First, the internet, as you know, is designed for the transport of information. Yes it can take a myriad of forms, but it's all essentially bits and bytes of data. But just because transporting information is the nature of the internet, making the leap that all information is entitled to be moved is incorrect. Owners get to decide what is done with their content. The internet is essentially an electronic shipping company, no more. It's universally accepted as illegal for someone to either intercept a FedEx package, or send stolen materials through
FedEx --but those who aregue for illegal downloads on the net are essentially stating it's okay for me to steal a bunch of books/cds/photos from a nearby store and send them to friends via FedEx. Ultimately it's not FedEx we would hold responsible for that activity, it's me for presuming I can do such a thing. They're not the thugs, I am. But for some reason people don't see virtually the same activity as unacceptable when it comes to the net. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean it's right, acceptable or permissible to do it.
There is such a thing as Good Faith. Anyone can
send anything via FedEx if FedEx doesn't know what the contents are. And if they are advised and act to stop that particular item from being transported they are making the good faith effort...much like online content companies (like Youtube) expect that their users follow certain published guidelines, acting only when a complaint is registered. I own the copyrights, so I can legally post things like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY5KOUx9bDg
It's mine. *I* get to decide what is done with it.
But I'm not exonerating Youtube for the posting of illegal materials. Yes, I think they turn a blind eye towards the posting of copyrighted works, but they also do take steps to take such things down when they're notified. With millions of things going up it is an understandably difficult job to police the content, and at some point you have to trust that the vast majority of posts are going to be put up by thoughtful and honest people. The police know damned well that virtually everyone on the freeway is speeding. You just don't want to be the one driver who gets their undivided attention by blowing past them and flipping the bird. That's just stupid.
And in the case of copyright it is usually assumed that the copyright holder does have the responsibility to enforce their copyright. Law enforcement and the courts are there to provide the teeth, but they don't generally go after the thugs without a complaint. But what is missing here is the blame on the people who believe they are entitled to content. To art. To freely distribute that content in any way they
feel they want to, regardless of ownership. That's irresponsible and unethical, and yet perfectly rational people think it's defensible to do allow it. THAT is where the problem lies.
Anyone who believes they are entitled to steal and/or distribute someone else's property are thugs, yet society seems to think that artists (and the companies who represent and pay them) are overreacting.
I will listen to the argument only and if the person making it themselves work pro bono. Otherwise it's hypocrisy.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.