian copyright law, which offers very weak protection to foreign copyrights. I wonder whether this will diminish any sympathy the US has towards the Palestinians, and perhaps prompt the Whitehouse to tacitly approve Israeli military operations it would have otherwise objected to. After all, intellectual property is at stake here.
This reminds me of the Bruce Sterling story in which China launched a devastating attack against the US economy by putting up massive servers hosting pirate copies of Microsoft Office and the latest Hollywood blockbusters, free for the taking. (via bOING bOING)
Tim O'Reilly (of the books with animals on their covers fame) has an essay on file sharing, piracy and copy-denial technologies; in it he argues that piracy is progressive taxation, taking from established producers and giving (distribution, recognition, etc.) to the up-and-coming. (Via Slashdot, to whose readers the article was undoubtedly crafted to appeal, right down to the Star Wars reference at the end.)