Two stories really stood out for me today. At first they may not seem related, but upon further examination they are indeed.
The RIAA Came to ASU Today [Anthony Garone]
US no longer technology king [bbc news]
The RIAA is busy suing the pants off college students while our country is SEVENTH in the world of technology according to a report by the world economic forum. Why are they still allowed to get away with this crap? Why have no major universities taken them on legally? Why have lawmakers not stepped in to protect the students?
How would things be different if, say, the BSA (which although a very serious organization, does not seem as zealous and ambitious as the RIAA) were allowed to monitor networks at a place like MIT and sue students for downloading warez? Would we be seventh? Or would we be a bit lower on that list?
Has the college education of the next software or business genius been destroyed already by the RIAA’s witch hunt? Sometimes you have to choose your battles.
“Just because you dislike the outcome doesn’t make stealing right.”
Let’s compare this to prohibition. Is alcohol a good thing? Maybe in moderation. But it can also destroy and take lives. The cure in that case ended up being worse than the disease,
A lot of us are comfortable confronting complicated issues with the goal of reaching a black or white conclusion. Well, sometimes the problems are gray.
On the Internets, things become complicated. I recently lost a major domain name that had been mine over the years because someone was able to change the contact info in my domain records. It probably was not the most valuable domain out there, but it was unique and it was unquestionably mine. I did not have the resources or the extra energy to fight it, so I let it go and went a new, different direction with the ultimate plan of utterly destroying his site with competition that provided the same services for free. As we all know, it’s hard to beat free. I did learn to better protect my privacy. But finally, he DID use the net to steal from me. However, if he had downloaded my intellectual property and shared it with his friends, it’d be hard to describe it as theft. Because I’d still have a copy. The only thing he would be depriving me of is my cut from his buddies’ downloads. Even then, how can I be sure they would have paid me or even come to my site, ever? I cannot. That’s not black or white. Yet people like the RIAA go at this problem as if it were. WE need to start looking at the effect of letting them do this and take it very seriously.
Real Americans are against the RIAA.