Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Barely Illegal


Hypothetical situation.

Imagine I want to watch a movie. I log into a chat room. Have a few pings and pokes with several people. From the random sample, I manage to strike a conversation with a couple of blokes. The conversation meanders towards movies. One of them happen to have that movie with him/her. I talk him/her into sending the movie over to my place, on returnable basis. He/she agrees. I get the movie. I watch it.

Now imagine this process , with just the first and the last line. Nothing in between. I want to watch a movie, I go online, I get movie. (It's akin to walking up to that hot chick in a bar, and getting straight to "your place or mine" without the unnecessary fluff in between).

Hardly fair. Hardly moral. But barely illegal. No?

As long as no one is selling/buying, there shouldn't be a conflict of copyright interest. (Cory Doctorove for President of Sweden, anyone?)

So, why this?

Those Swedish blokes have 'cuffed the poor pirates. Sad.

But the authorities have got it all wrong. This isn't going to change anything. ANYTHING. Music sharing didn't die with Napster; it only spawned better ways to do it. (Like piratebay, hello irony!)

The whole thing loops like a mobius strip - you won't know where it begins, where it ends, or where it leads to. They might have to sue Google next to throw up any of these sites. Because, in the end, all the torrent sites do is connect two (or more) people who want to share files. It DOES NOT store any material on servers. Technology is beautiful.

Any which way, this trial is like spitting on a forest fire. This runs too deep and too wide to be controlled by a Swedish court.

Coming to the intellectual property/moral issue, there isn't much. The big studios are called so because they earn that much - big. And a community of benign buccaneers is not that big a hole in their pockets. So they should just stop whining, and focus more on making better movies. If the movie's really good, a majority of these pirates will go out to watch it in the theaters anyway, or buy the DVD. The independents / lesser known movies actually gain from all this. Because their movies are seen by more people than a small film festival audience. You don't expect otherwise for some of these people who share files, to actually get an opportunity to see nice little independent films from, say, Siberia.

Meanwhile, during such time the Swedish pirates cool their heels in the cell, everyone will just google other torrent sites, some even better than bay. Like this. Or this. ?

Long live Google. And Mr. Doctorove.


Simply Ridiculous said...

And long live torrents!!

slash\\ said...

They will. they will. And if they don't, i completely trust the folks to come up with an even better technology. Long live free sharing.